The South Asian region with a current population of 1.6 billion is experiencing rapid urban growth. Increasing population, urbanization, industrialization and changing consumption patterns are resulting in the generation of increasing amounts of solid waste and diversification of the type of the solid waste generated. The region is reported to generate worldbank.org/INTURBANDEVELOPMENT/.../Chap3.pdf approximately 70 million tons of solid waste per year, with per capita values ranging from 0.12 to 5.1 kg per person per day and an average of 0.45 kg/capita/day.
There are various factors that attribute to poor solid waste management, such as, lack of public awareness, unplanned city growth, high waste generation and non-functioning of existing systems. Rate of urbanization, scavenger role for recyclable separation and the capacities of existing municipalities for solid waste management are also important factors that should be considered. Increased solid waste generation creates more environmental problems in this region, as many cities are not able to manage it due to institutional, regulatory, financial, technical, and public participation shortcomings.
As decided at the Ninth Governing Council held in August 2005, Waste Management is identified as one of the priority areas in the SACEP work programme.
Activities of SACEP related to Waste Management in South Asia
As directed by the CoP IX of the Basel Convention held in June 2008 SACEP submitted an updated proposal and was taken into discussion at the Seventh Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) meeting held from 10 – 14 May 2010. During the period on negotiations the overlap with the Iranian Centre was raised and as the matter could not be resolved, as proposed by SACEP 13GC agreed for removal of the Agenda Item on Establishment of Basel Convention Regional Centre for South Asia from Work Programme of SACEP.