As the first of several internal thematic Consultative and Brainstorming Meetings among EU SWITCH-Asia initiatives, the meeting focused on the textile and garment sector. It was initiated by the SWITCH-Asia programme in order to strengthen cooperation among the programme’s regional projects on textile and garments sustainability. Six projects from the SWITCH Grant Program, including the RUTSIS project in Central Asia, were presented during the online event, sharing experiences from various Asian regions covering Cambodia, Uzbekistan, India and Mongolia.
During the presentation of RUTSIS, Alina Ulmer from adelphi not only illustrated the objectives and ongoing as well as future project activities but also pre-announced two publications which will summarize the results of the project's first year. The RUTSIS team moreover used the online event to highlight possible entry points for future partnerships with other regional projects. A presentation by Dr. Jürgen Hannak on the German government funded regional FABRIC initiative echoed the need for more cooperation and exchange between individual EU-SWITCH projects, but also with initiatives outside the EU-SWITCH framework, suggesting more exploration of complementarities and learning from each other instead of “re-inventing the wheel”.
In a roundtable discussion following the presentations, many project teams expressed their interest in closer collaboration and cross-border exchange of experiences. A call and proposal by the RUTSIS team to establish a donor mapping database for projects and organisations working in the textile sector in Central Asia was positively received by the other EU SWITCH-Asia project members.
Future project updates and reports will be published on the project website.