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ILO co-organizes green jobs workshop in Bangladesh

On 9 December 2015, the International Labour Organization (ILO) co-organized a workshop with Waste Concern, a Bangladesh-based social enterprise geared towards environmental improvement through recycling and renewable energy, and poverty reduction through job creation.

  • Recycling
  • Chemicals and waste management
When Dec 08, 2015
from 05:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Attendees Participants from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Waste Concern, a Bangladesh-based social enterprise
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The workshop, which took place at the Spectra Convention Centre in Gulshan, Bangladesh, focused on greening enterprises and supply chains in the tourism, hospitality and agro-food processing sectors.

Recognizing that business as usual development and a “grow fast clean up later” philosophy is economically, socially and environmentally unsustainable, national energy, environment and waste management experts called for policies that promote green jobs creation, eco-tourism and a greener agro-food processing sector.

Maqsood Sinha, cofounder and executive director of Waste Concern, discussed the many advantages of greening the tourism in Bangladesh including increased resource productivity, lower production costs, improved competitiveness, and the opening of new markets and new business opportunities.

"Green tourism will create new jobs and make existing jobs more secure and greener, reduce poverty, improve occupational health and safety conditions, reduce pollution, prevent ecosystem degradation, help to mitigate climate change and improve water security," he said.

Marek Harsdorff of the ILO’s Green Jobs Programme presented an ILO initiative implemented by ILO’s Greener Business Asia project to green the tourism industry in Phuket, Thailand from 2011-2014 . Targeting small and medium-sized hotels, the initiative provided operational staff and management with practical tools, knowledge and incentive to work collaboratively to improve resource efficiency, environmental performance and market competitiveness.

In many cases, greening these enterprises enhanced workers- management communication and cooperation, lead to the establishment of occupational safety and health committees, improved workspace organisation, and reoriented waste management systems around the 3R approach (reduce, reuse, and recycle). Furthermore, participating hotels were able to reduce operational costs by 30 per cent through the introduction of green jobs, products and working methods.

Sinha also emphasized the role of incentives and the need for awareness-raising, capacity building and training opportunities for greening the tourism sector in Bangladesh.

"Tax benefits should be allowed for activities and equipment related to increasing energy efficiency in the tourism industry, and we need to ensure easy access to financing for sustainable eco-tourism businesses,” he said. “Training is required for waste-to-resource activities, energy efficiency improvements and climate change adaptation in the tourism sector."

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