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08 Jun 2017
UN Ocean Conference Side Event: “Energy services from organic waste for productive uses – integrated waste management solutions for coastal, marine and freshwater protection in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)”
11:06–12:06 AM New York Add meeting to Your Calendar

 This side event is jointly organized by the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE), the SIDS Sustainable Energy and Climate Resilience Organization (SIDS DOCK), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Energy Programme and is a concrete contribution to Partnership Dialogue 2: Managing, protecting, conserving and restoring marine and costal ecosystems. The event intends to raise the awareness on the important nexus between energy, waste management and costal, marine and fresh water protection in Small Island Developing States – particularly in the Caribbean. The event is organized with support of the Governments of Austria and Spain.

The side event follows-up on the outcomes of the First Caribbean Waste to Energy Technology Expo and Conference, held in St. George’s, Grenada from 20 to 23 January 2016. Over 100 senior professionals with expertise in energy, climate change, environment and waste management gathered at the Grenada Trade Centre to share lessons learned and perspectives on Waste-to-Energy (WtE) solutions that are appropriate for SIDS. The Expo showcased technology solutions and case studies via presentations by technology providers from the Caribbean, Austria, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

Based on expert discussions during the conference it was agreed that Waste to Energy (WtE) solutions for the management of organic waste can be a feasible and viable option to promote economic development, mitigate costal and marine pollution and reduce diesel based energy generation. Wastewater treatment integrated with biogas plants using feedstock from agro industries, waste materials from rum distilleries and breweries, treated sewerage sludge, food market waste, slaughterhouse and fish waste, can represent effective and tailor-made solutions for organic waste management that provide energy services and reduce environmental degradation in different states in the Caribbean.

Disposal of waste by dumping it in the environment in sensitive ecosystems can result in considerable economic opportunity costs. Utilizing organic waste for the provision of energy services can have substantial co-benefits such as safeguarding public health and fresh water resources, as well as reduction of GHG emissions. At larger scale, WtE can also contribute to a balanced energy mix in island countries.  In some countries (e.g. Haiti) decentralized waste to energy solutions could provide access to affordable and reliable energy services to low-income groups.

The Grenada Conference demonstrated that a significant number of countries have made considerable progress in the creation of an enabling policy and regulatory framework for sustainable energy, waste and sanitation management. Many Caribbean islands have adopted ambitious targets, policies and protocols on renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as waste management and sanitation. However, in many areas the technical implementation of these commitments is still lacking and has not generated small and medium size industries, catalyzing investments leading to local market and a new industrial sector. Liquid waste from sewerage and effluents from agricultural run-off (incl. agro-waste) was identified as high-priority area of intervention.

Similar to renewable energy technologies, WtE faces key barriers and constraints (e.g. technical limitations, lack of institutional coordination, policy, legal and regulatory bottlenecks, lack of tailored financial schemes, limited professional experience knowledge and (real-time) data gaps, lack of access to adapted technology, weak capacities on different levels). Its interconnection to energy, environment (waste management and recycling), water and sanitation, agriculture (e.g. biomass waste) and agro-industry (as effluent producer and energy consumer) makes WtE a unique nexus-issue. There are limited lessons learned, best practices on the use of these technologies (in small-scale) under island conditions available.

One major outcome of the First Caribbean Waste to Energy Technology Expo and Conference, was that SIDS DOCK, CCREEE, UNIDO, CARICOM Member States and like-minded international partners (e.g. Austria, Spain, Sweden, Germany) have formed a multi-stakeholder partnership to promote the development and implementation of the regional program “Energy Services from Organic Waste for productive uses: Integrated waste management solutions for coastal, marine and freshwater protection in the Caribbean”. The program is intended to promote the up-scaling of organic waste to energy (WtE) and other waste valorisation solutions with the objective to  better protect fresh water resources, reduced coastal and  marine pollution from organic waste, and  generation of clean energy services.  

Further information:

  • Input Paper “Addressing the Nexus: Energy Services from Organic Waste for Productive Uses - Integrated waste management solutions for coastal, marine and freshwater protection in the Caribbean”, available at: http://www.ccreee.org/publications
  • Outcomes of the Caribbean Waste to Energy Technology Expo and Conference: http://sea.sidsdock.org/wte-expo-conference (the password to view/download the documents is Ymk%Q7K7).

OBJECTIVES

 

In the side event, the established multi-stakeholder partnership would like to raise the awareness on the important nexus between energy, waste management and costal, marine and fresh water protection in Small Island Developing States – particularly in the Caribbean. Utilizing organic waste for the provision of energy services can have substantial co-benefits such as safeguarding public health and fresh water resources, as well as reduction of GHG emissions. Following the side event, it is intended to register the waste to energy multi-stakeholder partnership as voluntary commitment for the outcomes of the Ocean Conference.

Website Address: caricom.org/oceanconference2017

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Related Area of Work

Environment and Sustainable Development