In Focus

Asia 3R Conference Held in Tokyo

November 16, 2006

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Minister of the Environment Wakabayashi

The Asia 3R Conference, hosted by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, was held at the Mita Conference Hall in Tokyo on October 30th (Mon.) through November 1st (Wed.) in 2006. Twenty-four countries (19 countries from Asia) and eight international organizations participated in the event. In addition to generally promoting the 3Rs, the conference also introduced the specific efforts being carried out by countries, international organizations, international NGO networks, and businesses in the 3Rs for municipal organic waste, 3Rs for electrical and electronic waste (E-Waste), and measures for medical waste.
Participants shared the importance of promoting the 3Rs in Asia. In addition, this meeting was praised as a valuable opportunity for the policy makers of Asian countries and international organizations to discuss the 3Rs.
Furthermore, in order to continue and strengthen efforts in the 3Rs in Asia, in addition to on-going activities, activities such as promoting a "the 3R Knowledge Hub" and following up the conference with the thematic working group on solid and hazardous waste under the Regional Forum for Environment and Health in the Southeast and East Asian countries will be pursued.

The following are points from the Chair's Summary.

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Senior Vice-Minister of the Environment Tsuchiya

General

  • Participants shared the importance of promoting the 3Rs and appreciated the conference for providing the opportunity for policy makers and experts from Asian countries and international organizations to discuss the 3Rs. In addition, participants appreciated Japan's initiative on the 3Rs in Asia.

Points to Promote the 3Rs in the Asian Region

  • Full attention needs to be paid to the diversity of Asian countries. In some countries, even traditional systems of waste management are found to be effective.
  • More discussion is considered necessary regarding how to reduce waste generation. In this respect, more attention needs to be placed on cleaner production processes and technologies.
  • Appropriate technologies, from the viewpoint of environmental impact, economic efficiency, and social acceptability, must be used.
  • Full attention needs to be paid to the diversity of the countries in the region. Asian countries are in different stages of development. There are commonalities in their ways of addressing the 3Rs, but there are also differences among the countries in the region. Waste issues are different depending on the socio-economic conditions of each country. In some countries, even traditional systems of waste management are found to be effective.
  • There are a few important elements, such as traceability, accountability and transparency, that should be incorporated in any future regional cooperation schemes.

Future Steps for the Promotion of the 3Rs in Asia.

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  • Participants recognized the necessity of further regional cooperation to promote the 3Rs in Asia and welcomed the great progress that has been made in developing the 3R Knowledge Hub. Furthermore, the thematic working group on solid and hazardous waste under the Regional Forum for Environment and Health in the Southeast and East Asian Countries served by WHO and UNEP as the joint secretariat can be one of the mechanisms for a follow-up to this Conference.
  • In addition, "Potential of Disseminating Johkaso in Asia," a side event, was held on October 31st. Many Asian countries expressed interest in this waste water purification system designed for single-homes.
Note:
Refer to the Chair's Summary for more information about each working group
Appendix:

Link to the 3R Initiative HP

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