Participants of the CERO Waste Programme at the inception workshop

The Circular Economy for the Recovery of Waste (CERO Waste) Programme for Samoa and Tokelau has started with the completion of its inception workshop in April.

This new project will make possible the creation of sustainable and inclusive livelihood opportunities to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy in Samoa, whilst equally supporting Tokelau’s waste management capacity through a collaborative bilateral approach. This has brought together different partners and stakeholders to work in collaboration.

The CERO Waste Programme is supported by the United Nations Development Programme’s COVID-19 Rapid Financing Facility, and co-funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whose support has been facilitated by the British High Commission in Apia.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for Samoa, and the Department of Economic Development, Natural Resources and Environment for Tokelau will be providing technical oversight and coordination for the project.

It will be implemented by a range of actors that include the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa, the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Samoa Recycling and Waste Management Association and the Centre of Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC Global).

These organizations will make possible the exploration, testing and de-risking of value chain development in the waste management sector, helping to unlock Samoa’s circular economy. The project aims to alleviate both socio-economic challenges, exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and environmental challenges that continue to pose a threat to sustainable development.

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“I am particularly excited about the multi-stakeholder approach of the CERO Waste Programme that brings together a variety of partners, both traditional and new, with different expertise, fomenting public-private partnerships that we consider fundamental in de-risking investments in circular waste management for the most problematic low-value waste streams whilst enhancing income-generating opportunities within the emerging circular economy,” said UNDP Resident Representative, Jorn Sorensen.

The project also aims to encourage more women and youth employment.

“Empowering women and youth as both beneficiaries and catalysts of change will no doubt guarantee the sustainability and resilience of communities, the waste management sector and entire island nation economies into the future, but also address deep-rooted and cross-cutting development issues that tend to exacerbate in the event of a crisis, putting these vulnerable groups’ sustainable development at stake,” said Mr. Sorensen.

The project builds on critical work already done by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Embassy of Japan in Samoa and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, who are key development partners in the waste management space and whose vision and work strongly resonates with and complements the CERO Waste Programme.

It  also involves the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, which had played a vital role throughout the Youth Employment Programme Phase 1 (YEP-1) and will continue guiding youth employment-related interventions under the YEP Phase 2, incorporated into this project.

The project is implemented over 18-months.

 

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