By Marine Hasson

In the heart of Kathmandu, the recent Training of Trainers (ToT) marked a pivotal moment for the Roots of Circularity Nepal (RoC) project, funded by the European Commission, sowing the seeds for a more circular and collaborative future in Nepal.

Day 2 – ToT participants

The ToT was conducted over three days from December 5 to 7, 2023, at Impact Hub Kathmandu, and was facilitated by Tom Johson, Capacity Building Lead, and Marine Hasson, Project Manager from the Impact Hub Association (IHA). It aimed at aligning its 15 participants – including staff from Impact Hub Kathmandu (IHK), Wildlife Conservation Nepal (WCN), Creasion and Adra –  on the concept of circularity while fostering a deeper understanding of its application in the Nepalese context.

The initial day of the ToT focused on building the ecosystem, covering Circular Economy (CE) principles, trends, and frameworks. Ecosystem mapping insights and key sectoral opportunities were explored, laying the foundation for collaborative efforts in building a CE ecosystem. The second day delved into enabling circular business, encouraging participants to imagine a circular Nepal. The entrepreneurial journey was presented. Subsequently, two entrepreneurs shared their firsthand experiences, emphasizing that the circular economy is already embedded in the Nepalese economic landscape. They underscored the significant opportunity for entrepreneur support organizations to nurture this further, leveraging existing Nepalese vocabulary, lifestyles and practice. The day culminated in a design sprint for programme/course blueprints, promoting a hands-on and practical approach to embedding circularity. On the final day, a project management meeting provided a platform to reflect on the first five months of the RoC project and initiate planning for 2024.

The outcomes of the ToT were significant, with participants gaining confidence in applying CE principles to the Nepalese context. The awareness of preparing teams, organisations, and ecosystems for circular practices was heightened, and participants were left equipped with resources to integrate circularity into programmes and services. The ToT also fostered a clearer vision for the development of future programmes and courses, while simultaneously generating momentum towards multi-stakeholder collaboration. Key takeaways included a clearer vision for programmes, an emphasis on multi-stakeholder collaboration, and a commitment to making circularity an integral part of daily life.

As one participant aptly noted, “CE is an alive concept.” This sentiment captured the essence of the ToT – not merely a theoretical exercise but a living, breathing philosophy that has the potential to reshape the future of Nepal’s approach to sustainability.