Triangular cooperation between Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Germany: Strengthening public integrated waste management policy by creating integrated urban models

Project description

Title: Regional fund for the promotion of triangular cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean – individual measure: Strengthening public integrated waste management policy by creating integrated urban models
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Dominican Republic (recipient country) and Mexico (partner country)
Overall term: 2014 to 2016


Germany has been supporting Mexico in dealing with increasing amounts of waste in an environmentally sound manner for 15 years. Mexican authorities have developed and implemented an effective integrated waste management system that has met with considerable interest within Latin America.

In 2008 Mexico and Germany launched the first triangular cooperation arrangement with the Dominican Republic, focusing on developing expertise and resources for waste management. More than 90 environmental experts have since been trained, who have then gone on to train more than 3,000 individuals in keeping with the train-the-trainer principle. The current project is financed by the Regional Fund for the Promotion of Triangular Cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean.


Public waste management programmes have been improved in four municipalities through the introduction of an integrated model.


The Mexican Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and GIZ are working together to support Dominican authorities in developing individual waste management plans as a first step. They are concentrating on the special needs of the municipalities of Boca Chica, Cotuí, San Francisco de Macorís and San Juan de la Maguana. These four very different communities were specifically selected for this purpose.

Besides public stakeholders, such as mayors and waste management departments, the partners involve civil society and the private sector in their activities. The waste management plans are to strengthen the regulatory framework and make urban systems financially viable, for instance by introducing waste fees that cover costs.

The second phase is to focus on implementing the integrated waste management plans in the four model municipalities. The lessons learned there are to be used to transfer the models to other municipalities in the Dominican Republic. The project works to ensure that all political, legal, economic and tax aspects and the environmental, educational, health and urban planning sectors are included in the entire process. Industry responsibility and participation are also to be strengthened.


The first triangular cooperation arrangement (2008) moved the issue of waste management much higher up the national political agenda. It resulted in the Dominican Republic adopting the first national waste law in 2015. The current activities under triangular cooperation support authorities as they disseminate and implement this key legal standard. For example, all trained environmental experts are receiving follow-up training on the new law.

The environmental experts work in the four model municipalities. A legal, financial and technical analysis has been performed in each municipality. A needs-based urban plan for the prevention and integrated management of waste has been developed on the basis of this analysis. The mayors and waste experts of the municipalities concerned visited one particularly advanced waste management system run by an inter-municipal association in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. They subsequently incorporated their impressions in their own planning.

GIZ organised a workshop on the responsibility of processing industry at the end of 2014 based on the new waste law. The key point was for Mexican experts to exchange experiences with their Dominican partners and representatives of the Dominican private sector.

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