Czech waste management system inspires Malaysia and Vietnam

Czech waste management system inspires Malaysia and Vietnam
The Czech business mission in Malaysia and Vietnam, led by the Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec from 18 to 22 November, a group of representatives of companies focused on environmental technologies, selected departmental organizations of the Ministry of the Environment, science and research workers and the academic community returned last week. During their stay in Southeast Asia, Czech firms and schools signed several memoranda and many government-level meetings were held with representatives of environmentally focused ministries as well as with entrepreneurs in the fields of energy, renewable resources, water and waste management.

The mission agenda in Malaysia and Vietnam focused primarily on recycling and waste management (recycling, equipment and technology, hazardous and hospital waste incinerators) energy (solar, biomass processing, wind, small hydro power plants, reduction of energy consumption, elimination of environmental burdens), construction of transmission systems, technologies for mining and oil industry (with emphasis on the so-called "clean technologies"), water management (water treatment using renewable resources, water treatment and purification, water management), natural disaster prevention, science and research projects.

Malaysia

Malaysia is a country with great natural resources and an action approach of the local government to tackle environmental problems, yet the damage is caused due to massive palm oil production and the conversion of rare ecosystems, especially peat bogs, to oil palm plantations, and due to the illegal exploitation, processing and commercialization of tropical wood. Malaysia is also addressing problems of water purity, waste and the unfavourable energy mix of its resources. Coal, crude oil and natural gas still have a major share of 75% in energy production due to their low prices, and renewable resources as less competitive make only around 2%. The Malaysian government therefore focuses on innovation, choosing as an ambitious target a 20% share of renewable resources by 2025, using and supporting Smart Cities projects, hybrid cars or e-bikes at universities. Negotiations at the governmental level also concerned the protection of nature and biodiversity and water management. Malaysia, too, has a serious problem of supplying quality drinking water to all residents. Urban development and construction, a developed rubber industry with high water requirements and ongoing climate change force Malaysia to more effectively regulate the effects of seasonal droughts and floods. Water consumption per capita and per day is almost double that of the Czech Republic (88 litres). The Malaysian side was impressed by the speed with which the Czech Republic reached the connection of 85.5% of the population to wastewater treatment plants. And also the functional parameters of the Czech waste management; in Malaysia, for example, there is practically no waste energy recovery.

“The Czech Republic has offered its experience with economic transformation, implementation and enforcement of strict environmental legislation. After thirty years of fundamental changes, we can boast, for example, by a high rate of sorting of municipal waste in the Czech Republic, especially plastics and paper, but also bio-waste, which is inspiring for countries of Southeast Asia, where plastic waste is a big problem. Some Czech companies with clever solutions in the field of circular economy and waste reuse have already been utilized in the region and offer their ideas also here. For example, we can mention the use of bio-waste, respectively palm oil residues. Our experts and companies in the field of geology, sustainable, respectively environmentally friendly mining also find their use in the region, ” said Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec.

The protection of nature and biodiversity needs to be strengthened in dealing with illegal trade of endangered animal species, which is associated with the Czech Republic and Southeast Asia. Director of the Czech Environmental Inspectorate Erik Geuss pointed out in this regard: “The conclusions adopted at the last COP CITES [1] meeting included a specifically formulated requirement for swift and consistent cooperation in curbing illegal trade. The Czech Republic has been actively involved and the main part of the Tigris ID project takes place in its territory, with the aim to collect genetic information on endangered species, especially tigers, so that products with a potential content of illegal substances can be identified. I believe that we will cooperate well and efficiently with Malaysia in this respect. ”

Vietnam

Vietnam is a strategic country in terms of biodiversity as well as international trade in endangered species, but is not involved in the main bodies of CITES, CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity), CMS (Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals). There is no developed system of environmental protection. Waste and water management are particularly problematic areas. The country has a shortage of waste water treatment plants and waste incinerators. Insufficient capacity for electricity production is gradually becoming apparent. The possibilities of cooperation with Czech companies are great. Minister Brabec opened the Czech-Vietnamese Business Forum in Ho Chi Minh City.

“We have offered Vietnam possible cooperation in the fields of renewable resources, environmental protection, mining industry or building materials technology, transport infrastructure development or engineering, irrigation systems or small hydro power plants. With respect to many years of our bilateral cooperation, I believe that our new activities have a great future ahead. One of the Czech companies presented a concept for environmentally-friendly disposal of hospital waste, an area that has not yet been developed in Vietnam,” added Minister Brabec.

Almost 9 million people now live in Ho Chi Minh City, which represents about a tenth of Vietnam's population and causes great environmental demands. The city generates several thousand tons of waste every day and there is no comprehensive system for its disposal. The city is trying to support the development of renewable energy sources. Minister Brabec offered to solve this problem in cooperation with our companies and experts from water, waste, renewable sources and science and research field, who were present in the business mission. The Vietnamese side was also interested in contacts in the fields of geology, climate, environmental inspection and air. At the intergovernmental level, Vietnam has shown interest in expert cooperation on meteorological stations and the prevention of natural disasters. Minister Brabec also opened the possibility of cooperation with CHMI and other departmental organizations of the Ministry of the Environment, for example in the field of geology.

A trade mission to Malaysia and Vietnam with a 26-member delegation of entrepreneurs and representatives of organizations and universities was organized by the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic. "I consider this mission to be very successful. It was the second mission, during which we accompanied the Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec. It was specialized on environmental fields. I am content as both in Malaysia and in Vietnam I was surprised by the great interest of companies. Our entrepreneurs had enough partners for their B2B negotiations, " said the President of the Confederation of Industry Association, Mr. Jaroslav Hanák, who led the delegation of entrepreneurs, as an overall evaluation of the 200th mission of the Confederation of Industry.

NOTES: [1] here

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