BEIRUT — The European Union announced in a press release Friday that it has allocated 3.7 million euros ($4 million) to a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) project called 2Circular, focusing on the development of the circular economy in Lebanon.
The three-year project is to be implemented in partnership with several Lebanese ministries (industry, economy and trade, environment and finance), as well as the Lebanese Industrialists Association and the Federation of Lebanese Chambers of Commerce.
The funding announcement was made Thursday from the Mövenpick Hotel in Beirut, during an event aimed, among other things, at raising additional funding.
In broad terms, the 2Circular project aims to join forces with some 50 companies involved in the food and beverage sector to boost the circular economy concept in the country. One of the components will be to allocate a total of 280,000 euros (almost $305,000) to fund "in-kind" donations worth between 15,000 and 40,000 euros to 10 companies that can "demonstrate their ability to become champions of the circular economy in Lebanon."
According to the definition drawn up in 1987 by the UN World Commission on Environment and Development in the Brundtland Report, the circular economy is "a system of production, exchange and sharing ... that enables social progress, the preservation of natural capital and economic development."
For the French Ministry of Ecological Transition, circular economy "consists of producing goods and services in a sustainable manner by limiting the consumption and waste of resources and the production of waste."
UNIDO pointed out that the 2Circular project was built on "the success of 15 Lebanese companies" which, according to its representatives, have proved their worth in the field of the circular economy as part of the Med-Test initiative.
The organization also asserted that the project meets both the environmental and economic challenges of the country, which suffers from high pollution levels and has been in crisis for almost four years.