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Monday, 12 November 2012 14:05

D-Waste on GPWM's conference supported by UNEP

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Global waste crisis and increasing municipal waste generation were foremost in the minds of delegates who gathered at the biennium conference of the UNEP-hosted Global Partnership on Waste Management (GPWM), held on November 5 and 6 in Osaka, Japan. The conference brought together waste experts from around the world to find answers to the global challenge of waste management and reap the economic and environmental benefits through better coordination.

As the crisis unfolds, there are significant opportunities for organizing the waste sector, with all its complexities, in a way that is more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. Matthew Gubb, Director of the United Nations Environment Programme's International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC), recognizes both risks and opportunities inherent in the waste sector and highlights it as "a model area for greening the economy". Indeed, if handled properly, waste management has huge potential to turn problems into solutions and to "lead the way towards sustainable development" through the recovery and reuse of valuable resources; the creation of new business and employment opportunities, including for the informal sector; reduced emissions of greenhouse gases from waste management operations, such as landfills; and conversion of waste to energy. 


Mr Matthew GUbb, Director,UNEP IECT during the Opening session of the "Global Partnership on Waste Management Biennium Conference" in Osaka,Japan

"The waste sector as a model for a Green Economy"

A 2010 UNEP report showed that, in Northern Europe, recycling one tonne of paper or aluminium saves more than 600kg and 10,000kg of CO2 equivalent respectively. And that is not all. If you consider that a 2009 UNEP report revealed there is 65 times more gold in one tonne of old mobile phones than the five grammes in a tonne of ore, the business case for "urban mining" is clear. Those who work in the UDS$410 billion waste sector already understand the great potential of sound waste management. So, let's consider waste not as a problem, but as an opportunity to recover and convert resources, a paradigm shift that is gaining increasing currency. Whatever perspective one takes, the message is clear: waste matters. This concept of "Waste matters" was the message of the keynote address given by Richard Samans, Director General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) at the GPWM conference. Mr. Samans made an urgent call for "decoupling social and economic development from environmental degradation and resource use."The GPWM, an initiative hosted at UNEP's International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC), is already set up to answer this call, enhancing cooperation among various international stakeholders to promote better waste management practices and resource conservation and efficiency.

For more information on the Global Partnership on Waste Management, please visit:

Read 8659 times Last modified on Monday, 12 November 2012 14:38

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