August 26, 2021

Circle Economy works with the UN Development Programme to accelerate the circular transition for ecotourism in Lao PDR

How can the circular economy support ecotourism?

Lao PDR is a country of rich and diverse natural landscapes including rainforests, waterfalls and limestone mountains. Its stunning nature offers unique opportunities to develop sustainable tourism, but financial, legal and other barriers hinder its development. Can the circular economy be a lever for change?

Our latest endeavour—participation in a UNDP-led project with Shifting Paradigms, Rebel Group and Earth Systems—explores how Lao can develop circular business models to support its ecotourism. Together, we led a Community of Practice: a series of workshops and consultations, bringing together local entrepreneurs and policymakers.

The result? Practical solutions that will help participants achieve their sustainability goals through a shift to circular business. For example, the sustainable tourism provider Green Discovery now collaborates with PLM Eastbeam, considering how to substitute steel for wood to build an eco-friendly bridge, and with Lao Biogas to champion more sustainable energy sources.

From investigating opportunities for sustainable building materials to financing circular business opportunities, the Community of Practice helped foster new connections, spark knowledge exchange and put theory into action.

‘We worked with businesses in Lao to kickstart and scale their circular ecotourism activities—using our Community of Practice to spark new ideas and transform theory into action.’ says project leader, Aglaia Fischer.

Stay tuned for our upcoming white paper summarising the outcomes of the project.

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