From 24 to 27 September last, the international conference entitled “Stakeholders, waste, the informal sector and territorial negotiation in large urban areas in developing countries”, which was held in Hanoi, Vietnam, by the French national research institute for development (IRD), brought together 40 waste management professionals and researchers. This was an opportunity for Ninh Huu Nguyen, GRET’s representative in Vietnam, and Josselin Ravaz, waste management expert with GRET in Vietnam, to present GRET’s actions via two projects: one in Brazzaville, Congo (in French) and the other in the province of Vinh Phuc in Vietnam.
Various subjects relating to waste management were discussed by the forty specialists attending, such as environmental pollution, the role of stakeholders in the informal waste collection and recycling sector, the role of street vendors, etc. Several types of geography were examined such as Bombay, Cairo, Hanoi, Ho-Chi-Minh-Ville, Surabaya.
Via projects in Brazzaville (Congo) and Vinh Phuc (Vietnam), GRET’s experts presented the NGO’s experience, in particular in terms of support to local authorities and the professionalisation of precarious operators in charge of waste management. Aspects concerning the role and effectiveness of these small operators, their relationships with local authorities and official waste management companies generated many questions.
The deputy director of the sub-department of environmental protection in the province of Vinh Phuc, and two directors of small cooperatives working in waste management in the province, also attended the session and provided insights as key local stakeholders working in the sector.
Apart from this feedback, a group of French researchers explained its interest in the activities conducted by GRET to improve waste management in Vinh Phuc province. They went into the field and learnt about the provincial waste management policy, in particular regarding recycling and the effectiveness of incineration.