This month I’ve been in Skopje, Macedonia, helping to run a training event with the national NGO leads of the Balkans E-Waste Management Advocacy Network (BEWMAN).
Over one week, we worked through some of the key issues and potential solutions to the e-waste problem, based on experiences from other NGOs working in the issue. Stephane Arditi of the European Environmental Bureau, and David Rochat of SOFIES, were guest presenters that also gave valuable contributions.
You can read more about the training event here. Some of the key messages highlighted in the training included:
- E-waste is the most rapidly-growing of all the waste streams
- Poor electronics design means that e-waste is toxic and more difficult to manage than many other wastes
- Poor e-waste management can pollute the environment and damage the health of citizens across the region
- E-waste contains many valuable materials and safely recovering these provides job and wealth creation opportunities for the region
- Actions like making electronics producers responsible for their equipment over the full product life cycle, and encouraging consumers to reuse functional equipment and keep e-waste out of landfill can minimise the environmental and health impacts of electronics
The NGOs in the BEWMAN network will now be able to build on the knowledge gained in the training to develop their advocacy strategies for the coming year.
Check out the BEWMAN flikr stream of the event here.