Guatemala Spreads Expertise on Integrated Waste Management

  •  guatemala city
  • Inter Press Service

The Red Giresol Guatemala -- the 'Guatemalan network of environmental promoters for prevention and integrated management of solid waste' -- emerged in 2006 from a 'triangular cooperation' agreement between the governments of these three countries, with initial funding of less than 200,000 dollars.

The partners -- Germany's GTZ development agency, the environment ministries of Mexico and Guatemala, and Guatemala's National Commission on Solid Waste -- designed the programme to train local and national public employees and private sector personnel involved in the fields of environment and sanitation to be environmental promoters or outreach workers.

The promoters receive 140 hours of classroom training in areas like environmental education, waste management, storage and transportation, and techniques for reducing, reusing and recycling waste. 'We want to raise the level and technical expertise of the people dealing with the issue of solid waste in this country,' the head of Red Giresol Guatemala, Julio Urías, told IPS.

So far, 62 promoters have graduated from the course, and 45 are currently taking the classes given by the Red Giresol. In turn, the environmental promoters offer advice and training to local authorities and others in the field of integrated waste management, with the resultant multiplier effect.

According to the Red Giresol, more than 7,000 people around the country have received training and advice from the promoters. 'We have replicated the network at the local level, and have trained some 70 people in this area since 2008,' environmental promoter Erick Urrutia, an agronomic engineer who is an environment ministry delegate in the northwestern Guatemalan province of Quichó, told IPS.

© Inter Press Service (2010) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service