With national and local governments, the private sector and civil society entities placing increasing emphasis on sustainable development , the 3R Approach can be an effective tool to support their efforts towards achieving the goals of sustainable development. A number of factors are critical in influencing the effectiveness of the 3R Approach. These include enabling policy framework; education and raising awareness of all concerned stakeholders; and capacity building and technology support, including human resources, technology, finance and other inputs.
A critical aspect that cuts across the above three factors relates to the acceptance and implementation of the 3R concept and related policies by countries and entities adopting the 3R Approach.
A number of problems exist in facilitating the smooth uptake of 3R policies and strategies. Key among them is the gaps in information and practical application of solutions - access to appropriate and useful information, and of translating problems faced by industry into research priorities (and vice versa - implementing innovative research outputs on the ground). Barriers to concrete implementation of 3R policies and strategies also exist, which will hinder broader application. These barriers are related to policy, information, capacity building, financial and socio-cultural issues. Ways and means to overcome the barriers will have to be identified, using enabling measures to increase the application of 3R policies and strategies.
Strategic Elements for Future Activities
The success of 3R policies and strategies will largely depend on the right mix of policies and programmes implemented at the local level. As the Japanese experience has shown, the key spheres of action will revolve around governance, education, technology and finance.
The main strategic issues that need to be addressed are:
In developing a comprehensive 3R programme, it will be important to enable different organizations and institutions (with different kinds of resources and working on different issues), to carry out activities within their respective niches, but achieving together common 3R goals of a life-cycle economy.
Considering the broad nature of 3R policies and strategies, the focal areas and activities of different partners will have to be understood.
Inter-governmental organizations, including UN organizations, have a critical cross-cutting and supportive role to play in partnering with the above entities to carry out their activities, and at a broader level, to lend credibility to the 3R concept by providing accurate and timely information access.
For local and national governments, these could be:
For business, trade and industry partners the strategic elements that could guide their commitment and contribution to the 3R concept are:
For civil society entities, a number of strategic elements will guide their activities: