Cambodia turns to the circular economy
The National Council for Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Environment, with support from Sweden, Japan, and UNDP, have just launched a national circular economy strategy and a platform to engage the private sector in the transition to a circular economy.
The circular economy aims to produce goods and services while greatly limiting the consumption and waste of raw materials and non-renewable energy sources. This model works in a loop: the notion of waste does not exist.
According to Say Sam Al, Chairman of the National Council for Sustainable Development and Minister of Environment, “The circular economy strategy and action plan aims to create a win-win solution to today’s challenges. Instead of just extracting, consuming and disposing of materials, the strategy aims to close the loop of the entire value chain and maintain the value of materials for as long as possible,” lepetitjournal.com reported.
“The circular economy has great potential to drive positive social and environmental change and create new economic values and diversified employment opportunities. It can guide sustainable development pathways for countries at all income levels, including Cambodia,” said Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Cambodia.
Established just 20 years ago to promote Cambodia’s rural development and nature conservation, Confirel did not wait for the launch of this national strategy to adopt the principles of this economic model. This applies particularly to their Kep-Kampot plantation. There, pepper trees are grown as well as the fruits and plants necessary for the realization of its range of health and wellness products: Morinda citrifolia, mangoes, ginger, jasmine, moringa, lemongrass, orthosiphon, etc.
Operating as a green factory, plants, animals, fish, and people work together in this plantation to “produce without destroying”. This is how all the natural inputs necessary to obtain certified organic products are manufactured on site, in the composting facility. These inputs come from recycled waste, cow dung, weeds, tree leaves, microorganism solutions, leaves, etc.
In this “green factory”, the raw materials are produced, processed – harvested, sorted, dried, fermented, packaged, etc. – before being sent to Phnom Penh to be prepared for the local and international market.
Of course, Confirel hopes that this national strategy will be successful.