Consultative Workshop on the development of an Integrated Waste Management Legislative Framework

A consultative workshop on the development of an Integrated Waste Management Legislative Framework, opened, this morning, at the Caudan Arts Centre, in Port-Louis.
The Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, Mr Kavydass Ramano; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative for Mauritius and Seychelles, Ms Amanda Serumaga; the Director of the Solid Waste Management Division, Mr Bhaguthsing Beerachee; and other personalities were present at the ceremony.
The two-day workshop is organised by the Solid Waste Management Division of the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change in collaboration with the UNDP. The workshop brings together more than 60 organisations with the objective of securing maximum inputs from all stakeholders at all stages of the drafting of the Legislative Framework before the holding of a validation workshop by the end of March 2022 to finalise the upcoming Act.
In his address at the ceremony, the Minister highlighted that the Legislative Framework was being drafted with a view to shift from a linear approach to a circular economy as envisaged by the Government as the solid waste landscape called for a major change. He indicated that this shift must be translated into a proper legislative framework to ensure the effective implementation of the several projects focusing on resource recovery and recycling.
Furthermore, Mr Ramano underlined that an Integrated Waste Management Act, which brought all of the legal provisions of solid and hazardous waste together once crafted, would work sustainably over the long term to fully address several issues. These include: waste collection and sorting in line with the new Solid Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan; waste prevention and reduction, reuse and recycling by closing the loop; treatment and disposal; licensing of waste management facilities; technical competencies of operators; and illegal dumping and littering.
“This comprehensive legislation,” he emphasised, “will have to include, amongst others, provisions to ensure that: waste management strategies and plans are regularly developed, implemented and monitored through adequate institutional set ups; governance strategies to deliver a well-functioning system that allows stakeholders to contribute as users, providers and enablers are developed; private sector involvement in waste management; and an effective and efficient information system and reporting requirements to ensure informed decision making is put in place.”
For her part, Ms Serumaga lauded the Government for taking the lead in initiating this important update of the legislative framework for solid waste management in Mauritius and underlined that a legal framework for the sound management of waste was fundamental to creating the appropriate conditions for the effective management of all waste streams and creating market-based opportunities, in addition to changing behaviours and supporting sustainable sector specific practices.
“UNDP’s mandate,” the Representative highlighted, “includes support for the development of solutions at both national and subnational levels for the sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystem services, chemical and hazardous wastes.” She added that the UNDP had supported the Solid Waste Management Division in several of its initiatives to enhance the waste management system on the island and to fulfil its specific obligations under international conventions such as the Stockholm and Minamata Conventions.
Furthermore, Ms Serumaga indicated that the UNDP- Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project, ‘Implementing Sustainable Low and non-Chemical Development in SIDS’, known as the ISLANDS project, was approved by the GEF in December 2021 and implementation was due to start in the coming months where funding of USD 4.5 million would be allocated to support activities in Mauritius aimed at protecting human health and the environment from the harmful effects of hazardous chemicals and wastes. She highlighted that fifteen activities were planned under the ISLANDS project as far as the Solid Waste Management Division was concerned.

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