Waste management is an issue of critical importance throughout the world, most notably in South Asia, which covers about 40% of the Asia’s population and 24% of the globe. South Asia generates approximately 334 million tonnes of waste per year of which 174 million tonnes (57%) is organic in content. Due to a lack of effective policy and regulations, as well as technical, financial and human resources, many countries in the sub-region are facing tremendous challenges with ensuring the provision of adequate waste management services. The current waste collection rate remains low (44%) with uncontrolled dumping into rivers, and open spaces, which in turn is causing severe public and environmental health problems. A large majority of these landfills (75%) operate as unsanitary open dumpsite, a source of continued risks for human health and the greater environment.
In this regards, IGES Centre Collaborating with UNEP on Environmental Technologies (CCET), in partnership with UNEP-IETC and other partners has been providing technical support to the South Asian governments of India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives for the development of national and city waste management strategies and implementation plans with a view towards promoting more holistic and integrated waste management practices. CCET also intends to expand its work among all eight-member countries of South Asia (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Afghanistan), working with other key stakeholders in the development of a Sub-Regional Roadmap based on the priority action areas outlined in UNEP’s Global Waste Management Outlook (GWMO) and aligned with 3R goals towards delivering on the promise of the 2030 Development Agenda and Paris Climate Agreement by accelerating the transition towards more resource efficient and pollution free societies.
Under this initiative, CCET in collaboration with the Government of Japan, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UN Environment), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) hosted a side-event at UNESCAP’s Fifth Session of the Committee on Environment and Development (CED) on Friday, 23 November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. The event sought to share CCET’s proposed plans for developing a South Asia sub-regional waste management roadmap as an implementation and monitoring mechanism for delivering on global waste management goals and related SDGs and NDCs in the sub-region. In addition to discussing key priority areas and goals, discussion also focused on CCET efforts to set measurable targets, develop appropriate actions and interventions, as well as identify potential financing options, technical innovations, partnership modalities and requisite monitoring and reporting mechanisms for its continued work in South Asia.
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