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Dutch Environment Minister attends WECF presentation in Georgia

WECF Field Officer Anna Samwel presented on Labour Day ecosan toilet projects to Dutch Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer

02.05.2008 |Chantal van den Bossche

Dutch Minister of Environment Jacqueline Cramer on the WECF presentation in Tiblisi, Georgia

WECF field officer Anna Samwel was invited to give one of the 8 presentations in the plenary sessions during Minister Cramer's visit to Georgia on the first of May. As it was the last presentation, and the Minister came in late, it was the only one that she attended. There were Georgian representatives from different Environmental originations and representatives of the ministry attending, as well as the Dutch delegation.

WECF was called by the chairman a ‘hands on’ organization working at grassroots level, contributing directly to the MDG’s.  The minister mentioned in the plenary that it is important and more effective, to combine environmental protection with other issues such as economy or nature conservation. This is already being done by WECF because its environmental projects are always linked with poverty reduction.

WECF also participated in the symposium with both ministers, and attended the signing of the ‘Motion of Understanding’. The cooperation on environment for the previous and the next 10 years between Georgia and the Netherlands was discussed. The EU representative mentioned, that the priorities for Georgia should be: solid waste management, Water and Sanitation, and climate change. Georgian ministry agrees, but has no human resources (as was mentioned by their representative informally during the break). The inspectorates of Netherlands and Georgia are developing a solid waste management strategy jointly.

Minister Cramer thought WECF's presentation was very clear and complimented WECF with its good and concrete projects. She was especially interested in the demonstration toilet in Misaktsieli and in the further use ecosan products. Anna Samwel told her that ecosan products are used as fertilizers and explained why it is important to separate them. As farmers have no money to buy fertilizers, are toilets are directly contributing to poverty reduction.

Also from other NGO’s there were questions and interest about our toilets. WECF ELA project and RCDA project are mentioned in the folder that is describing all 32 projects that have been carried out in the last 10 years in partnership between the Netherlands and Georgia.