Why do we need an island circular economy?

On 23 - 24 Feb 2022, the University of Mauritius in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Regional Integration and International Trade and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Secretariat organized a two-day virtual brainstorming workshop on the theme ‘’POST COVID-19 - Sustainable Innovation to set the economy back on track’’. This virtual brainstorming workshop aimed at bringing together Government, Academia, and Industry representatives from the IORA Member States and Dialogue Partners to discuss innovative strategies adopted by the IORA Member States to cope with the pandemic and to share good country practices. The event was presided by Professor Dhanjay Jhurry, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius.

Dr. Simron Singh, professor at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and MoI coordinator, was invited to deliver a talk titled "Why do we need an island circular economy: Insights from socio-metabolic research". Using Caribbean examples, Singh illustrated a linear metabolism on islands, or a one-way material flow that relies heavily on imports, generates enormous amounts of waste on the island, and very little is recycled. He highlighted how such a linear system perpetuates socio-metabolic risk over time. He argued for an equitable circular metabolism of islands to build resilience, enhance resource security, and provide a high quality of island life at the lowest environmental cost. Other speakers in this panel included Dr. Venkatachalam Anbumozhi (Director of Research Strategy and Innovations at Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asian, Indonesia, Mr. Alain Law Min (CEO of the Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd.), Mr. Shiv Rao Challa (founder and CEO at 3R Zero Waste PVT Co Ltd., India), and Mr. Bob Paul (Principal of E5 solutions, Canada).