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UNEP salutes Japan’s post-disaster debris response

Japan – With the imminent first anniversary of Japan’s worst natural disaster in over a century, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has reported good progress in the sorting and disposing of post-disaster waste following the massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11 last year.

Japan ‘has made commendable progress in the past 12 months’, says Achim Steiner, UNEP’s Executive Director and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations. ‘We hope that by studying the work they have done, the technologies they used and the decisions they have made, we will be able to improve the way debris from any future disasters around the world is handled.’

UNEP hopes to use gathered data to assist in developing an international protocol on estimating the volume of debris in post-disaster settings. ‘We do not see this as a one-time exercise,’ states Matthew Gubb, Director of UNEP’s International Environmental Technology Centre. He promises that ‘disaster debris management will be available to all countries through a network of experts’.

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