Honorable Mayor Hilmy Mohamed of Matale, Sri Lanka, is attending Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific to share his city’s experiences in dealing with disasters and in building resilience in communities. We spoke with him a few months back about his city’s sustainability vision and innovations.
What would you describe as Matale’s main achievements in the field of sustainability?
ICLEI has played a major role in solving our waste management problems by implementing the ‘SUNYA-Towards zero waste in South Asia’ project with assistance from the European Union, as well as by creating awareness among city officials and citizens in Matale of the 3R principles (Reduce, Reuse and Re-cycle). As an example, the SUNYA project has already been successfully implemented in 3 of our 13 wards and has reduced our waste by 10 tons per day, thus bringing us closer to our aim of achieving a state of zero waste.
How has ICLEI South Asia’s support helped you achieve these goals?
The ICLEI South Asia team has been regularly visiting our Municipal Council and has been conducting training programs and workshops for our officials and main stakeholders, thus assisting us in the successful implementation of our sustainability programs. ICLEI has also given me and many of our council members the opportunity to be a part of numerous conferences and workshops, which have provided the Municipal Council of Matale with valuable technical assistance and knowledge.
Being an ICLEI member has been a great advantage for us. ICLEI is one of the leading international organisations when it comes to sustainable development and I take this opportunity to thank the Secretary General Mr. Gino van Begin, Deputies Secretary General Mr. Emani Kumar and Ms. Monika Zimmerman, and all other members of ICLEI for their cooperation and guidance extended towards the city of Matale since 2005.
See the original interview published here.