President's Blog

12 Mar 2019 15:26 Age: 354 days

"Solid Waste Management is an Integral Part of Each and Every Effort for a Sustainable Future"

Category: ISWA BLOG


Read the President of ISWA's speech at the side event titled, ‘Innovative and Locally Appropriate Waste Management Solutions for a Pollution-free Planet” on the 11th of March, the opening day of UNEA 4 in Nairobi, Kenya.

We are living in a world where the environmental crisis, the global geopolitical dynamics, the political turbulence and the ongoing transformation of production and consumption patterns by IND4.0 are alarming. It's the End of Business as Usual. 

The China Ban on recyclables, the planetary scale of the plastic pollution, the shift to Circular Economy and the global wave of bans and restriction on single use plastics confirm that the End of Business as Usual is here for Solid Waste Management too. 

Simply, we can’t continue to have 40% of the planet’s population without access to basic SWM services. We can’t just watch in apathy urbanization and demographics to run 30-40% higher than our ability to deliver infrastructure to the developing world. We can’t just monitor the growing number of Dumpsites that are becoming a global health emergency. 

If we want to address the global challenge of waste management as it is described in the SDGs framework, we must urgently provide answers to the following five questions: 

1. How we should manage the growing infrastructure gap in the developing world? How we should build capacity to manage solid waste with positive social footprint, developing proper policies for the informal sector? 

2. How we should tackle pollution from solid waste? How we should work to #closedumpsites and reduce the environmental footprint of waste management, including the plastic leakages to oceans? 

3. How we can accelerate technical - technological and social innovation utilizing the advances of the IND4.0? What are the roles of public and private sector and what sort of governance patterns are required for that? 

4. How we will shift from wasteful to wasteless production and consumption patterns? How we will coordinate the required stakeholders’ interaction towards resource efficient circular loops?

5. How we will advance the importance of SWM as a key-element of the SDGs, an integral part of each and every effort for a sustainable future? How we will shift from the invisible 0.3 to the required 3% share of SW in the International Development Cooperation funding?