Announcement Archive

Circular Economy and Development of Western Provinces (China)

Friday, April 30th, 2010

story from Tokyo Development Learning Center

Japan’s circular economy policies and regional development strategies as ‘Eco-Towns’ were highlighted as part of a GDLN course for western China , 7-9 April, 2010.

Organized by the World Bank and Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) and supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) the 3-day distance learning course on ‘Circular Economy and Development of Western Provinces’ linked 11 sites in China.  The linked sites were part of the Western China Distance Development Learning Network (CDDLN) and included Development Learning Centers in Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Qinghai, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia and 2 county level sites in Sichuan province and 3 in Chongqing.

Various themes of circular economy were covered including basic concepts, legislation and policy, practices in enterprises and industry such as building waste collection and recycling systems and practices in agriculture and building ecological industries. Participants at each site ranged from local government officials responsible for circular economy work, policy researchers and others with an interest in the topic including mangers of industrial parks, enterprise managers and students.

So what is ‘circular economy’?

The term has been the buzz word of late in connection to China as the country has adopted the circular economy approach as a core component of its sustainable development strategy and passed the Circular Economy Promotion Law to support. In the context of the 3-day GDLN program circular economy refers to activities that reduce, reuse and recycle materials (referred to as the 3R approach) in production, distribution and consumption.

Japan’s practice and experience of circular economy was featured as part of the program with simultaneous interpretation from the Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) on 8 April. Leading Japanese circular economy expert Dr. Tsuyoshi Fujita (Head of the Environmental Evaluation System Research Section at Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Science) provided an in-depth presentation outlining lessons learnt by Japan for sustainable eco-developments through its practice of establishing Eco-towns. To illustrate Japan’s experience Dr Fujita provided an overview of social environmental infrastructure and management of Kitakyushu Eco-Town as a typical recycle plant orientated costal town located in southern Japan.

Phil Karp, World Bank Institute, Regional Coordinator, East Asia Pacific commented that “The presentation on Japan’s circular economy experience was a vitally important case study that demonstrated to the participants in China that economic development can be managed in an environmentally sustainable manner.  On behalf of the World Bank and GDLN I would like to thank Dr Fujita for his excellent presentation and to express our appreciation to JICA for facilitating provision of this important Japanese knowledge and expertise in support of development of China’s western provinces”.

The ‘Circular Economy and Development of Western Provinces’ course also introduced major findings of a World Bank analytical report on circular economy in China, including the progress of these programs and the policy recommendations.