The electronics industry is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing manufacturing sectors in the world, becoming an integral drive for our modern lifestyle and playing a crucial role in the improvement of the quality of life. Unfortunately, due to the fast design cycles of these products and unsustainable consumer habits, electronic waste represents a great load in the waste management system.
The urgency of finding a sustainable solution to tackling e-waste is one of the main reasons why the Global E-Waste Statistics Partnership (GESP) of UNU, ITU, and ISWA in cooperation with BOKU and the Step initiative established a partnership with UNIDO on the project “Strengthening of National Initiatives and Enhancement of Regional Cooperation for the Environmentally Sound Management of POPs in Waste of Electronic or Electrical Equipment (WEEE) in Latin-American Countries”.
This partnership proposes to have two regional e-waste monitors for Latin America (LA), which would provide information about the current situation, legal framework in the region, the type of treatment, and quantification of waste volumes. The second main activity planned as part of the partnership would be to provide capacity building in the form of E-waste Academies to the UNIDO project.
The project kick off meeting took place on 19-22 March 2018 in Quito, Ecuador, where all the project partners came together to discuss the current situation in their countries and develop the project activities and interventions. The meetings concluded with the a draft of the Quito Act, which will further strengthen the resolve of countries to deal with e-waste.
ISWA, represented at the meeting by Aditi Ramola, Technical Director at ISWA, and Gariela Otero, Techical Coordinator at Abrelpe (ISWA National Member in Brazil), will be involved in the project through GESP and the Regional Development Network in Latin America.
UNU will be involved in the project through GESP providing capacity building as well as statistical expertise through the region. Furthermore, the UNU hosted Step initiative will support the activities and ensure a knowledge transfer and information exchange on an international level. UNU was represented at the kick off meeting by Michelle Wagner, Research Associate in the SCYCLE project.
SOURCE: ISWA International Solid Waste Association