Development of Environmental Learning Programme for Establishing a Sustainable Solid Waste Management System in Mandalay City, Myanmar

Dickella Gamaralalage, Premakumara Jagath; Kataoka, Yatsuka; Chowdhury, Masako (2016). 'Development of Environmental Learning Programme for Establishing a Sustainable Solid Waste Management System in Mandalay City, Myanmar' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.

Management of increasing waste generation is a common concern in fast growing cities in Asia. This is not exceptional in the city of Mandalay, the last royal capital in Myanmar. A rapid urbanisation, economic growth and changes in lifestyles and consumption patterns have resulted in a remarkable increase in waste generation and its diversity during past decades. According to the Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC), a daily waste volume has been increased from 259 tonnes in 2005 to 975 in 2015. In addition, the costs of solid waste management are also rising; related environmental degradation is occurring; and controversies are arising over finding suitable lands for siting of new final disposal sites. Aiming to overcome this fast growing environmental issue, MCDC has been promoting sound solid waste management, integrating 3R practices (reduce, reuse and recycle) in which waste reduction at source is encouraged rather than later at the end-of-cycle. This policy aims to reduce landfill waste and open burning, increase of job opportunities, effective resource consumption, and the improvement of the environment. At the global level also now more focuses on establishing fundamental changes in the way society produce and consume aiming to achieve sustainable development. The 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (2011-2021) of UNEP emphasises the importance of social transformation, incorporating scientific, technological and innovative capacities to move towards in establishing 3R practices in the cities. Considering this global and local situation of the importance of community empowerment to achieve sustainable solid waste management practices based on 3R principles, a case study was conducted in Mandalay City in which an environmental learning programme for junior high schools was developed and piloted in three model schools together with MCDC and other key stakeholders.  The study also aimed to find key action principles and policy challenges of the city in developing environmental learning programme to facilitate sustainable solid waste management system in the city.
The paper consists of three major sections based on the case study. The section 1 introduces the concepts of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and policy frameworks for the practice of environmental learning in achieving sustainable development. Section 2 presents a case study of Mandalay that describes the key stakeholders involved, the specific measures adopted and the key results are achieved. Finally, the paper concludes by summarising key action principles and necessary policy supports required for establishing an effective environmental learning programme for achieving sustainable solid waste management system in Mandalay City. The case study findings suggest that for the effective implementation of sustainable solid waste management system, a social transformation of current socioeconomic systems is needed, incorporating both technology and legal systems. This requires empowering society to adopt sustainable lifestyles through environmental learning and transformative actions. The study further identified, such action principles (responding, engaging, embedding, enabling, sustaining and transforming) and supportive policy mechanisms (providing resources, building networking/partnership, capacity building and content development) are required for the successful implementation of a sustainable learning programme in the city.

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