ISWA

Guest Blog | New ISWA Regional Chapter: South East Europe (SEE+)

Dr. Goran Vujić is the Executive Director of ISWA'S Serbian National Member, the Serbian Solid Waste Association (SeSWA). In this post Dr Vujić discusses the exciting formation of a new regional chapter combining South East Europe and neighboring countries.

5 Dec 2019 -

The recent changes of ISWA Statutes and Internal Regulations enabled more dynamic and transparent work in all segments of ISWA. This motivated national members from South East Europe (SEE) to launch the Regional Chapter SEE+ which includes South East Europe and neighboring countries. The Regional Chapter is a form of association, that will enable stronger linkages of coordination and cooperation between national members. This Chapter will allow countries that have very similar problems and challenges to stimulate the exchange of knowledge and experiences helping them to face the on-going waste management challenges faster and easier and finding the right solutions.

We know very well that we have a lot to learn from international cooperation. We are sure that close relationships between the different Regional Chapters represent a significant opportunity, and therefore SEE+ eagerly awaits the launch of the Regional Chapter of the Arab countries. The contacts with the Regional Chapters in South America and Asia have already been established. The National member associations from Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Israel and  Turkey have already initiated the Regional chapter, and Greece  and Moldova are expected to join soon.

The main common challenge for all Southeast European countries is to achieve EU waste targets and implement the relevant action plans. The implementation of circular economy principles and the fight against global warming are top priorities. One thing we have experienced during the last 20 years is that in many cases the solutions used effectively in developed countries are brought to developing countries, without any adaptation and sometimes ignoring the local context. However, these solutions are often not sustainable and cannot be copied and pasted to developing or transition countries. It is important that appropriate solutions are developed and implemented in developing countries, according their cultural, economic and administrative context, and this is why the mutual cooperation on a regional scale is necessary. All ISWA actions to support the circular economy and the fight against global warming are of great importance to our Regional Chapter, and they will significantly help in finding appropriate solutions for our countries.

In addition, ISWA’s #closedumpsites campaign and the whole work for closing the dumpsites and reducing their vast health and environmental impacts are very important and crucial for our region, and significantly help to problem solving.

Another example regarding the dynamics between the Regional Chapter and ISWA concerns the ISWA Scientific and Technical Committee new initiative on the assessment of cytotoxic (genotoxic) waste in Western Balkan countries (Republic of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo*). The main objective of this Project is to analyze the generation of cytotoxic (genotoxic) waste in the region, the levels of management and current treatment methods, and identify the potential areas for improvement. This analysis could be used for further development of national/regional strategies for managing this waste stream.

The Regional Chapter of South Easter Europe has just started its journey. The next step will be to establish a Regional Scientific - Technical Committee that will prioritize key-interventions and attract more experts from the region. We will start preparing our events and prepare our own website, under ISWA’s webpage. We hope that the Regional Chapter will not only attract more regional companies, professionals and academics but that it will also be more influential to decision and policy makers. Because we know very well, finally waste management is about people, not waste. 

About Dr. Goran Vujić:

 

Dr. Goran Vujić is full professor at the Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad in Serbia. He is Executive Director of the Serbian Solid Waste Association (SeSWA) and Director of Center of Excellence for Circular Economy and Climate Change (CECC). As an expert in the field of waste management, he has published more than 110 scientific papers, and participated in and managed numerous national and international environmental projects.

 

Center of Excellence for Circular Economy and Climate Change:

 

Center of Excellence for Circular Economy and Climate Change has been founded by Serbian Solid Waste Association (SeSWA) with the support of United Stated Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), with the base in Novi Sad, Serbia.

The mission of the Center of Excellence is to promote the uptake of sustainable waste management and circular economy practices while placing an important focus on the need for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) mitigation and avoidance.

 

 

 

 

 


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