First Waste Management Outlook launched in West Asia


MANAMA — The first Waste Management Outlook for the West Asia region, launched on Monday, shows that key targets and waste-related 2030 Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved by most West Asian countries by developing sound governance, planning and implementation measures, as well as by securing the necessary resources to ensure their achievement.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the already growing waste management challenges in various countries in West Asia, the waste management outlook will help the countries in reviewing their current waste management systems and developing resilient waste management systems” said Sami Dimassi, regional director and representative of the United Nations Environment Program for West Asia (UNEP).

Focusing on waste management systems, finance and governance, the Regional Outlook articulates a means of future progress toward sustainable waste management to enable a transition from a region historically dependent on the low cost of dumping waste to one utilizing waste as a resource.

To visualize this process, the Regional Outlook highlights the potential of the circular economy, in which waste serves as a resource and as a driver of regional economic growth through multistakeholder involvement, creating a range of funding and investment opportunities.

“West Asia has unique regional features arising from its culture, religion, history and climate that impact waste generation and management across the region, and this Regional Outlook examines issues unique or particularly noteworthy for the region that significantly impact waste generation and management” said Hossam Allam, regional program director of the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region & Europe (CEDARE)

“West Asian countries are aware of and responding to their waste management challenges. Progress will be dependent on strengthening waste governance at the city and national levels,” said Antonis Mavropoulos, president of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).

The Regional Outlook reviews and assesses current waste and environmental management legal and legislative systems in the 12 West Asian countries and unveils that additional regulatory support is necessary for the development of integrated waste management systems and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, specific legislation, guidance and enforcement are required to address specific waste streams such as e-waste.

“Waste management is a cross-cutting issue with strong linkages to a range of other global issues such as climate change and the Regional Outlook will help the West Asian countries with climate change mitigation options from the waste sector” said Keith Alverson, director of the International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC).

Considering various waste related issues including climate change, the Regional Outlook proposes an integrated waste management technology framework to enable decision makers to address current treatment issues and maximize value derived from the treatment of municipal solid waste. — SG