HomeOur WorkPollution and Waste Management

Pollution and Waste Management

Land-based pollution of marine and coastal environments eventually makes its way back to and concentrates along coastal areas, affecting and degrading rich natural resources. Countries and their coastal communities are highly dependent on natural resources provided by these coastal environments, and it is important to mainstream pollution management into local and national coastal planning strategies.

Strategic action plans for pollution reduction have been developed in all PEMSEA ICM sites. East Asia is home to several areas with severe pollution problems, called pollution hotspots. Most local governments have given priority to address nutrient reduction and other waste management problems to reduce the negative impacts of eutrophication, marine litter, urban garbage and hospital wastes, which affect the health and economic well-being of urban centers.

Among the examples are the Operational Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy, adopted by the Manila Bay Project Coordination Committee (PCC) and the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which set the stage for the development and implementation of the World Bank/GEF Manila Third Sewerage Project with a grant of $5 million and loans amounting to $67 million.

In PR China, the findings on the Total Load Study of Sewage Discharged into Bohai Sea served as the rationale for the Blue Sea Action Plan (2001–2010), which has a financial commitment of over $6 billion. The Plan entails the construction of three new sewage treatment plants in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, providing treatment capacity for one million tons/day of municipal sewage. In Fujian, the radical improvements brought about by the cleanup and rehabilitation of Xiamen's Yuan Dang Lagoon inspired the provincial government to invest RMB3 billion ($395 million) in water pollution control and ecological management, resulting in substantial reductions in total discharge of pollutants in the basin.

Grassroots, or 'bottom-up' action from local communities are also important and can often help solve difficult problems with simple actions. A pilot implementation for community-based solid waste management project in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, provided an initial step to involve local communities in solid waste management. Supported through the ICM Project in the area, the municipal government, the Ministry of Environment and the Commune Council, worked with community members and the CINTRI Waste Company to reduce the volume of stockpiled domestic wastes. The project fostered improved local capacity to deal with solid wastes through training, awareness campaigns, and household involvement in cleanup and waste segregation. The project also fostered greater cohesion among neighboring families and established a strong alliance between the community and the private sector company, both of which resulted in a greater appreciation of each party on their respective roles in improving community sanitation and promoting waste management as an economic opportunity for the village. Learning from the experience of the pilot implementation, the project is now being scaled up to cover 1,155 families in the entire Sangkat (Commune). Part of the scaling up process includes beefing up the revolving fund component of the project to create a self-sustaining mechanism for the project in the long run.