Surendra Shrestha appointed as new IETC Director
Surendra Shrestha has joined the IETC team as the new Director. He brings with him over twenty years of experience and expertise mobilizing political and financial support for UNEP's programs and leading multi-disciplinary teams in the areas of assessment, policy development and multilateral agreements at the regional and global level.
His most recent appointment in UNEP was as Special Advisor and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Focal Point in New York. Previous appointments include Director at the Strategic Resource Mobilization and Special Initiatives in Nairobi; and Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok. Prior to joining UNEP, he previously held senior positions at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).
A Nepali national, Director Shrestha holds a degree in Economics and Computer Science at the Keele University, United Kingdom and completed his postgraduate studies at AIT. He provided intellectual leadership for the establishment of the global secretariat for Atmospheric Brown Cloud and Black Carbon consisting of over 35 institutions and 250 scientists; the UNEP Eco Peace Leadership Centre in Seoul in 2006; the Asia Pacific Sub-regional Environment Policy Dialogue (SEPD) in 2003; the UNEP-Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development in 2002; the Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RRC.AP); and UNEP presence in Central Asia.
Launch of the National Waste Management Strategiespublication
Waste related problems are often addressed in a fragmented and uncoordinated manner, resulting for the most part in end of pipe solutions which forego prevention measures, and lack an integrated approach, clear targets and directions to follow.
In an effort to assist countries in developing a holistic and overarching approach to national waste management, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) have jointly published the Guidelines for National Waste Management Strategies: Moving from Challenges to Opportunities. Launched on 7 October at the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) Congress in Vienna, the Guidelines provide a conceptual and methodological framework for national planning that countries may adapt to their particular circumstances, while establishing a clear rationale for making waste management a national priority.
The document first outlines the key reasons why even though waste management implementation takes place at the local level, there is a need to develop national waste management strategies:
National waste management planning not only helps address the problems presented by current waste management systems, but maximizes the opportunities that sound waste management can offer in relation to all pillars of sustainable development (e.g. environmental, social and economic).
National waste management planning supports the local implementation of waste management by indicating the direction to follow and the resources required, in addition to how these resources will be properly allocated where needed locally.
National waste management planning can foster the development of national recycling schemes and markets for recovered materials, and open or strengthen business opportunities in the waste sector.
Proposing questions that countries may wish to consider as they develop integrated national waste management strategies, the document explores the challenges and opportunities waste management presents to governments and communities. Reviewing the various concepts and principles related to waste management, it cites major considerations influencing policy choices involved in the process of strategy development, monitoring and implementation. Finally, this document defines the actions a country can take in order to develop, implement, review and update an effective national waste management strategy.
The finalized version of the Guidelines is available on the IETC website. We hope that this publication will be a valuable tool for decision makers and experts who are facing the challenge of developing national waste management strategies.
Development of the compendium of technologies to tackle challenge of growing used tyre stockpiles
Used tyres have emerged as a major waste stream in both developed and developing countries. USA and Europe are estimated to annually generate 300 million and 250 million used tyres respectively. In China, approximately 100 million used tyres are generated every year.
While in developed countries used tyres are often recycled (used as a source of energy for industry or converted into crumb rubber for industrial applications), there are still significant quantities which find their way to tyre dumps. It is estimated that in the US alone 2-3 billion used tyres are stockpiled.
In developing countries, one of the most detrimental practices to the environment is to set a stockpile of tyres on fire, to recover materials such as metals from tyre bead wires. Even when simply left to accumulate, used tyres pose a serious problem for human health, especially in areas with warmer climates, where mosquito-borne diseases such as encephalitis, malaria and dengue fever have been reported around large tyre piles.
In order to address the recovery of materials/energy from used tyres, IETC proposes to develop a compendium of technologies in collaboration with the University of New South Wales, Australia, an institution which has already developed a technology for converting used tyres into energy in the steel industry.
In this first compendium on tyres produced by IETC, an overview of generic and specific technologies will be presented in a user-friendly format along with a simple methodology for conducting an inventory of existing used tyre stockpiles.
It is expected that the finalized, peer-reviewed compendium, which will be available on our website, will prove to be a valuable resource for those engaged in tackling the uncontrolled disposal and accumulation of used tyres.
IETC in Japan: Raising Environmental Awareness among the Community
During the summer and fall of 2013, IETC raised public awareness on environmental conservation and spotlighted the organization’s activities in the cities of Kyoto and Osaka at the following local events:
10 June: UN and the Environment lecture at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto
IETC staff held a lecture at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, entitled: The UN and the Environment. More than thirty students and faculty from the School of International Relations attended, resulting in an engaging discussion on the role of the UN and IETC’s involvement in promoting environmentally sound technologies.
