Home to roughly 1.8 billion people, South Asia generates approximately 334 million tonnes of waste per year of which 174 million tonnes (57%) is organic in content. In addition to the increase in municipal solid waste, managing complex and emerging waste streams, including e-waste, food waste, construction and demolition waste, disaster waste, plastic and marine litter, is also a growing issue in need of attention.
In this regard, sustainable waste management based on the waste hierarchy and 3R principles (reduce, reuse and recycle) is increasingly gaining local, national and international attention as one of the key drivers for achieving both the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and commitments under the Paris Agreement, with its co-benefit approach addressing multiple development challenges whilst pushing climate actions forward through mitigating greenhouse gases (GHGs) and Short-lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) – associated with global warming and ambient air pollution.
Accordingly, the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) together with the IGES Centre Collaborating with UNEP on Environmental Technologies (CCET) has interacted with governments in South Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) towards the development of a Report on the current state of waste management in the Sub-region, as well as a Sub-Regional Roadmap which would communicate regional voices, enhance regional cooperation and guide implementation towards the above goals, building on the preceding discussions and priority action areas identified by UNEP’s Global Waste Management Outlook (GWMO) and Hanoi 3R Declaration.
This report provides a summery of discussion at the First Sub-Regional Workshop on Preparation of Status Report and Sub-regional Road map for implementing the Global Waste Management Goals toward Addressing SDGs in South Asia organized 25-26 March 2019 in Kathmandu, Nepal, where the state of waste management in the sub-region was discussed, implementation gaps identified, and potential area of cooperation explored.