SWANA Supports Focus on Environmental Issues in Latin America and Caribbean Declaration

SWANA Supports Focus on Environmental Issues in Latin America and Caribbean Declaration

The Bridgetown Declaration Outlines COVID-19 Recovery Strategies

Silver Spring, MD – The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) supports a plan established last week to address environmental issues as a primary strategy to recover from COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean signed the Bridgetown Declaration that includes the establishment of a regional action plan to restore ecosystems, a Circular Economy Coalition, an Integrated Environmental Information System, and a second, updated Caribbean Small Island Developing States Programme, with the aim of boosting a green recovery in the region.

“SWANA has a proven track record providing training and capacity building in Latin America on solid waste issues,” said SWANA Executive Director & CEO David Biderman. “Our discussions with US government agencies, South American regulators and prominent non-governmental organizations in Latin America indicate the development of additional expertise in solid waste will be an important aspect of the recovery strategies identified in the Bridgetown Declaration.”

Carlos Silva Filho, President of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), commented, “ISWA welcomes and compliments the outcome of the XXII Forum of Ministers of Environment from Latin America and the Caribbean, recognizing the urgency to eradicate unsound waste management practices. We look forward to continue the collaboration with SWANA and our Members in the Americas towards the implementation of the agreed Decisions.” Mr. Silva, who spoke at SWANA’s virtual WASTECON® event last month, is also the President of ABRELPE, the leading solid waste association in Brazil. SWANA is the National Member to ISWA for both the United States and Canada, and has a Caribbean chapter based in Puerto Rico.

SWANA recently concluded its virtual Colombian Training Center where nearly 80 Latin Americans from Colombia, Chile, and Panama received first-hand knowledge and skills on managing solid waste in Latin America. The Training Center was part of a larger multi-year project funded through a US State Department grant to support and improve environmental protection by encouraging better landfill operating practices.

About a dozen US-based companies participated in SWANA’s grant-related activities, including the Colombian Training Center. This provided opportunities to showcase services and products that can help improve environmental protection throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. “SWANA continues to have active discussions with U.S. government agencies and top non-governmental organizations about future training opportunities in Latin America,” Biderman added. “We will continue to provide opportunities to highlight solid waste equipment and services during those programs.”

SWANA pledges to continue supporting Latin American and Caribbean cities and countries and their solid waste industries in upgrading their solid waste and recycling systems.

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