Seychelles' waste-management practices are being studied by European and Japanese experts in order to find areas in which to improve.
The experts presented their preliminary findings with all partners on Wednesday.
The ongoing studies are looking at how Seychelles is managing waste and the plan that should be adopted for the way forward. The studies also are looking at laws in place and how these can be improved for sustainable waste management and the different equipment and facilities that are in place for recycling. Challenges such as a lack of land, limited public awareness and access to financing were also looked at.
Speaking at the presentation, the principal secretary for environment, Alain Decommarmond, said that "The waste produced annually in Seychelles and disposed at the landfill continues to increase and a master plan on waste management will help to find a solution."
Decommarmond added that the studies come at a critical period for Seychelles and that the master plan will outline priority actions and areas that the island nation needs to focus on.
The first study on coastal waste management is being financed by the European Union and carried out by COWI, an international consulting group specialising in engineering, environmental science and economics based in Lyngby, Denmark.
One of the experts from COWI, Andrick Mols, told SNA that the plan is being worked on "for us to rethink how waste management is being done in Seychelles."
He added that "despite the challenges observed during the study, Seychelles already has a favourable environment to better manage waste. Seychelles is a small country and can easily control imports. On top of that, it has a small population."
A Japanese company, Nippon Koei, is conducting the study on the development of the waste master plan financed by the World Bank.
Fredrick Kinloch, the director of waste management, told SNA that the outcome of the study will provide the ministry "with a pathway to implement their policies and will give direction on how to better manage waste in the country."
The studies are also looking at how Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, is engaged in waste management and how waste can be sorted out properly.
He added that "waste generation and its eventual management is the responsibility of everybody from the importer that brings commodities in the country and the consumers."
Both studies were supposed to be completed after six months but have now been extended for one year.
Seychelles has adopted several measures to manage its waste, including that government, institutions and entities are obliged to have a contract for waste collection with an approved contractor.
According to the Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy (2012-2020), the 95,000 inhabitants of the island nation generates about 48,000 tonnes of waste per year.