Environment - Circular Economy/3Rs/Sustainable Waste Management

3R image photo 2022

While increasing attention is being given to climate change mitigation measures to arrest global warming, the combined effects of industrialization, urbanization, and mass consumption have also led to an increase in the amount of waste generated in Asian countries, which thus create local issues such as insufficient or incomplete collection of waste, dumping of waste into rivers and water bodies, illegal burning of waste, insufficient recovery and reuse of waste, and emergence of the informal recycling sector.

Due to lack of sound 3R policies, programmes, and infrastructure at the local and national levels, millions of children are illegally engaged (violating international labor laws and health standards) in these informal sectors as scavengers, which is jeopardizing the MDGs aimed to achieve universal primary education, and reduce child mortality. The United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) helps developing countries address the beneficial aspects of 3R, including technical assistance for developing national 3R strategies through a highly participatory and consultative process.

As an "approach" towards this end, UNCRD has made an entry at the national level by assisting governments in formulating national EST and 3R strategies, to ensure that the needed policy and legal framework is established for the practical implementation of 3R activities at the subnational (regional level) at the implementation stage.


  • Increasing awareness at the local level on various aspects of 3R
  • Drafting/Finalizing of national 3R strategies in selected Asian countries, which will provide an enabling policy environment for the implementation of 3R at the local and national levels
  • Enhancing regional networking by countries, institutions, and experts working on various issues related to 3R through the "Regional 3R Forum," through which the Asian countries are provided with necessary information/policy advice to promote 3R in their countries/cities/localities.


Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific

The Regional 3R Forum in Asia was jointly launched by UNCRD and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, in November 2009, with an objective to provide strategic policy advices to national government authorities in mainstreaming 3Rs in the overall policy, planning and development.

The Forum seeks to address policies, programs, measures, tools and technologies in the context of achieving resource efficiency, sustainable production and consumption, integrated solid waste management, sound material-cycle, low-carbon and zero waste society. The Forum also provides a knowledge sharing platform for disseminating and sharing best practices in 3R areas, including new and emerging issues of concern in waste management.

Especially, UNCRD encourages member countries to monitor and evaluate the 3R policy progress and its implementation efforts in order to support national policy and strategy formulation through State of the 3Rs in Asia and the Pacific, experts' assessment of 3R progress in Hanoi 3R Goals, adopted in the 4th Regional 3R Forum in Asia in Hanoi, Viet Nam, in March 2013.

State of the 3Rs in Asia and the Pacific

UNCRD has collaborated with Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), under the support of the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ), to conduct experts' assessment for the Hanoi 3R Goals (2013-2023), adopted in the 4th Regional 3R Forum in Asia in Hanoi, Viet Nam, in March 2013.

National 3R Strategy Formulation

UNCRD has been assisting Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Viet Nam towards promoting and enhancing 3R at the national and local levels. UNCRD is playing a vital role as a catalyst to the government-led process of national 3R strategy formulation by providing necessary technical advice to the governments in the process of strategy formulation. UNCRD will continue to assist in the formulation process.