EPPIC 2023 – Field trip to Savannakhet province, Lao PDR
On October 25, 2023, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Lao PDR organized a pivotal field trip for the finalists of the Ending Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge (EPPIC) to Savannakhet province, one of Lao PDR’s prominent tourist destinations. The primary objective of this excursion was to foster connections between the EPPIC incubator and local authorities, visit the target location, and gather essential data on plastic pollution issues in Kaysone Phomvihane City, Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR. This hands-on experience allowed innovators to evaluate their solutions within the local context and acquire valuable insights for further refinement.
Recycling process at the landfill in Savannakhet
Local Initiatives and Collaboration
Savannakhet Province’s local authorities, in collaboration with PONRE, DONRE, and other partners, are actively engaged in efforts to raise awareness and change the behavior of households, particularly those residing near water bodies, to combat plastic pollution. Their pivotal role in the EPPIC program involves granting permissions for river waste collection, ensuring proper waste management practices, and advocating for eco-friendly packaging. Additionally, they are at the forefront of recycling initiatives in public events and areas.
Meeting with the government in Savannakhet province
Follow-up Activities and Future Collaborations
To ensure the continued success of EPPIC projects in Savannakhet Province, a series of follow-up activities have been outlined. Ongoing collaboration with the incubator will involve monitoring the learning progress of innovators and identifying key training areas to prepare them for the final pitching day. Furthermore, efforts will be made to collaborate with government partners, inviting representatives from national and provincial levels to serve as jury members during the final pitching day. This collaborative approach aims to strengthen the ties between innovators and local authorities, fostering a conducive environment for the implementation of sustainable solutions.
The EPPIC 2023 field trip to Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR, not only provided a platform for innovators to assess their solutions within a real-world context but also facilitated crucial collaborations with local authorities, private entities, and community initiatives. By exploring the dynamic landscape of efforts to combat plastic pollution and improve environmental sustainability, the field trip set the stage for meaningful and impactful solutions to emerge. As the collaboration between EPPIC and local stakeholders continues to evolve, the journey toward ending plastic pollution in Savannakhet Province takes a promising and collaborative trajectory.
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