Geneva, Switzerland, 9 June 2014
ICTs are rapidly growing and expanding throughout the world, pervading all sectors of human activity and contributing to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries with regard to access to technology. However, as the volume of ICTs increase, the volume of e-waste (WEEE) increases even more, posing serious environmental, socio-economic and health-related challenges.
About 50 million metric tons of e-waste are generated worldwide every year. Uncontrolled dumping of obsolete e-products and rudimentary material recovery processes without adequate protective measures have resulted in environmental pollution while exposing many people to toxic substances and emissions, particularly in less developed nations and countries with economies in transition.
In order to tackle these challenges, a comprehensive life-cycle management approach for ICT and other electrical and electronic equipment is needed to help countries and stakeholders involved to minimize and if possible avoid any e-waste resulting from the production, handling and use.
International initiatives, standards-making work and programmes and partnerships established under the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Basel Convention on Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the UNU and other international organizations provide among others sustainability standards and technical guidelines on environmentally sound life-cycle management of ICT equipment including e-waste.
E-waste is a mix of risks, threats and opportunities in the public mind that requires the direct involvement of developing countries' experts and decision makers. An integrated approach for management of ICT equipment, which encompasses health, environmental and socio-economic considerations, is a crucial part of international and national sustainable development strategies.
9 June 2014 (from 17:00 to 18:15): Workshop on "Sustainable life-cycle management of ICT equipment"
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