Elevating Innovation and Building Capacity Towards Resource-Efficient, Circular, Low-Carbon, and Climate-Resilient Economy in the Pacific

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Elevating Innovation and Building Capacity Towards Resource-Efficient, Circular, Low-Carbon, and Climate-Resilient Economy in the Pacific
Type: Conference
Location: UN Conference C...
Organizer: EU SWITCH-Asia Policy Support Component (PSC); Co-Organiser: European Commission's Directorate-General for International Partnerships, the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RCC Asia Pacific), and the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD)- DSDG/UN DESA
Side Event: 11th Asia-Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development

WHEN:  22 February 2024     I    TIME:  16:45 - 18:00 (Bangkok Time)    I    VENUE:  United Nations Conference Center, Meeting Room H (Hybrid)   I   Watch the recording HERE



The Pacific countries face heightened vulnerability to both current and anticipated impacts of climate change, exacerbating existing unique challenges attributed to the region's remoteness and dependence on external resources. Despite these formidable circumstances, Pacific nations have exhibited commendable leadership in sustainable development, actively contributing to global climate action ambitions. Recognizing the imperative nature of the situation, regional and national strategies underscore the necessity for the Pacific's development trajectory to embrace resilience, resource efficiency, and a low-emission pathway.

Aligned with the objectives of the 11th Asia-Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development (APFSD)this side event aims to delve into viable options for Pacific countries to align their sustainable development trajectories with resilient, resource-efficient, and circular economy (CE) pathways. The focus will be on fostering innovation and building capacities through strategic partnerships. The event will explore sustainable consumption and production policy alternatives, with the potential to bolster the implementation of SDG 13 and SDG 17 in these countries.

Key Questions

  1. How can mainstreaming SCP and Circular Economy (CE) in policies and practices in the Pacific contribute to implement SDG 13 and 17 targets?

  2. How can we strengthen the implementation of SDG 13 and 17 by integrating SCP/CE into the NDCs and other sustainable development ambitions of the region? 

  3. How can we amplify the innovations and capacity enhancement of the businesses and entrepreneurs towards resilient, resource efficient, circular economies in the region?

Event Outcomes

  1. Increased awareness among the stakeholders the potential of SCP and circular economy as an essential tool for sustainable development pathways and    
  2. Strengthened policy alignment of SDG 13 and 17 with SCP and CE strategies for the Pacific Region.

This side event will discuss how to support the implementation of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent on the pathway towards resilience and well-being through partnerships, supporting the effort to bring circularity, Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP), and climate policies closer together. The key presentation will be delivered, addressing the intertwined issues of SCP, CE and climate change. The panel discussion will build on the key presentation and discuss the challenges and opportunities to integrate climate actions with sustainable consumption and production and circular economy solutions. The recommendations from the event will inform possible interventions needed to support national governments and regional organisations in the Pacific region on scaling up SCP and CE policy and implementation towards low-carbon, resource-efficient and circular economy.


Dirk Wagener, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu

Mr. Wagener has more than 20 years of experience in the United Nations System serving in various capacities in the fields of sustainable development and poverty reduction, peacebuilding and conflict prevention, gender equality, humanitarian assistance, green economy, and environmental protection. Prior to his appointment as UN Resident Coordinator, he served as UNDP Resident Representative in Papua New Guinea where he also led the UN Country Team as acting UN Resident Coordinator for over one year. In this role he chaired the intergovernmental negotiations between the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government on the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement and negotiated an agreement on a joint roadmap towards the settlement of the final political status of the autonomous region.


Mr. Sai Navoti, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, UNDESA

Mr. Sainivalati S. Navoti (Sai) is the Chief of the SIDS Unit, at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Prior to his current post, Sai served as the Senior Legal Advisor with the International Seabed Authority. He also served as Lead Negotiator for the G77 & China (2013) and Lead Climate Negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in 2012; and as a Counter Terrorism Officer for UNODC before that. Sai served Fiji as a Military Officer, Government Lawyer, and a Diplomat. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics, a Bachelor of Law, two Post Graduate Diplomas and a Master of Science Degree.



Choudhury Rudra Charan Mohanty, Environment Programme Coordinator, UNCRD-DSDG/UN DESA

Choudhury Rudra Charan Mohanty is currently working as the Environment Programme Coordinator at UNCRD-DSDG/UN DESA (2003~till date). His main responsibilities at UNCRD include implementation of three flagship initiatives and processes at regional and global level: promotion of Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) in Asia; promotion of 3R, resource efficiency and circular economy in Asia and the Pacific; and International Partnership on Expanding Waste Management Service of Local Authorities (IPLA) – a SDG partnership. He is also a member of the ADB Advisory Council on Asian Transport Outlook (ATO). He worked as a Senior Programme Officer at UNEP RRC.AP in Bangkok from 1993 to 2003 being in charge of State of Environment (SoE) assessment and reporting for more than 10 Asian countries and two Sub-regions (South Asia and GMS). He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree (with Honors) in Agricultural Engineering and Technology from the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, India, and a Master of Engineering degree from the School of Civil Engineering/Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand.


Dr. Stefanos Fotiou, Director, Office of SDGs, FAO & Director, UN Food Systems Coordination Hub

Stefanos Fotiou is an expert on sustainable development with 30 years of experience in the United Nations system, private sector and research organisations. He is the Director of the Office of SDGs in the FAO as well as Director of the UN Food Systems Coordination Hub. In these roles, Stefanos provides strategic leadership and oversees coordination mechanism to support countries on SDGs acceleration and integration. His last achievement is leading the successful organization of the UN Food Systems Summit +2 Stocktaking that was characterised as the “UN Assembly for Food Systems”. Prior to join FAO Stefanos served 6 years in the UN ESCAP and 10 years in UNEP leading global and regional work on the SDGs, green economy and sustainable development. He holds a PhD in Natural Resource Economics, a Master of Science in Forestry and Natural Environment and a Master of Science in Information Systems.


