E-waste Academy – Managers Edition (EWAM) San José, Costa Rica 2019
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The EWAM is a global forum for stakeholders involved in the practicaldesign and implementation of e-waste management solutions, offering a platform to exchange best practices, discuss existing challenges among practitioners, and support better-informed decision-making. From March 19th-22nd, 2019, over 30 policymakers and government officials, representatives from 13 Latin American countries, and international experts joined for the sixth edition of the EWAM.
This EWAM was a 4-day intensive workshop that focused on tackling the regional e-waste challenges and was organized by the UNU Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) Programme, hosted by the UNU Vice Rectorate in Europe (UNU-VIE), in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), as a contribution of the project for Strengthening of National Initiatives and Enhancement of Regional Cooperation for the Environmentally Sound Management of POPs in Waste of Electronic or Electrical Equipment (WEEE) in Latin-American Countries.
The EWAM participants represented countries with a diverse mix of e-waste management systems in Central and South America. Although a few countries in the region have established formalized e-waste management systems, backed by specific legislation, the large majority of the countries are in the process of drafting and developing legislation and infrastructure.
With presentations from renowned international e-waste experts, participants learned about:
• Basic foundations and principle of e-waste, policy management, and legislation.
• Foundation and knowledge on EPR and financing systems.
• Compliance and enforcement (regulatory approaches to enforcement of national and international legislation, including transboundary shipments and integrating the informal sector).
• Identification of critical/hazardous and common fractions obtained from e-waste.
The Academy also featured a number of practical sessions, such as systemic design solutions for sound e-waste management, a plastic workshop where participants learned how to differentiate among plastic fractions, and others. In a hands-on dismantling workshop, participants learned how to dismantle electrical equipment such as laptops, printers, and desktops, and identified different components and fractions, including hazardous and valuable parts. In addition, the participants visited the Global Electric Electronic Processing plant (GEEP) in San José, Costa Rica to get a more practical insight into e-waste management.
Furthermore, the EWAM included a series of panel discussions where participants gained insight into best practices from other countries in the region, producers’ initiatives, and other stakeholders’ current and future activities in the region. Panelists included regional government representatives, local and regional PRO´s, and other relevant stakeholders such as the World Health Organization.
With the support of the project and collaboration with regional and international organizations such as UNU-VIE SCYCLE, participants will support and improve e-waste management and legislation in their countries, synchronize their data on e-waste , and collaborate with other countries to improve and create sound e-waste management in the region.
We wish to thank all of our experts and participants for joining the workshop and providing input and with enthusiasm. In addition, we wish to thank GEEP for all the support they provided in the dismantling session and opening their company doors during the site visit.
More information on the EWAM 2019 program, as well as on previous editions, can be found at www.ewasteacademy.org