Angul initiates a pathbreaking dialogue on circularity at grassroots level

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ANGUL:As a pioneering and unique initiative at the ground level, the Angul District Administration, Government of Odisha in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) organized a two-day stakeholder orientation workshop on 24 & 25 June 2021, on resource efficiency and circular economy,in alignment with Angul District’s Vision 2023 and national priorities for green economic growth.Such initiatives that were earlier limited to national level and more recently to state level dialogues, have in this path breaking initiative been brought to the implementation level.  This has potential of becoming a model for other districts.

Resource extraction and processing is responsible for more than 50 per cent of global climate change and more than 90 per cent of global biodiversity loss.  Prioritizing resource-intensive sectors for a shift towards sustainable consumption and production could achieve significant economic, social, and environmental gains, often in short time frames.Such interventions are essential to restore our ecosystems, and to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving this objective requires participation of stakeholders across sectors and at all levels.

This ground-breaking initiative by the Angul district administration and the United Nations Environment Programme will bring a transformational shift for integrating circularity in sectoral actions at the implementation level and can become a role model for other districts.

The consultation brought together various stakeholders from public line departments private sector, CSOs, research institutions, academia, and others.

In his opening remarks Mr. SiddharthShankar Swain, IAS, Collector & District Magistrate, Angul, expressed his vision for integrating principles of circular and green economy across different sectors at district level and said that this workshop has helped in visualising a clear pathway aheadfor realising this objective.

While setting the context of the workshop Mr. Atul Bagai, Country Head, UN Environment Progarmme, India office, said that “this historic workshop will result in developing a district level action plan for circular and green economic growth and will establish a role model for other districts.Mr. Bagai also highlighted that the workshop has kicked of a long-term stakeholder engagement forestablishing sustainable development pathway at local level.”

In his keynote address, Mr. Satya S Tripathi Secretary-General of the Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet & Chancellor, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, appreciated the effortand highlighted that “such pioneering example of demand side intervention is critical for ensuring green economic growth at grassroots level.”

During his special remarks in the inaugural session, Dr Ashok Khosla, Chairman of Development Alternatives, said that "Angul District Vision 2023,” is truly a unique and pioneering initiative of micro level planning by locally organised think tanks and expressed his enthusiasm for the quality and timeliness of this effort to manage the District's natural resource base for the benefit of all, not only at the local but also at the national and global level.

Over the course of two days the participants were oriented on concepts and principles of circularity and its linkage across socio-economic sectors.Based on the two-day orientation workshop, various stakeholders at district level will come together again on 1 July 2021` to brainstorm on a list of action for prioritisation and implementation in next five years.Further to which the Angul District Administration with support from the United Nations Environment Programme will develop a roadmap for inclusive, circular, and green economic growth of Angul District.Best practices showcased through implementation of prioritized actions will make Angul a model district.

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