Articles

Horizon 2020 strengthens skills on effective waste management systems in Palestine

on 30 April 2013.

In Palestine, the second phase of the EU funded Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Program (CB/MEP) was launched with a national training which contributed to improved data collection in municipal solid waste management systems taking into account issues such as cost, cost recovery and financing. The Minister of Environment Affairs Dr. Yousef Abu Safieh honored the training with his presence, which took place in Ramallah on 9-11 April 2013. More effective indicators are foreseen to be applied in the future by the different Joint Services Councils (JSC).

Thirty two (32) trainees from JSCs, local and national authorities attended the intensive three-day training entitled “Effective Evaluation of Performance, Cost Recovery, Viability and Sustainability of Projects”. Concise yet comprehensive, it covered elements as fundamental as terminology, as well as more practical aspects such as performance measurement including data collection, benchmarking, etc. The financial aspect of the matter at hand was also explored by examining the issues of costs and cost recovery. Finally, Life Cycle Analysis, an integrated tool for decision making, was showcased and the steps necessary to perform an actual evaluation of municipal waste management systems were identified.

The international and local experts of the training implemented the workshop in an interactive way to encourage meaningful and results oriented participation of all involved. It became clear that most JSCs and municipalities are already working on implementing measures to deal with data collection, costs analysis, cost recovery, financing the system, evaluating, quality assurance systems, etc. The ministries of environment and local government are aware of these developments and have started the process of setting indicators/objectives for harmonization purposes. However, there is still a long way to go. Given the commitment, it may be expected that in 5 years from now cost, cost recovery, financing data will be much better known and assessed and ways to optimize costs, increased cost recovery and a burden sharing for financing solid waste management systems will be determined.

Case studies and visits to a sanitary landfill, a transfer station and a plastics collection and recycling company in Hebron were also included to provide pragmatic stimuli for discussion. Daily quizzes and a comprehensive exercise putting evaluation into practice helped participants and trainers assess the knowledge acquired and identify issues that needed further work. Several participants confirmed that they will relay the information acquired to their colleagues and superiors.

The workshop was organized in cooperation with the Palestinian Environment Authority by the Association of Cities and Region for Recycling and Sustainable Resources Management (ACR+) with the support of SWEEP – Net and ANGeD. More details can be found at: http://www.h2020.net/en/resources/training-materials/viewcategory/240.html