On 17 March, ABBC and British Embassy in Yerevan held a joint forum titled “Waste Management in Armenia: Challenges and Opportunities.” The Forum was conducted in Ararat Hall of Armenia Marriott Hotel and lasted for around 4 hours. UK Ambassador to Armenia John Gallagher, Deputy Minister of Environment of Armenia Anna Mazmanyan, and Executive Director of ABBC Diana Gaziyan made opening speeches at the event.
The forum sought to address the issue of sustainability of waste management in Armenia and provided a high-level discussion and information sharing platform for policy makers, researchers, and the private sector. It provided an overview of the economic, governance and policy context for waste management in Armenia and shared practical advice and knowledge from local industry specialists on key opportunities.
It also enabled participants to learn how the UK delivery and regulatory expertise could help Armenia minimise and manage waste effectively, promote resource efficiency and move towards a circular economy. The UK has wide-ranging expertise encompassing everything from research into innovation, through to the manufacturing and deployment of waste management technologies, as well as the policy and regulatory expertise to support these.
The conference attracted over 50 participants from across the Armenian government, civil society, academic community, businesses, and the international institutions, playing an active role in waste management and climate change initiatives.
In his welcoming speech, UK Ambassador to Armenia John Gallagher said: “A more sustainable future for Armenia depends on reconciling the need for economic growth with an ambition to reduce carbon emissions and to protect the environment. Increasing volumes of waste have become a serious environmental, economic and health challenge. Yet the opportunity to generate socioeconomic and environmental value through sustainable waste management is largely untapped. A more effective waste management system can achieve significant public expenditure savings, which could be reinvested in infrastructure, health and education. The UK is committed to help Armenia develop integrated waste management initiatives, regulations to manage the allocation or reallocation of resources and to support investment in advanced sorting equipment and collection infrastructure.”
Diana Gaziyan, Executive Director of the Armenian British Business Chamber, mentioned: “The issue of sustainable waste management in Armenia acquired specific significance in the light of Armenia signing Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the EU in 2017, commiting itself to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system by 2023. The goal of this forum is to discuss waste management situation in the country, challenges and opportunities, and, most importantly, understand on the example of UK companies, which will present during the forum, how best UK waste management practices can be implemented in Armenia.”