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Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) Forum 5, 2016

Main topic: Reduction and utilization of waste

The Fifth Stakeholder Forum in the frames of the UNIDO “Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production” demonstration component project took place on 29 of July, 2016, in the Conference Hall of Lori Marz Regional Administration, Lori Marz, Armenia.

The forum was attended by Deputy Minister of Nature Protection of RA, Mr. Khachik Hakobyan, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Development of RA Mr. Artur Khachatryan, Deputy Marzpet (Governor) of Lori Marz Regional Administration Mr. Hovhannes Tadevosyan, Alaverdi city Mayor Mr. Karen Paremuzyan, Asian Development Bank Yerevan Office Project Officer Mr. Areg Barseghyan, Head of UNIDO Operations in Armenia, Ms. Anahit Simonyan, UNIDO RECP Team Leader, Mr. Tigran Oganezov, SME representatives, Regional Government and Municipality Authorities, NGOs, producers, PE, media and International organization representatives, UNIDO RECP national experts and REC Caucasus team members, more than 40 participants were present (the List of participants is attached).

UNIDO RECP Team Leader, Mr. Tigran Oganezov. (Presentation theme: General Information on RECP Project in Armenia, Implemented Activity, RECP Tools and Methods). He briefly, discussed the main questions: What is the current situation in the municipal waste management sector in Armenia? What are the main obstacles and limitations faced by the municipal waste management system? What kind of measures can be taken to stimulate better approach for the municipal waste management practices in Armenia?

UNIDO RECP Communication and outreach expert, Mr. Tigran Sekoyan gave detailed information about the RECP Primer for SMEs. He talk about business benefits for SME as the main direction in the Primer. With the desire to avoid, referring to complex economic concepts in the handbook, nevertheless, to make judgments about business management, analysis and development some models should be unavoidable. Naturally, every businessperson has the best outlook of the business he is engaged in, he is better familiar with the problems. However, nobody can be professional in all circles.

UNIDO RECP Project National Facilitator Ms. Dshkhuhi Sahakyan. (Presentation theme: RECP Green Clubs for reduction and utilization of waste). There are no municipal waste management policy programs and plans. The actual regulatory and legal framework does not correspond to current needs, and monitoring and enforcement capacity in various agencies is weak. Approximately 1.5 million tons of municipal waste is generated annually (According to statistics it is correspond to about 300 kg per person per year) and the only management options used is disposal in landfills.

Mr. Khachik Hakobyan announced/make suggestion on three essential issues: 1. Advise always to consider environmental impact of used materials. 2. We are often participating or hosting international meetings, conferences, etc., and it would be great if you prepare stands (desks, racks, etc.) of RECP production and demonstrate those, and at the same time support business activities of SMEs. 3. Armenian lavash was inscribed on UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. On November 26 2014, the decision to inscribe the nomination submitted by Armenia “Lavash, the preparation, meaning and appearance of traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia” on UNESCO RLICHH was made at the ninth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Paris.

Ms. Anahit Simonyan said that it would be great if RECP project convert all those rapid assessments to RECP Audits, Deep Assessments, and implement feasibility study, financial and economic analysis and provide (free) Investment Grade Audits or Business Plans to all those SME engaged in the Program.

Mr. Khachik Hakobyan support the idea of continuing and promotion relations with SMEs that have undergone Rapid Assessments. He offered to proceed RECP Audit process and present some SME up to Green loans.

Discussions, opinions, ideas and recommendations provided by stakeholders

Ms. Anahit Simonyan: Waste management systems, with the highest priority placed on waste prevention and minimization, reuse and recycling, and environmentally sound disposal facilities, including technology to recapture the energy contained in waste, and encourage small-scale waste-recycling initiatives that support urban and rural waste management and provide income-generating opportunities.

Ms. Sirine Kosyan: RECP is an important step for Sustainable Development Mechanism. The Primer, is established by RECP specialized experts and should be an important instrument for SMEs. The concepts, methods and tools that are presented in the Primer should be ASAP domesticated, embedded and strengthened for creation a habit of the resource efficiency and clean production lifestyle in Armenia.

Representatives of Vanadzor Municipality: As we are informed there are 45 urban and 428 rural waste disposal sites currently in use. These sites do not correspond to sanitary-hygiene norms and standards. In addition, the quantity of illegal dumping is unknown. Therefore, landfills degrade the landscape and occupy useful land. In fact, they are significant sources of soil degradation, water contamination, air pollution, and diseases.

Representatives of Vanadzor Municipality: According to the Armenian Law on Local Self Government, garbage collection and disposal service is one of the mandatory functions of local governments. Solid waste management remains the most problematic challenge, and the first service priority for many cities. The main problems in this field of solid waste management are lack of legislative background and a poor management system, lack of appropriate equipment, lack of financial capacities, and a weak relationship with the public in the cities.

Lori Marz Regional Administration representative Announced that of Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), German Development Bank (KfW), European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programs (UNDP), and World Bank (WB), are involved and in close cooperation in SWM development in Armenia.

SME representatives: SW Management service is much more efficient and transparent when a written contract or agreement exists between customers and service providers. In the development of a Performance Management Strategy on SW collection and disposal service, various stakeholders should be involved, and citizen representation be included. Willingness to pay is connected to and in direct proportion to quality of services.

SME representative: Separation of the two services—sanitary cleaning and SW collection and disposal—may lead to more efficient, client-oriented SW management. If these services are not separated, there is a chance for enterprises to cover expenditures at the expenses of the public budget.

“RozFrood” LLC Executive Director: Waste is primarily generated by household and some commercial and public institutions and industry. Even though MSW (is an important waste stream) accounts for only a relatively small fraction of the total waste production it represents a considerable resource that can be beneficially recovered. However, current inefficient management options lead to the loss of valuable resources. Particularly, significant quantities of MSW continue to be disposed in landfills. Therefore, disposal of MSW leads to increase the pressure on the environment and human health.

Representative of Vanadzor Municipality: Street sweeping, waste collection, and waste disposal are the most publicly visible activities of municipal services. The great majority of public and community complaints about waste management arise from insufficient waste collection and disposal services. Waste collection, consequently, receives a high political priority in many countries.

Ms. Anahit Simonyan: mentioned that there is a problem of new technologies and innovations in majority of organizations. SMEs need to trust the RECP project. RECP experts should be able to provide them with full assistance by submission individual approach and proper package of tools. Business needs investments with low interest rates to afford them. Anyway, RECP brings new thinking and new methods that must be used in production to become more competitive. We already have achieved substantial results by RECP project implementation.

Already dozens of SMEs have agreed upon the cooperation considering the crucial importance of RECP audits in the modern world requirements, which affect also consumers demand on products. Stakeholders should contribute for localization and development in Armenia of RECP approach, intellectual way, principles, terminology presented in the Primer.

Mr.Tigran Oganezov gave information about the sixth Forum that planned to take place in August. He added that theme of the forum is Reduction and controls over emissions. As well as invited stakeholders to participate to the final forum and asked once more, on behalf of RECP team and UNIDO, for active discussion of RECP Primer and participation in the “engage and learn” step of the domestication process.