ECLAC´s mission in El Salvador on September 5th and 6th, 2023, represents a significant effort to promote sustainable and circular practices in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Circular economy principles, which aim to minimise waste and maximise resource reuse, are essential to ensure a sustainable future, especially in critical sectors such as potable water and sanitation.
The first day of the mission began with an opening ceremony attended by prominent figures from the Salvadoran government, including Willian DeLeón, Director of the Environmental Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Castaneda, President of ASA, and Rubén Alemán, President of ANDA. Raúl Salazar, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in El Salvador, Dr. Silvia Saravia Matus, Economic Affairs Officer responsible for Water Affairs at ECLAC, and Karla di Palma, Director of ESCO, were also present. On the second day, the event also featured the presence of El Salvador's Minister of Tourism, Morena Valdez.
The training sessions addressed critical topics such as urban water management in LAC, circular economy principles in the water sector, and nutrient recovery and methane capture in wastewater treatment systems. These training sessions, led by ECLAC experts, provided participants with essential tools and knowledge to implement circular practices in their respective areas of work.
Following the initial training sessions, practical workshops were conducted in which ECLAC experts and participants worked together. These workshops focused on the use of methodologies for methane estimation and utilisation, as well as the financial evaluation of Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs). These interactive sessions fostered a collaborative learning environment and the exchange of experiences between local experts and ECLAC representatives.
Furthermore, presentations of WWTPs in Ciudad Futura, San Juan de Opico, and Metapán were given. These presentations not only offered a detailed insight into the operations of these plants but also highlighted the opportunities and challenges associated with the implementation of circular practices in wastewater treatment.
The second day of the mission provided an opportunity for a technical visit to the Ciudad Futura WWTP in Cuscatancingo. This visit allowed for a firsthand evaluation of how circular practices could be implemented and their feasibility.
The mission concluded with a planning and reflection session, reaffirming ECLAC's commitment to sustainable development in the region. This ECLAC initiative aims not only to train professionals in the field, but also to inspire other countries and organisations to adopt circular practices, ensuring a more sustainable future for all.
To view more photos from the event, click here.
To access event resources, click here.
To view the recording of the session, click here.