Lawrence Pero Duguman, First Assistant Secretary – Policy and Budget Division Department of National Planning and Monitoring PNG

Lawrence Duguman has a 16-year career at the Department of National Planning and Monitoring in Papua New Guinea, currently holding an executive role as the First Assistant Secretary for Policy & Budgets. An alumnus of Sun Yat-Sen University, where he attained an International Master's in Public Administration, he has led significant initiatives, including the advancement of the Open Government Partnership, the development of sustainable development strategies, and the formulation of key national policies. Holding a Bachelor of Business and Management (Honors) and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Papua New Guinea, Lawrence has furthered his expertise through specialized training in Big Data, AI, and Decision Science, among other areas. As the current Focal Point for SDG and Small Island Development States (SIDS) in Papua New Guinea, his work continues to impact national development and international collaboration.



Piyachart (Arm) Isarabhakdee, CEO of BRANDi and Companies

Piyachart (Arm) Isarabhakdee, CEO of BRANDi and Companies, is a thought leader who specializes in transforming conventional organizations (Profit/Policy-centric) into sustainable and future-ready ones (Profit/Policy, People, and Planet). With over 11 years of experience, he and his team of consultants have successfully transformed organizations from over 23 industries. Recognized for his remarkable achievements, Piyachart was the only Thai and business leader invited to represent the private sector at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, where he shared his vision about the integral role of business for the future. He is also the only Thai business leader and one of the youngest members to be invited to join the World Economic Forum’s prestigious Global Future Council. Moreover, he authored two best-selling books, “BRANDiNG 4.0” and “Business as UNusual,” which have been translated into five languages."


Juhi Bansal, NDC & LT-LEDS Specialist, UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre for Asia Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand

Juhi is an international human rights lawyer with substantive experience in the fields of sustainable development, net-zero strategies and climate policy. She has been engaged since March 2023 as the NDC & LT-LEDS Specialist at the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre for Asia and the Pacific. Her work focuses on supporting countries in the region in developing, communicating and effectively implementing ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategies (LT-LEDS), including through the use of collaborative approaches, mechanisms, framework engagements and economic instruments that broaden mitigation action and drive sustainable development. She has previously worked at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), other UN agencies and NGOs, engaging at length with key development issues such as clean, affordable energy, nature-based solutions for development, human migration and displacement, increased resilience as well as governance for peaceful, just, and inclusive societies. Juhi is passionate about finding cross-cutting solutions at the nexus of climate change, migration and conflict, encompassing economic, social, and environmental development.


Arab Hoballah, SCP Senior Expert for the Pacific, SWITCH-Asia  Policy Support Component and Executive Director, SEED

Arab Hoballah serves, since August 2021, as Executive Director, SEED-Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development, aimed at providing tailored support to eco-inclusive MSMEs with adequate policy frameworks, as key contribution to the transition to green and circular economy, through resource efficiency and SCP. He is also currently a SCP Senior Expert for the Pacific at the EU SWITCH-Asia Policy Support Component. From 2005 to 2016, Arab was Chief of Sustainable Consumption and Production/SCP in UNEP, where he looked for mainstreaming Resource Efficiency and SCP policies at local, national, regional and global levels, through various sectors, various tools and methodologies and relevant partnerships in close cooperation with governments, business and industry, civil society. A major outcome of this work is the 10YFP, the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on SCP, adopted at Rio+20.


Zinaida Fadeeva, Team Leader at the SWITCH-Asia Policy Support Component 

Zinaida Fadeeva is the Team Leader of the Policy Support Component of the SWITCH-Asia Programme. Zinaida has over 25 years leading international professional experience in policy for and practice of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and Education for Sustainable Development, amongst others working with the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Studies of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). Her work has focused on diverse topics such as tourism, plastics, construction, small and medium enterprises, procurement and lifestyle. Zinaida has worked extensively with governments, private sector, international organisations and academia in East, South East, South and Central Asia.








5 mins

Session Moderator

Mr. Arab Hoballah, Senior Expert for the Pacific, SWITCH-Asia Policy Support Component (PSC)

Background and Introduction


5 mins


8 mins

Mr. Dirk Wagener, UN Resident Coordinator in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu

Mr. Sainivalati S. Navoti (Sai)

Chief of the SIDS Unit at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)



Welcome Remarks


8 mins


Dr. Zinaida Fadeeva, Team Leader, SWITCH-Asia PSC

Presentation: Understanding the Nexus between SCP, Circular Economy and Climate


8 mins

Dr. Stefanos Fotiou, Director, Office of SDGs, FAO & Director, UN Food Systems Coordination Hub

Presentation:  Linking climate action and food systems transformation through uptake of SCP and CE strategies


Panel Discussion



1 min

Moderator of Panel Discussion

Dr. Zinaida Fadeeva, Team Leader, SWITCH-Asia PSC  

Introduction to Panel discussion


30 min

Brief statement/answers to questions raised to panelists

Ms. Juhi Bansal, NDC/LT-LEDS Regional Specialist, UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RCC Asia Pacific)

Mr. Choudhury Rudra Charan Mohanty, Environment Programme Coordinator, United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD)- DSDG/UN DESA

Mr. Lawrence Pero Duguman, First Assistant Secretary – Policy and Budget Division Department of National Planning and Monitoring PNG

Mr. Piyachart Isarabhakdee, CEO of Brandi & Co


5 mins

All Speakers

Questions from the Participants


5 mins

Dr. Zinaida Fadeeva, Team Leader, EU SWITCH-Asia PSC

Closing remarks