Minutes of the Meeting of the IWA SG on "Resource orientated Sanitation" March 2007, Aachen, Germany

Venue:Kongressal, Aachen, Germany (at congress ‘Advanced Sanitation’)

Participants: 40 persons participated in the meeting.

1. Opening.

The specialist group meeting was opened by chairman Ralf Otterpohl, who initially presented the leadership of the group.
Chair: Professor Ralf Otterpohl, Hamburg University Technology, Germany, otterpohl@tu-harburg.de, reelected September 2004 in Marrakech.
Co-chair: Associate Professor Håkan Jönsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Stockholm Environmental Institute, Sweden, hakan.jonsson@bt.slu.se, reelected September 2004 in Marrakech.
Co-chair: Post-doc Researcher Günther Langergraber, BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Austria, elected September 2006 in Beijing.
Chairman Ralf Otterpohl lead the SG meeting at Aachen and co-chair Håkan Jönsson wrote the minutes, while co-chair Günther Langergraber represented the group at the NOWRA conference in Baltimore, US.

2. SG Conferences past and present.

The first Specialist Group Conference Ecosan group was held in Lübeck April 2004. It was incorporated in ”2nd International Symposium on Ecological Sanitation”, organized by GTZ. In the IWA Biannual World Water Congress in Marrakech. September, 2004, we also had a big ecosan session, while there were fewer ecosan contributions at the Beijing Biannual Water Congress 2006.

At this conference ”Advanced Sanitation” in Aachen there was again a very strong contribution of papers on ecological sanitation and perhaps especially from the high tech side of it. At the 16th Annual NOWRA, 10-15 March 2007, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, the EcoSan SG, represented by Günther Langergraber organises an EcoSan session.

The Ecosan SG supports the ”International Conference on Sustainable Cities and Villages with a focus on Urban and Rural Ecological Sanitation, Organic Waste Management and Agricultural Reuse”, 27-31 August, 2007, Erdos, Inner Mongolia, PR China. Abstracts to this conference should be sent to dongsheng2007@sei.se by April 1st, 2007.

The Ecosan SG also supports the ”International Conference on Sustainable Sanitation Food and Water Security for Latin America”, 26-28 November, 2007, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, www.ecosanlac.org. Deadline for this conference will probably in May 2007.

The Ecosan SG has just initialized planning its 2nd SG conference on Ecological Sanitation to be held in Mexico in October/November 2009.

The planning committee for the next IWA Biannual Water Congress, to be held in Vienna in 2008, has just started its work. According to information at the meeting. So far very few, if any, topics and themes central to ecological or sustainable sanitation were under consideration. Thus, NOW is the time to influence the planning committee to include conference themes and topics central to us! This is even more important as 2008 by UN has been proclaimed as the International Year of Sanitation. The Ecosan Specialist group will lobby within IWA for inclusion of themes and topics, which open up for ecological and resources oriented sanitation. We do encourage our members to get their home institutions to also lobby for these themes and topics. The person to contact at IWA is Andrew.

In addition to our newsletter, distributed by IWA, news from our SG is distributed via the GTZ Ecosan Newsletter, which is sent to some 10,000 email addresses. Thus, to get frequent updates on what is happening in the Ecosan community, we encourage our members to sign up for this newsletter by mailing majordomo@mailserv.gtz.de an email containing ”subscribe ecosan” as the only text in an email. Note, that it should be in the body of the email, not the subject line!.

We do not have a discussion forum of our own, instead we encourage our members to participate in the lively ecosan discussion forum, which you can sign up to at www.ecosanres.org.

3. Sanitation21.

Sanitation21 was presented by Darren Saywell. The Sanitation21 task force work was presented by Darren Saywell. In this important work, the views of promoters of conventional sanitation have been merged with those of promoters of ecological sanitation in the report ”Simple solutions to complex sanitation”. This report has been out for comments and by end of March Darren plans to have a revised version of the report out.

Presently the Sanitation21 task group is considering to an IWA policy or reference paper on sustainable sanitation. They are also looking into the possibilities to make a charter on sanitation options. A seminar series on the issue is also considered during 2008, the International Year of Sanitation as well as the formation of a specialist group for Sanitation21.

4. International year of sanitation 2008.

Christine Werner informed about a meeting for planning a roadmap for activities during the International Year of Sanitation 2008 that had taken place in Eschborn, Germanay. Some 30-35 of the most important stakeholders took place, including e.g. the African Development Bank, GTZ, Waste and SEI. The meeting resulted in the formation of the ”Sustainable Sanitation Alliance” and in the formation of a number or working groups for activities during 2008. The members of SG Ecosan are invited to participate in making the International Year of Sanitation a success by enrolling in a working group, e.g. by contacting Christine Werner or Arno Rosmarin . One of the plans for 2008 is a funding conference organized by WTO, World Toilet Organization.

The next meetings of the Alliance of Sustainable Sanitation are at EAWAG 16-17 April and SEI 11-12 August, just before the World Water Week.

5. Management committee.

In the past, the management committee has been passive. We now plan to activate it and to this purpose the composition of the management committee was revised.

The following new members were elected:
Dr Paula Paulo, University of University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.
Professor Chris Buckley, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa .
Professor Chengwen Wang, Tsinghua University, Beijing, P.R. China.
Dr Gunilla Brattberg, Programme Director, EcoSanRes, SEI, Stockholm, Sweden..
Mr. Panse, India

In addition the meeting agreed on letting co-chair Günther Langergraber suggest a representative from the US for the management committee.

The following members of the management committee were also reelected:

Prof. Jörg Londong, Germany
Prof. Goen Ho, Australia
Prof. Saburo Matsui, Japan
Dr Maimuna Nalubega, Uganda
Prof. Petter Jenssen, Norway
Roland Schertenleib, Switzerland
Adriaan Mels, The Netherlands
Deepak Raj Gajurel, Nepal

6. Name of the specialist group.

Ralf brought up the question of the name of the Specialist group as the name ”Ecological sanitation” still meets very hard resistance within IWA. He therefore suggested that we should change the name of the specialist group. The German participants added that that the name ”Ecological Sanitation” also met hard resistance among German IWA members. First the meeting participants voted whether we should change the SG name or not. Keeping the name ”Ecological Sanitation” got 5 votes, while changing the name got 10 votes.

After this, the following name proposals were voted on, the number votes received are given in parenthesis.

Source oriented sanitation, 7 votes.
Source separation sanitation, 6 votes.
Resources oriented sanitation, 10 votes.
Resources management sanitation, 2 votes.
Sustainable sanitation, 6 votes.

After this a new vote was made between keeping the old name Ecological Sanitation, which received 5 votes, and changing to Resources Oriented Sanitation, which received 10 votes.

Thus, the meeting decided that the name of the specialist group from now on is changed to Resources Oriented Sanitation. When an abbreviation is absolutely needed, the abbreviation ”Ecosan” can be used. However, this is, as far as the specialist group goes, a nickname of Resources Oriented Sanitation, not an abbreviation of ecological sanitation.