The “Regional Network for Integrated Solid Waste Management in the MENA Region” - SWEEP-Net has been launched in September 2009 and - with the support of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the “Gesellschaft für international Zusammenarbeit“ (GIZ) the network has been developed during the past five years.
Ten countries from the MENA region (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen) have joined SWEEP-Net with the objective of strengthening their personal and institutional capacities for an integrated resource and waste management. Each partner ministry has designated a national coordinator to the SWEEP-Net Steering Committee representing his/her country.
SWEEP-Net provides an exchange and knowledge management platform for experts from public (national and communal) and private sector, academia, civil society groups as well as regional and international organisations.
Solid waste management is one of the major municipal challenges in the MENA region and historically administered by local authorities.
The private sector involvement is an important pillar for the development of innovative approaches towards an integrated solid waste management. A successful partnership between the public and the private sector implies both, clear political decisions and a reliable legal and regulatory framework that allows both parties to jointly develop and implement innovative and economic solutions, which may create employment and serve the protection of the environment.
The term “Green Economy” is widely used today – its significance for a sustainable economic growth – however - still needs to be sharpened. The concept aims at a sustainable use and management of limited and precious resources. It is not only a pure economic concept. Moreover it includes a balanced interaction between the three dimensions of economy, society and the environment. Sustainable prosperity cannot be reached by any country while neglecting one of these dimensions.
SWEEP-Net – through pilot measures, guidelines, training and the identification of best practices - promotes in its partner countries the paradigm shift from a conservative solid waste management - based on traditional end-of-pipe solutions - towards an efficient resource management that replaces the use fossil resources through innovative and cleaner production processes as well as through a change of consumption patterns. This concept may open new doors for economic opportunities for the whole region.
Furthermore, the network assists its partners through policy advice and the collaboration with its competent partners in developing appropriate policies and proper market incentives that have the potential to reduce the problem of capital misallocation and to promote an economic development that allows for a sustainable resource management. It has worked on making consultations to establish a legal framework for the creation of a regional organization that would, in turn, ensure the continuity and sustainability of the network.
Legal statutes have been elaborated for SWEEP-Net, that have been signed by five founding countries, namely:
- Tunisia (May 2012)
- Morocco (August 2012)
- Mauritania (February 2013)
- Egypt (February 2013)
- Yemen (March 2014).
* due to the political situation is Syria's membership currently suspended