Rapid economic growth has lifted many Asian countries out of poverty, but it has often come at the cost of an increased use of natural resources, growing greenhouse gas emissions and larger waste streams. The SWITCH Asia Programme, launched in 2007, helps 24 countries across Asia tackle these global challenges.
Supported by the European Union and its international partners, SWITCH Asia promotes sustainable consumption and production (SCP). It aims to improve the environmental performance of products throughout their life cycle, stimulate demand for better products and production technologies, and help consumers make informed choices.
The objectives of the programme are to
- promote sustainable development
- contribute to economic prosperity and to reduce poverty in Asia, Middle East, Central Asia and the Pacific
- contribute to a transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient, and circular economy
The programme funds pilot projects through its grants scheme. The projects assist companies in adopting sustainable industrial practices and cleaner technologies, and help consumers make responsible daily and lifestyle choices.
Since its launch, about 143 projects have been funded with an average grant size of EUR 1.7 million across a wide range of sectors including energy efficiency in industrial plants and houses, agri-food and fishing sectors, textiles and leather, tourism, logistics and freight. These have been implemented by over 500 Asian and European partners and some 100 private sector associates, which indirectly benefitted up to 80,000 MSMEs.
The evidence from the projects feeds into dialogues with national and regional governments and other stakeholders, strengthening the implementation of sustainable production and consumption policies.
- Middle-East (Yemen, Iraq and Iran)
- Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Lao PDR, Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan)
- Pacific (Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Palau, Niue, Nauru)
The Building Energy Efficiency in Nepal project promotes climate-responsive building designs and retrofitting, as well as use of energy efficient space heating and cooling technologies, resource-efficient building materials and integration of renewable energy sources.
Leveraging their sewing skills, home-based workers, beneficiaries of the EU SWITCH-Asia PARYA Sampada project, are playing an important role in COVID-19 response and recovery by producing personnel protection equipment and facemasks.
The project seeks to promote source-to-sea solutions to reduce marine littering in tourism clusters along the Lakshadweep shorelines of the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India.