Roundtable on SwitchMed Demo Project takes place in Cairo

In conclusion of the Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) component, a Roundtable meeting on SwitchMed Demo Project was held in Cairo Marriott Hotel on 26 September, 2017. This activity came back-to-back with the Training Workshop on Sustainable Public Procurement Manual just held on the 25th of September, and aimed to demonstrate the final deliverables and recommendations of the SPP module, as well as to present ongoing achievements and activities taking place in the component of the Reduction of Plastic Bags Consumption.The opening remarks were made by Dr. Mohamed Farouk, Head of Environmental Management Sector, representing H.E. the Minister of Environment; Mr. Luc Reuter, SwitchMed Programme Coordinator, UN Environment; Dr. Hossam Allam, Regional Director, Sustainable Growth Programme, CEDARE. “This important project succeeded in building the capacities and provided guidance to different governmental organizations and ministries and the Ministry of Environment employees in particular. Moreover, it developed SCP Toolkit, conducted assessment studies and policy briefs, consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, raised the awareness, identified sustainable alternatives and many more”, said Dr. Allam. The Roundtable emphasized that environmental and economic dimensions have to be extensively endorsed in the state’s public policies and consumers’ behavior needs to become wiser and more resourceful, which translates in adopting the SPP system and implementing the SCP patterns.

The agenda addressed SPP international best practices by Mr. John Watt, Sustainable Economy and Procurement Officer, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), who also gave an introduction to SPP. Representatives of the Ministry of Electricity and the Ministry of Finance respectively presented case studies on governmental pioneering initiatives in SCP and the application of SPP. These are: introducing LED Lamps to governmental premises and conversion of governmental vehicles and taxis to natural gas. “Introduction to Smart Government Procurement” and “Guidelines for the SPP System in Egypt” were underlined by Mr. Samir Abd El Rahman, Purchase and Procurement Manager, Ministry of Finance. Meanwhile, the other component on Plastic Bags Reduction had a share in the agenda. A brief on the communication strategy recently prepared for the National Initiative on Plastic Bags Consumption Reduction was given by Dr. Galal Zaki, Integrated Marketing Communication Consultant. Ms. Ghada Moghny, Projects Coordinator, CEDARE, presented what the Plastic Bags Consumption Reduction Project had accomplished so far.

Launched in December 2016, the SwitchMed Demo Project in Egypt embraces two components: Reduction of Plastic Bags Consumption and Mainstreaming Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP). It is implemented by the Ministry of Environment and CEDARE, supported by the UN Environment and funded by the European Commission under the umbrella of SwitchMed Programme. The two projects were on top of 28 projects listed in the National Action Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production.