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Rabat Declaration Adopted on Sustainable Waste Management

16 December 2010: The Intersessional Meeting on Solid Waste Management in Africa took place on 25-26 November 2010, in Rabat, Morocco. The Chair's summary of the meeting has been released as an advance, unedited report.

The meeting was organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), UN-HABITAT and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment/Government of Morocco and the Institut International de l'Eau et de l'Assainissement (Morocco) (IEA), as part of preparations for the 19th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 19). The issue of waste management will be considered at CSD 19, taking place from 2-13 May 2011.

Participants called for the promotion of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (3Rs) as the key element of a strategic approach to managing urban and industrial wastes in Africa, including by decoupling economic growth from excessive use of resources.

The annex to the report contains the Rabat Declaration on Sustainable Waste Management in Africa. The Declaration states that, inter alia: waste management issues are not of sufficiently high priority for many national and local governments in Africa; there is an urgent need to formulate and implement comprehensive national policy, legal and institutional frameworks, with linkages to human health and environmental protection to support solid waste management; access to and availability of funds need to be enhanced at the national and local levels; expertise available within the region is often not shared, and adequate information on solid waste is lacking; well-designed integrated solid waste management systems can be a more profitable business if based on the reduce, reuse and recycle (3Rs) principle; the role of the informal sector is under-recognized and needs to be strengthened; and trans-boundary movement of waste into Africa, including e-waste and other new and emerging waste streams, poses risks to human health and the environment. [Meeting Report] [Conference website] [Conference concept paper]