Webinar Series on Open Waste Burning in Asia (2022/2023)

Webinar No. 1: Practices of Open Waste Burning in Asian Cities – Challenges and Opportunities

22 April 2022, 17:00-18:00 JST (Earth Day 2022)



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Open burning of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is a common practice, especially in developing countries with inadequate solid waste management systems (2019; Singh et al., Karunarathana et al.). Open burning is commonly practiced as the cheapest, easiest, and most sanitary means of volume reduction and disposal of combustible materials, especially for people with no access to organised waste collection services. Currently, two billion people globally have no waste collection, and the waste of over three billion more is either dumped or subject to uncontrolled burning (Circular, 2019). Moreover, open burning of MSW typically occurs under relatively low temperatures, releasing significant emissions of pollutants, such as PM (PM10, PM2.5), particulate black carbon (BC) and organic carbon (OC), and gaseous pollutants like nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4) and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) (UNEP, 2013). In addition, open burning of waste results in emissions of a wide array of potentially hazardous substances such as polyromantic hydrocarbons, mercury, arsenic, fine dust, sulfur oxides and hydrochloric acid, most of which are toxic and harmful to the environment and human health (UNITAR and UNIDO, 2019). As such, the open burning of solid waste represents one of the most significant pollution problems in developing countries. While there have been various studies on the generation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other hazardous substances (UNITAR and UNIDO, 2019; BusinessWorld, 2021), there is a lack of scientific evidence on how BC emissions from open waste burning impact climate change. This requires scientific study including the quantitative assessment of such emissions. In this regard, CCET-IGES has been working with its partners to study BC emissions and related climate impacts from open waste burning in selected Asian cities.

Considering the importance of addressing the issue of open waste burning and its impacts on climate and health, a series of webinars on the topic is planned to organize during 2022-2033, along with other national and international and partners. This first webinar entitled “Practices of Open Waste Burning in Asian Cities: Challenges and Opportunities” will therefore give an overview of open waste burning practices in Asia and discuss challenges and opportunities in addressing open waste burning in cities, based on the preliminary results of the CCET-IGES study in Asia. Researchers, practitioners and policy makers working in the field of waste management and climate change are invited to present and discuss open waste burning practices in the cities. This will be followed by an engaging and constructive discussion between the panelists and participants.


Event Details

22 April 2022, 17:00-18:00 JST (Earth Day 2022)


Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC)
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
UNEP and partner cities (Padang City-Indonesia and Stueng Saen City-Cambodia)
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IGES Centre Collaborating with UNEP on Environmental Technologies (CCET)
2108-11 Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama, Kanagawa, 240-0115 Japan
Tel: +81-46-874-7636 Fax: +81-46-855-3809 E-mail: [email protected]

Presentation Materials

Moderator: Shunichi Honda, Programme Officer, UNEP

17:00-17:05 Introduction
Welcome and housekeeping announcement
  Miwa Tatsuno, Programme Coordinator , CCET  
17:05-17:30 Introduction to the workshop and research study of open waste burning  in Asian cites 
  Rajeev Kumar Singh, Policy Researcher, CCET  
Experience sharing: Assessment results of open waste burning in Asian cities: case studies from Steung Saen, Cambodia and Padang, Indonesia
  Rizki Aziz, Head of Department of Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Andalas University, Representing Padang City, Indonesia  
Uch Rithy, Director, COMPOSTED, Representing Steung Saen City, Cambodia  
17:30-18:00 Panel Discussion
Brief presentation by CCAC and UNIDO on their activities on Open Burning in Asia
  Sandra Mazo-Nix, MSW Initiative Coordinator, CCAC  
Carmela Centeno, Industrial Development Officer, UNIDO  
Nirmala Menikpura, IGES Fellow, IGES  
Nguon Dalen, Deputy Director of Administration, Steung Saen City, Cambodia  
Ir. H. Mairizon, Head of Environmental Agency, Padang City, Indonesia