Waste as a key sector

The Governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal have identified waste as one of the key sectors that needs to be addressed in order to achieve their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Although the levels of GHG generated from the waste sector is less compared to the levels generated in other sectors such as energy, agriculture, and land use change, waste management solutions offer enormous opportunities for emission reduction with a high potential for corresponding creation of job opportunities for the growing population in the two countries.

The Government of Senegal has committed to reducing 11% of its total emission by 2030 with 50% from the waste sector, while the Government of Côte d’Ivoire has committed to reducing 28% of GHGs emissions by 2030 with 2% targeted to come from the waste sector. Both countries have targeted compost and biogas as means to fulfil their NDC commitments in the waste sector. However, the pathways to achieve these targets in the waste sector are not clearly defined in their NDCs. There is a policy gap in compost and biogas development that needs to be addressed. Furthermore, like other countries in the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) region, there is a lack of a monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) system in place to track the transparency of actions under the NDCs as required by the Paris Agreement. The two countries have identified capacity building as a priority in the implementation of their NDCs.

The Support for NDC Implementation in the Waste Management Sector in Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire project, funded by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada (a government department), aims to help Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal achieve their NDCs in the waste sector. The project supports the development of policy measures that can help reduce GHGs and Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) and supports the relevant government agencies to build capacity for data monitoring, reporting, and verification in the municipal solid waste sector. The project will assist countries in the installation of biogas or compost plants in each country, set up an MRV system for the waste sector, and share experiences from the two countries in the ECOWAS region.

Posing after GHG training

Participants pose after the greenhouse gas and black carbon inventory training. Photo: SEI.

Enhancing capacity

The national training workshop on the GHG and black carbon inventory in the waste sector in Senegal was conducted to enhance the capacity of national experts on GHG inventories on appropriate guidelines, methodologies, tools for emission calculation, – including black carbon – in accordance with the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change) guidelines. Thirteen national experts in the waste sector participated in the training. These included specialists from the Directorate of Environment under the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the National Sanitation Agency and the Solid Waste Management Coordination Unit under the Ministry of Urban Planning, Housing and Public Hygiene.

The opening session of the event included remarks by Dr Philip Osano, Centre Director at SEI Africa, Dr. Richard Munang, Africa Regional Climate Change Coordinator at the UNEP, His Excellency Sébastien Beaulieu, the Ambassador of Canada to Senegal, and  Mr Mass Thiam, the National Coordinator of the Solid Waste Management Unit.

Welcoming participants, Dr. Osano commended the Government of Senegal’s efforts to ensure effective implementation of the project despite the COVID-19 situation and reiterated the SEI’s commitment to the project.

“I am pleased to note that both in Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire we have managed to find ways in which we can continue with the project despite the challenges with COVID 19,” Dr. Osano said. “Our role in SEI is to support Senegal to make sure that policy documents that are produced are of high quality and meet international standards.”  

Dr Osano thanked the UNEP for their support and leadership and their emphasis on the role that the project can play in creating opportunities for employment generation, particularly for youth. He expressed his gratitude to the Government of Canada for their financial support for the project implementation.

“I have noted the progress that has been made, particularly the development of the National Integrated and Sustainable Solid Waste Management Strategy and National Waste Management Law which has been approved by the national government; and the development of Biogas and Compost policies,” Dr. Osano added. “SEI will continue to support this process going forward. I also wanted to highlight that we appreciate the training because we know that capacity building is very critical.”

Dr. Munang thanked Environment and Climate Change Canada for generously funding the project in Senegal and for the cooperation fostered through this project and others. He noted that the enhanced policy and legal framework provides the legal basis for diverse stakeholders to invest in waste recovery actions, specifically waste recovery to biofertilizers and to biogas. These strategies cover the market-based and strategic aspects of other streams of waste recovery to wealth – such as the waste recovery to fuel briquettes, which will be most accessible for youth. Dr. Munang added that the existing framework needs to be complemented by sound technical capacity building.

“This training will focus on solidifying the science in Green House Gas inventory and black carbon monitoring and management tools,” Dr. Munang said. “Combining these two means,  Senegal is set to have a robust policy-regulatory, technical & technological enabling framework; to ensure key NDCs implementation progress tools – the Biennial Update Reports, Green House Gas inventories and the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification systems- align to guide investments in waste management that maximise both the emissions and socioeconomic benefits of the country”.

GHG training session

A session at the GHG and black carbon inventory training. Photo: SEI.

Intergovernmental cooperation

His Excellency Sébastien Beaulieu appreciated the strong cooperation between the Governments of Canada and Senegal which covers various aspects of development including green growth, oceans, climate change, and plastic waste management. He noted that Canadian representatives are in ongoing discussions with the President of Senegal on plastic waste management aiming to renew the country’s commitment on this area.

“I hope that in the coming days and weeks, you will be able to showcase and use the knowledge and expertise acquired during the training,” Ambassador Beaulieu said.

Thanking the Government of Canada, through Environment and Climate Change Canada, Mr. Mass Thiam said that this support has been instrumental in strengthening the policy and legal framework for waste management in Senegal. He reiterated the country’s commitment to reduce its GHG emissions by 11% by 2030, noting the importance of enhancing national capacity in GHG inventories in the waste sector, given the critical role that the waste sector is expected to play in achieving the country’s emission reduction objectives.

Mr. Thiam further emphasised that the participants were the first experts to be trained in GHG inventories in Senegal’s waste sector and noted the relevance of the training in the implementation of the NDC:

After this training, the national experts will be able to produce high quality GHG inventories in the waste sector and with greater integrity,” Mr. Thiam said. “This information will be used by the stakeholders in the waste sector to strengthen the reference scenario in the NDC, propose climate actions and monitor progress of these actions. This information will also help to introduce regulatory changes needed to achieve the objectives of the NDCs in the waste sector.”

He added that Senegal is currently drafting its first biennial update report, led by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, through the Directorate of Climate Change who will rely on the trainees to ensure a significant contribution from the waste sector to the report.

The training was conducted by Dr. Jacques Kouazoundé, an international MRV, and GHG inventory and Climate Change expert and lecturer on GHG inventories at the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin. He also ran a similar virtual training session in Cote d’Ivoire in July 2020.

GHG and black carbon training

Experts and trainees at the GHG and black carbon inventory training follow the proceedings. Photo: SEI.

Improving knowledge

By the end of the training, the participants had improved their knowledge and understanding of the SLCPs, their sources, and links with the GHG emissions and NDC. They were also conversant with the Green House Gas and SLCP inventory methodologies and tools such as IPCC software and excel worksheets.