UNDP BiH successfully hosted first Circular Economy Conference in Sarajevo

Over 100 participants engaged with speakers and enthusiasts of the circular economy from across Europe

May 15, 2024


Dom mladih, May 14th, 2024:  the first Circular Economy Conference- LOOP, took place in Sarajevo. Organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in BiH, this event brought together all relevant stakeholders, enthusiasts, and experts to delve into the realms of the circular economy. With the title "LOOP: Innovate, Collaborate, Transform," the conference aimed to spotlight innovative solutions, best practices, and transformative ideas for a sustainable future.

The event spanned a single day, during which distinguished speakers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, the United Kingdom, France, Croatia, and Serbia delved into various aspects of the circular economy for the Bosnian-Herzegovinian audience. Participants had the opportunity to hear successful examples of companies applying circular business models in the region and the European Union. Harald Friedl, Samsurin Welch, Drago Cmuk, Maja Halilović were just some of the experts who spoke and shared their experiences at the conference. Topics covered practical and scalable initiatives in various sectors, from product design to waste management and reduction.

Narine Sahakyan, Resident Representative a.i., of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, emphasized the importance of addressing unsustainable consumption and production patterns, highlighting the potential of the circular economy as a solution to environmental degradation. Through policy integration, private sector support, and community engagement, UNDP is actively driving transformative changes towards a greener and more resilient future, underscoring the significance of collaborative efforts in promoting sustainability both locally and globally.

Narine Sahakyan, Resident Representative a.i. of UNDP in BiH


Drago Cmuk, a lecturer from Croatia placed special emphasis on the role of digital technologies in measuring impact and achieving real, long-lasting changes. Furthermore, he underscored the importance of motivation for such changes, providing authentic, inspiring stories without hypocrisy or false marketing. He mentioned that people need to see real-life examples of success that can inspire them to elevate their communities to a new level. He added that this conference was a source of inspiration and resistance against those who claim that nothing can be changed or who criticize the brave ones who dare to try.

Maja Halilović, a biodesigner from Sarajevo, emphasized that in today's world, environmental consciousness plays a crucial role, and biodesign has personally provided her with a platform to channel creativity into useful and environmentally friendly ideas. She is fascinated by the possibilities offered by nature, from exploring single-celled organisms to using organic waste as a basis for innovation.

The aim of the conference was to provide a comprehensive overview of the circular economy, emphasizing the positive impact it could have on environmental sustainability, resource management, sustainable development in the country, as well as to encourage change and adoption of the best circular approaches to address environmental degradation issues and promote responsible consumption.

Over a hundred participants and circular economy enthusiasts attended the conference.