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Asia and Europe seek solutions for controlled waste management

Waste disposal is creating a serious problem in many cities in Asia.

Groundwater and soil quality are at risk, diseases are spreading unchecked and the ecological consequences are destroying the livelihood of the local population.

The need to organise waste management systematically and to communicate the message to the local people demands considerable awareness raising, good networking and a lot of patience. With the EU project ISSOWAMA (Integrated Sustainable Solid Waste Management in Asia), ttz Bremerhaven, together with 21 partners, is planning to develop a practicable model and implement it on site. The project was officially launched on 11 and 12 February in Bangkok.

With an integrative approach, progress in waste management can also spur on the combating of poverty and the improvement of public welfare. That is why researchers, government representatives, disposal experts and representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are together seeking solutions in the framework of the ISSOWAMA project.

The setting up of a network and a web-based expert platform should encourage an exchange between Asian and European experts, weigh up possibilities for further development and define the steps to be taken along the path to practical implementation. "Obstacles such as gaps in technological knowledge, ecologically negative consequences as well as barriers at socio-economic and political level will be identified and dismantled by means of targeted measures. The ongoing involvement of local bodies and creative forces will increase regional acceptance", explains Dr. Gerhard Schories, Technical Director of the Water, Energy and Land Use Management Department at ttz Bremerhaven.

In this process, not only high-ranking officials are important but also key informal figures who are known and accepted by the population. ttz Bremerhaven, the Project Co-ordinator, forms the link in these activities. "ttz Bremerhaven has already initiated and led several comparable co-ordination projects in Europe, Africa and Latin America. Such a "Co-ordination Action" makes it possible to bundle forces for a time and to jog developments for which local personalities then feel responsible beyond the duration of the project", says Barbara de Mena, Project Manager at ttz Bremerhaven. This also requires a transfer of know-how which will deepen an understanding of cost-efficient technical solutions and stimulate the imagination in the search for such solutions.

The project team intends first of all to analyse and evaluate the potential of existing activities in the area of solid waste management in Asia. The criterion of sustainability is equally applied to the activities as is a quantification of the improvements achieved in the area of waste management. To trace the main waste flows, sample cases will be examined and juxtaposed to various scenarios in order to derive recommendations on what action should be taken. The development of guidelines for waste management in Asia is one of the project's key objectives. Technical, legal, socio-economic as well as financial issues must be clarified here. The intention is to expand and strengthen an industry which will introduce sustainable disposal solutions in the regional markets.

On the basis of this, effective strategies for Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Indonesia and the Philippines are to be developed. In order to replicate the know-how and make it available at grass-roots level, the results will be communicated through local information workshops and training material. The project has been awarded 990.000 Euro funding over a period of about three years by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme.

ttz Bremerhaven
Britta Rollert, Public Relations
Telephone: +49-(0)471-4832-124, Fax: +49(0)471-4832-129

Britta Rollert | idw
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