High Level Forum (HLF 1) for Waste Management

Georgetown, GUYANA

The challenges of waste management in the Caribbean have been a long-standing issue for many countries. Indeed, many of these are what some would consider basic problems which over time have not seen much improvement or in some instances, have defied sustainable solutions. Increasingly, the topical matter of waste- to- energy has surfaced with countries being constrained to take policy decision as to which direction they should take.

Similarly, the 3 Rs (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle) remain a key element of waste management strategies in countries, much of it focused on public education and awareness. There is no doubt that the region has made progress in elevating the discussion to the level of recognition of waste as a resource as well as the financial, environmental and other aspects, in the context of sustainable development.

The CWWA, UN Environment, the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have organized a Ministerial Forum, comprising the development partners, Caribbean Ministers responsible for Waste Management and technical experts in order to discuss a Regional Strategic Plan for Waste Management. The plan is already under development by UN Environment with input from various stakeholders and through a consultative process. It will be based on work already undertaken such as the 2004 Conference held in Jamaica, the outcomes of the IDB CWWA meeting on WM in 2006 as well as the Jamaica Conference (2017).

The IDB has embarked at an initiative in Member countries to undertake the development of indicators for solid waste management and evaluate the indicators to assess their relevance to the Caribbean. This work is derived from a recognition that the Caribbean needs to have a robust data system for which the indicators are the building blocks of such a system. The Plan will be finalized after input by participants at the High- Level Forum of Caribbean Ministers Responsible for Waste Management, 19 to 20th October which convenes during the 26th Annual Conference and Exhibition of the CWWA.

It is then expected that there will be Caribbean participation in the UN Environmental Assembly in Nairobi in December at a Caribbean or SIDS sessions. The Government of the Netherlands has indicated that it will endorse and support the Caribbean position. The outputs of the meeting will be:

  1. Elements of a Caribbean Action Plan for Waste Management
  2. Papers and presentations on Waste Management
  3. Report of the Waste Management Forum
  4. Brief on Preparation for Action Plan for UN Environment Assembly

For an outline of the topics discussed, please download the agenda.