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Asian journalists and other participants gather at the 12th Asian City Journalist Conference.

Strong partnerships key to solid waste management

Solid waste management still poses challenges for many countries around the world and there is a need for all nations to work together to address the issue urgently.
A strong partnership and cooperation from all sectors are key for effective solid waste management and the development of sustainable urbanisation in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
These were among the suggestions at the 12th Asian City Journalist Conference that was held in Fukuoka, Japan, during November 27-28.
The conference was organised by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme’s (UN-Habitat) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) and the theme for the event was “Sustainable Cities and Communities – Situations of Solid Waste Management and Localisation of Sustainable Development Goals”.
The conference was aimed at bringing together journalists from Asian cities, including those in Japan, Laos, Nepal, India, Indonesia and South Korea, to exchange opinions, share knowledge and discuss what roles media can play.
During the conference, journalists from Asian countries and other participants visited the Clean Ene-Park Nambu, which uses the latest technology to safely process  combustible waste from the roughly 600,000 residents of the southern metropolitan Fukuoka region.
The Clean Ene-Park Nambu is a great example of safe and reliable waste processing for a local community and a centre for environment study.
The participants also visited the Green Hill Madoka landfill site, a facility for environment-friendly landfill disposal of the residue of burnable rubbish.
On November 28, the Asian journalists made presentations on solid waste management in their countries.
A journalist from Nishinippon Newspaper of Japan, Mr Shinji Fujisaki, spoke about the measures put in place in Japan and Fukuoka for dealing with waste plastic and sustainable lives.
Mr Fujisaki said authorities had been promoting awareness about reducing waste in communities, and organising public campaigns on reusing  and recycling plastic. He said, “Waste management is a big problem and needs strong efforts from the involved sectors to address the issue in order to move towards the Millenium Development Goals.”
Mr Fujisaki said plastic waste is being collected by the authorities and brought to a factory where it is crushed and turned into oil.
In the Lao capital of Vientiane, although the collection and transportation of solid waste has been improved since 1997 with support and funding from the Japanese government through JICA, the issue remains a challenge due to illegal dumping, according to Vientiane Times.
Many people living near canals and marshes still dump plastic and household garbage around the shores of the city’s main lake, instead of disposing of it in a more responsible way.
A majority of people do not separate the waste in their households and still rely on old methodologies to get rid of garbage, such as burning or dumping waste in an inappropriate manner.
Another problem is that the waste management service is unable to meet the demands of all the people, and the vehicles for waste collection are insufficient for reaching all communities.
In order to take forward the issue of sustainable solid waste management in future, the Asian journalists reaffirmed their commitment to help localise the issue and related SDGs at the grassroots level, to bring international good practices to local communities and to report on the local best practices to encourage their replication.


By Phaisythong Chandala
(Latest Update
December 8,

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