39 countries attend Borås conference on sustainable cities
”It is a privilege to attend a conference in Borås, a town which has set an example as being foremost at turning waste material into renewable matter”. These are the words of CRC Mohanty, the co-ordinator of the environmental program of the UNCRD,as he opened the IPLA Global Forum conference at the Textile Fashion Center in Borås.
Mohanty's hope is that the conference will spur others to create more sustainable cities to combat the increasing problems caused by waste from plastics and electronic appliances.
”We can no longer afford to carry on thinking 'business as usual'. The way we choose to deal with human waste will have immense consequences”, he empasises.
Björn Brorström, Vice Chancellor of the University of Borås, predicts that in a few years from now: ”This conference will prove to have been an important milestone in the development of the University of Borås and for the town as a whole”.
Similar challenges are being faced worldwide
The chairman of the Municipal Executive Board of Borås, Ulf Olsson, proudly announced his appreciation of the successful collaboration between the parties in Borås: ”All over the world we are likely to meet the same challenges and the same opportunities”.
Annika Markovic, Environmental Ambassador, emphasises that the countries with the largest waste problems are those with the fastest developing economies. ”They are the ones we really want to co-operate with”, she affirms.
In her opinion, the best way to go about doing so is reducing waste by working pro-actively against the build-up of garbage. Markovic also dwelt on the problem of chemical substances being transported across borders in various ways and the fact that many countries still lack laws to diminish the use of such products.
One of the speakers on Monday was Sance Lipu of Tadulako University in Palu, Indonesia, where the Borås project, ”Waste Recovery”, is now constructing a bio-gas plant. It is a project coupled with the social aim of offering jobs to the 80 or so inhabitants who have been using the rubbish-tip as their home.
”Our hope is that the collaboration will help us form a major plan for dealing with human waste, which will include offering social aid”.
IPLA, launched in 2011, aims to foster partnerships among local authorities, private and industry sector, international organizations, donor agencies, scientific and research institutions, and NGOs in achieving sustainable waste management. IPLA stands for International Partnership for Expanding Waste Management Services of Local Authorities
Text: Stig Wallerman
Photos: Per Aronsson