The ASEAN Circular Economy Forum 2023, an official WCEF Side Event
Between 8th-9th November 2023 at The Ritz – Carlton Mega Kuningan Jakarta, Team Finland, the ASEAN Secretariat, Sitra & WCEF, in close cooperation with the EU-funded Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI), the ASEAN Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ACESP), the EU, Generation Foundation & Indonesia Circular Economy Forum organised the ASEAN CIRCULAR ECONOMY FORUM 20231: Paving ASEAN’s path to a carbon-neutral circular economy.
The inaugural ASEAN Circular Economy Forum 2023 brought together global and regional circular economy leaders and practitioners to accelerate ASEAN’s transition towards a carbon-neutral circular economy. The face-to-face event focuses on collaboration, knowledge-sharing and building partnerships. Participated by over 200 international and ASEAN attendees, the forum welcomes representatives from policy, business, academia and the third sector. Speakers shared the state of play of circularity in ASEAN, insights from global circular frontrunners, showcases of innovative solutions and the path to a carbon-neutral, circular society.
The event bridges the global circular economy community, the EU and forerunner countries like Finland to support ASEAN in advancing circular economy and carbon neutrality, create a basis for collaboration and sharing of knowledge, and concretely promote the global transition to a circular economy and carbon neutrality. This event primarily aims to support the ASEAN journey towards a carbon-neutral circular economy.
The event was a seminar-type setting with curated sessions and exchanges from morning until afternoon at the event venue, including networking opportunities and an informal program. The opening speech was given by Ambassador Pekka Kaihilahti, H.E Dr. (H.C) Ir. H. Suharso Monoarfa, M.A. Indonesia’s Ministry of National Development Planning, H.E Anne Vasara Ambassador for Circular Economy and Energy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
Plenary sessions address the big picture and current state of play; they provide inspiration and food for thought. Plenary session 1 focuses on the Circular Economy Globally and the EU. The esteemed panellists included Janez Potocnik, Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel; Novita Sari, EU Delegation to Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and ASEAN; Mika Sulkinoja, Senior Lead, Sitra, The Finnish Innovation Fund; Bonmwa Fwangkwal, Program Manager at the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA). Plenary 2: Circular Economy in ASEAN and ASEAN Member States was participated by the following panellist and moderator: Dr. Vong Sok, Head of the Environment Division, Assistant Director of Sustainable Development Director at The ASEAN Secretariat; Carlo Chen-Delantar, Head of Circular Economy and ESG at Gobi Partners, Founder and Social Entrepreneur; Dr. Medrilzam, Director of Environmental Affairs at Indonesia’s Ministry of National Development Planning; Ms. Le Kim, Founder, CEO, CL2B, Vietnam; Mr. Patarpol Tularak, Secretary General, Solid Waste Management Association of Thailand.
On this occasion, three representatives from the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD), the ASEAN Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ACESP) host, speak at the Interactive session two titled EU & AMS Towards Circularity: Policies & Capacity Building. The opening remarks of this interactive session and overview of EU support for a circular economy transition in ASEAN were given by Andreas Unterstaller, EU Delegation to Indonesia/Brunei Darussalam/ASEAN; Khun Chirachai Punkrasin, the Executive Director of ACSDSD, talks about the background and mission of the ASEAN Center for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD) and how ACSDSD’s primary area of focus in sustainable consumption and production and sustainable use of natural resources related to the work of the ASEAN Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ACSEP). The Deputy Executive Director of ACSDSD, Dr Anthony Pramualratana, provided a strategic overview of ACSDSD. Subsequently, Khun Treesuvit (David) Arriyavat, Communication and Engagement Specialist and ACESP project manager, talks about the plan, actions and activities of the ACESP while engaging with the audience on various types of circular economy knowledge to be featured on the ACESP knowledge and information portal. The E-READI Circular Economy and SCP Expert Dr Magnus Bengtsson shared opportunities for deepening ASEAN’s CE Cooperation. This interactive session culminated with a presentation on Team Europe Initiative: Denmark’s Contribution to Circular Economy in ASEAN by Erika Torres Luquin, Head of Environment Sector Cooperation, Danish Embassy.
Day 2 of the event consisted of three thematic workshop sessions, showcases of low-carbon, circular solutions, stakeholder meetings and networking opportunities.