(Image: IETC staff lecturing at Ritsumeikan University)
15 August: Eco Festa, Osaka
Upon the request of Osaka city’s Sumiyoshi Ward, IETC and the Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC) participated for the second year in a row in the ward’s Eco Festa, attended by 700 residents, to introduce IETC’s projects and activities. IETC provided waste management information by introducing international projects, in order to raise public awareness on both local and global environmental conservation issues.
25 August: Peace Conference of Youth 2013, Osaka
The Junior Chamber International Osaka (JCIO) invited IETC to attend the Peace Conference of Youth, which this year focused on the theme of the environment. IETC prepared an exhibition booth to introduce past and present projects and activities. During one key event, about 50 university students, one third foreign and the others Japanese actively discussed urgent environment issues including those on waste management. Approximately 400 participants and visitors heard the students’ presentations on their respective projects.
8 September: Tsurumi Kumin (ward residents’ Festival), Osaka
Together with Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC), IETC attended the Osaka Tsurumi ward’s 39th Tsurumi Kumin (ward residents’) Festival. IETC provided information on its projects and activities to raise public awareness on the environment in general and waste management in particular. Many residents/visitors have joined the annual summer event since it began 39 years ago.
2 September, 4 and 11 October: Tsurumi ward high school students visit IETC, Osaka
Upon the initiative of a science faculty member from Tsurumi ward’s Osaka City Higashi Senior High School, IETC received three second-year students from the school, providing them with information and reviewing their presentations on water management. In early October, upon a request from the Osaka Tsurumi Ward Office and a high school teacher from the same school, IETC received 80 first year students over a two day period, giving them a rare opportunity to receive feedback concerning UNEP and IETC’s programmes, as well as input on water management issues in the world. Information was made available both in English and in Japanese. The course work provided by IETC was officially added as a part of the students’ English and Science curricula.
Expanding Waste Management in the Regions: Focus on Latin America
22-24 July: 4th International Forum of Solid Waste Management (4FIRS) at Porto Alegre, Brazil
The Forum, organized by Instituto Venturi, is considered one of the most important technical and scientific events held in Brazil on the subject of waste.Featuring national and international speakers, it is a space for academic debates as well as for the exchange of knowledge and business experiences. Although already a prominent producer of biofuels, Brazil mainly uses sugar cane and corn, which can have the perverse effect of destabilizing food prices and diverting valuable resources which could be used elsewhere. IETC staff delivered a presentation during the Forum on converting agriculture biomass into energy, as a sustainable alternative to the use of sugar cane or corn. The Forum also discussed public policies to strengthen the market for recycling and recovery of waste. (Image: Presentation at the Forum © Instituto Venturi)
19-25 September: Phase II on converting waste agricultural biomass into energy at San Jose, Costa Rica
As part of phase II of the project on “Converting waste agricultural biomass into energy”, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Japan, two capacity building workshops were conducted in Costa Rica. The first workshop, attended by 70 participants and held from 19-20 September, covered the assessment of waste agricultural biomass. The second workshop was held between held from 23-25 September and attended by 50 participants. Technologies for converting waste agricultural biomass into energy were presented, and a methodology for sustainability assessments of technologies was proposed.
Contributing to the International Waste Management Dialogue
12-13 September: Ecotown workshop in Kawasaki at Kawasaki, Japan
This workshop, organized by IETC, Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC) and Kawasaki Environment Research Institute (KERI, Kawasaki city) was attended by over seventy participants from ten countries. Attendees gathered in Kawasaki to discuss different strategies among a diverse range of stakeholders (government, private sector, NGOs, academia and international agencies), to promote the transforming of cities/towns into eco towns and to draft a strategy paper. Lively discussions took place among the participants and IETC received many suggestions on key issues concerning the strategy paper currently being drafted by IETC. This document will continue to evolve according to the feedback received from towns/cities, and will serve as a living document for all those promoting the eco town approach. (Image: Surendra Shrestha and Mayor Abe of Kawasaki)
19-20 September: ISWA/UNEP Workshop on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP) Emission Quantification Methodologies at Paris, France
During this workshop, attended by about 25 scientists/modellers, implementers, and members of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), experts and practitioners discussed and evaluated available GHG and SLCP emission quantification methodologies. The main objectives were: to gather input to establish guidelines for understanding and use of different approaches in evaluating GHG and SLCP emissions; and, to demonstrate how such approaches could be applied at the city level. The guidelines will present the characteristics of the various tools, including the following: intended use, required input data, required user competence, ease of use, applicable waste activities, gases considered, geographic perimeter, etc. Participants agreed to begin using some of the GHG SLCP accounting tools, in addition to incorporating them to fit the needs of CCAC’s initiative on waste management.