With the objective of strengthening the digitization and management of information on solid waste and circular economy in the Caribbean region, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) held a training workshop in Kingston, Jamaica from September 12 to 14. During the training sessions, the methodology for the generation and processing of information used was the one adopted by the Solid Waste and Circular Economy Hub, administered by the IDB.
Delegates from sectorial and statistical entities from 12 Caribbean countries Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago joined the workshop, allowing the exchange of good practices and lessons learned, as well as the harmonization of information and integration of data systems.
This workshop associated with UNEP’s Zero Waste in the Caribbean project is the first in-person training session in the Caribbean that links the betterment of solid waste management with a regional data information system such as the Solid Waste and Circular Economy Hub, marking an interest to continue developing training sessions in the region.
The opening remarks given during the event by the Minister of Local Government and Community Development of Jamaica Desmond McKenzie, the Ambassador for the European Union to Jamaica Marianne Van Steen, the Regional Coordinator of the UNEP Office for Latin America and the Caribbean Jordi Pon, and the IDB Chief Operations for Jamaica Lorenzo Escondeur highlighted the urgence for a waste management improvement and a circular economy transition in the Caribbean, guided by decisions based on data.
The agenda of the workshop allowed the delegates to:
- Identify the main challenges in national solid waste management information systems.
- Learn about tools such as the Solid Waste and Circular Economy Hub managed by the IDB, UN Habitat’s Waste Wise Cities Tool and Business Intelligence applications such as PowerBI.
- Calculate Solid Waste and Circular Economy Hub indicators in their respective countries; and
- Develop a preliminary work plan with next steps to advance the digital transformation of solid waste management and the circular economy in the region.
The relevance of data
To formulate policies and make informed decisions on solid waste management and circular economy, reliable data is required. For example, the generation of solid waste per inhabitant, the coverage of the waste collection service, the destination of the solid waste collected, the level of progress in achieving SDGs 11.6 and 12.5, the jobs generated, and the financial situation of the service.
The high tourist activity, the environmental relevance, and the territories formed by small islands in the Caribbean make waste management a major challenge. According to the Hub, by 2021, the Bank’s Caribbean member countries discharged 88% of solid waste into the environment in inadequate dumps and landfills, 11% in sanitary landfills and less than 1% was recycled.
This workshop marks a relevant point for national entities, UNEP, and the IDB to continue working in the Caribbean to strengthen the data and statistical information with the objective of improving the solid waste management systems in the region. By promoting one of the main purposes of the Solid Waste and Circular Economy Hub: regional collaboration to improve the sector.
About the Solid Waste and Circular Economy Hub
The Solid Waste and Circular Economy Hub is a digital platform of open data that provides evidence of the evolution of the sector in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, its link with the Sustainable Development Goals, and mitigation and adaptation to climate change. It seeks to support countries in their digital transformation through the design and implementation of effective public policies and innovative management models in the information age. At the same time, it becomes a regional meeting point to improve statistics on waste and the circular economy.
The available data is generated from consultation on the websites of national statistical offices and sectoral institutions, as well as from information provided and validated jointly with the sectoral authorities of the participating countries, guaranteeing the integrity and traceability of the statistics. Currently, the Hub is administered by the IDB in partnership with UNEP.
To learn more about the state of solid waste management and circular economy in Latin America and the Caribbean we invite you to visit the Hub