The project SEID for the promotion of resource efficiency
With the first growing of tourism and agro based industries both in Nepal and Bhutan which contributes significantly to their GDP, employment generation, and foreign exchange earnings also serves as an engine for poverty alleviation.
However, the rise in the arrival of the tourists has put an extra pressure on developing additional infrastructure and had environmental degradation, waste generation and environmental pollution. Moreover, the competitiveness of agro based industries is fast eroding as a result of outdated technology, lack of optimized process and unsustainable sourcing. Although both Nepal and Bhutan have plenty of water supply but the water tables in many famous tourist destinations and industrial zones are stressed.
These are big challenges that need to be addressed. For this, the project Sustainable and Efficient Industrial Development in Nepal and Bhutan (SEID) was designed to directly addressed several issues faced by both the sectors and transfer best practices, technology and proven approaches on sustainable consumption and production (SCP). However, this project was for 14 months which starts from February, 2012 till November 2015.
The project was funded by the European Union (EU) with the financial assistance of 2mn Euro and was implemented by Center for Appropriate Technology (GrAT) and partners- Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Austria Recycling (AREC) and Stenum ASIA Sustainable Development.
During the press conference last Friday, Deputy Secretary of Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) Mr. Kesang Wangdi, said that this project is on promotion of resource efficiently with the micro, small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has targeted and he added that today Bhutan enjoy the cheapest energy but it doesn’t mean that we can keep on dependent on this abundant resources since the whole world in under tremendous pressure for the limited resources but for Bhutan we are fortunate to received this support. This project focused mostly on the MSMEs, Deputy secretary, added that private sector is the biggest sector and they play the crucial role in terms of resource efficiency and added that this project focus mostly on the MSMEs as of now.
Lead Project Manager Dr. Robert Wimmer, said that to address these deep rooted challenges of agro-and tourism based industries, the project SEID in Bhutan and Nepal has been active since February, 2012 through its forty months program. With the fund from European Union, and co-funds by the Austrian Development Corporation, project provides consulting services to MSMEs to help them to tackle the problems through a holistic approach embracing improvement of resource and energy efficiency, chemical and waste management, and working environment.
The program aims at generating economic savings and to be greener by various means such as reducing consumption, replacing old system and tools and adopting alternative solution, said the Dr. Robert.
This project is targeted to micro, small and medium enterprises from the tourism and agro based industries; local environmental and energy experts and service providers; business associations, industry associations and academia; public institutions, government authorities, industrial park management authorities and policy makers and company workers especially women.
While, the objective of the projects are to reduce costs and pollution; improve health and safety performance in the target sectors; to enhance the capacity of national anchor associations/service providers to collaborate and promote sustainable practices to their supply chain/members, providing technical support and input to MSMEs to improve the overall resource efficiency of their production process from the life cycle perspective; moreover this project also aims to build strategic partnerships with on-going initiatives in the target sector, providing access to existing knowledge, information education campaign material to address needs of MSMEs and to facilitate dialoguing and networking amongst key stakeholders including government, financial institutions, industry associations, academia aimed at creating and enabling environment which propagates and promotes adoption of sustainable industrial practices.
Meanwhile, from this project 80 companies are benefiting in Bhutan as of now located in Thimphu, Phuntsholing, Samtse and Paro.