13.5.2 Encouraging Technology Transfer
Many of the technology transfer approaches described in Section
13.4.2 can also be undertaken between countries. Some of the key approaches
for consideration are described below.
Policy and Regulatory Development: Bilateral or multilateral regulatory or policy
development assistance can be very useful to countries seeking to develop an
appropriate framework for waste management. Donor government agencies of all
levels can provide information about their domestic policies and regulations,
enabling the host country to identify useful elements for its own situation.
Regulatory training programmes can also be used to outline how to analyse, draft,
implement, and enforce new regulatory or policy systems. Given the importance
of the regulatory/policy framework for international private sector investment,
private firms should be encouraged to participate in such bilateral activities.
Private firms may also partner with domestic firms and work together to focus
attention on key regulatory or policy issues.
When considering technology transfer between countries aimed at improving regulatory
or policy frameworks, it is important to recognise differences between host
and donor countries and to ensure that the proper solutions are developed. This
may be particularly important in the waste management sector, where the social
aspects of waste management and the different technologies that will likely
be most sustainable can differ greatly between countries. This issue may be
of particular concern between where North-South transfers are concerned.
Programmes to improve and develop regulations and policies for the waste management
sector can reduce GHG emissions to the extent that they promote the full range
of waste management alternatives (not just centralised landfilling). However,
more directed activities to encourage the deployment of mitigation technologies
can also be pursued. Possible examples could include cooperative activities
to develop specific regulatory requirements for mitigation technologies, or
consideration of how waste management technologies could be promoted under various
articles of the Kyoto Protocol (such as the Clean Development Mechanism or emissions
Innovative Financing Approaches: The private sector can participate in technology
transfer in the waste management sector by serving as the developer of bilateral
or multilateral funded projects or through direct investment. Traditionally,
private sector participation has been through government driven activities,
given the dominance of this pathway, the magnitude of conventional waste management
investments, and the difficulty of investing directly in the waste management
sector in many countries.
Private sector driven pathways for direct investment are emerging, however,
and many countries are increasingly seeking private participation in waste projects.
Section 13.4.2 discusses several ways that governments
are seeking to involve private firms in waste management projects. International
as well as domestic firms may find attractive opportunities. International companies
will probably be most attracted to the larger, centralised projects that would
typically be developed in medium to large cities. International companies will
also be most attracted to countries with clear investment frameworks, both generally
and in the waste management sector.
Technology transfer aimed at assisting government agencies, particularly at
the municipal level, to privatise or otherwise encourage private participation
may be useful. The World Bank and other multilateral agencies have emphasised
private sector solutions to waste management challenges in recent years as a
means of improving the scope and effectiveness of services (Serageldin, 1994).
Especially in developing countries, however, the structure and function of the
existing waste management system is likely to be very different from the norm
in developed countries. If these differences are not recognised and addressed,
attempts to emulate developed country models can fail. Thus, as countries develop
approaches to encourage private financing of waste management services, they
should consider specific local conditions and develop locally appropriate strategies
Capacity Building: Many bilateral technical assistance and capacity building
activities are already underway in the waste management sector. Technical experts
in many national and local government agencies participate in bilateral activities
designed to transfer information about available waste management technologies
and techniques and enhance the capacity of host country experts to assess their
options and identify those most suited to local conditions.
Given the magnitude of the needs in the waste management sector, current efforts
are not adequate to increase the capacity to improve waste management in all
areas. In addition, typical capacity building programmes involve developed countries
providing training to developing countries and CEITs. Such programmes can be
of limited usefulness if they are not customised to the particular needs of
the recipient country, which potentially means that the donor country would
need to promote approaches that are not widely used in their own country.
Section 13.4.2 discusses several types of technology transfer
for capacity building within countries, and many of the same approaches can
be used between countries. All types of training, as well as facilitating local
assessments and information exchange can be undertaken between countries. Some
areas of capacity building may be particularly appropriate for bilateral activities,
- Training to facilitate public participation: In cases where national
or local governments lack an understanding or tradition of public participation,
bilateral capacity building activities may be very useful. Developed countries
may be able to provide such training to developing countries or CEITs; in
addition, sharing success stories between developing countries and CEITs could
also be useful. Only when training is integrated into a more attractive process,
are local people more likely to apply what they have learned in the trainingabout
- Training in financial management: Another important area for bilateral
government training is in the area of improved financial management. Such
assistance may be especially useful if provided to municipal governments in
developing countries and CEITs, whose role in waste management is increasing,
but who have historically had less information and training in financial issues.
- Training in alternative technologies: Training in alternative technologies,
particularly those that are low technology, small scale and less capital intensive,
can be useful. Since many developed countries do not use such technologies
widely, CEITs and developing countries may find it useful to exchange such
information between themselves, as well as to transfer information on their
experiences to developed countries.
- Training in formulating business plans: Developing countries often
lack the capacity to formulate good project frameworks and business plans
for urban waste management services. This turns out to be a substantial barrier
to development of urban environmental services in developing countries and
CEITs. Bilateral capacity building activities can be of great use in overcoming
this obstacle in this regard.
Existing and future capacity building activities in the waste management area
can be readily expanded to facilitate the transfer of mitigation technologies.
Activities could include increased emphasis on the climate impacts of various
technologies as part of basic technical assistance programmes, developing specific
decision tools and information for assessing climate impacts, and working with
government counterparts on how to encourage mitigation technologies using a
menu of voluntary, regulatory and incentive-based programmes. Expanded involvement
of local and regional government officials from both donor and host countries
would be beneficial, given their role in project development and implementation.
Given the still emerging understanding of these issues, technical assistance
activities in all directions (North-North, North-South, South-North, and South-South)
are likely to be useful.
Incentives: The Kyoto Protocol will likely provide important incentives
for expanded activities between governments to develop mitigation projects.
Provisions related to both the Clean Development Mechanism and emissions trading
could encourage expanded bilateral investments in projects in exchange for emission
reduction units. In the near-term, projects to reduce methane emissions from
landfills and wastewater treatment facilities may be particularly attractive,
given methane's potency as a greenhouse gas, the favourable economics of many
such projects, and the ability to monitor methane capture (see also Section
3.4 and 3.6 in Chapter 3 on
the Kyoto Protocol and technology transfer for further reference).