The general impression people have of scientists is of the ones sitting days and nights in their laboratories, “playing” with complex formulas, and releasing mind-twisting research works that end up collecting dust on the libraries’ shelves. Such impression is even stronger regarding researchers in Environmental Economics, for instance. The reason is that theoretical research does not go hand-in-hand with the applied one, i.e. the research process and results are not implemented in the “real world”.
Yet, this can be changed and should be done for some fields of science. Theory can go along with its practical implementation if researchers work together with company managers, volunteers from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and policy makers. It is called synergetic cooperation, and it is precisely such cooperation the new research project targeting the Republic of Moldova is about.
The project entitled “Non-state Cooperation in Environment Protection Area in Developed and Developing Countries: The Case of Waste Management in Moldova” addresses the issue of how the experience of developed countries, such as Denmark and Germany, in non-state (companies and NGOs) cooperation in waste management can be applied to a developing state (in this case, Moldova) in order to construct and implement in practice an effective and efficient waste management development model there. In particular, the research project is focused on answering the following questions:
1) What are the reasons of inefficiency in waste management in Moldova and which are the most important ones to focus on?
2) What are the economic and social consequences of this inefficiency?
3) How can companies and NGOs work together to establish and develop the waste management market based on the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) of the waste hierarchy?
4) What are benefits and costs of such cooperation?
5) What existing best case practices in developed countries can be used in constructing the waste management development model for Moldova?
6) What waste management development model is suggested for Republic of Moldova and how can it be implemented there?
7) How can this model be used in other developing states?
The project has a one-year realization period (June 2011 – May 2012) and includes 2 intermediary and 1 final research articles to be released, as well as the final research report to be made public at the end of the period. Several seminars and workshops on non-state cooperation and waste management and an internship in a waste management company are also part of the project action plan.
As the research project is all about synergetic cooperation, it will bring together companies involved in waste management and/or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, environmental NGOs, and policy makers. The research work will be conducted simultaneously with consultations, negotiations with, and surveying of the above-mentioned economic agents, so the cooperation of theory and practice will also be achieved. And the project will contribute to resolving one of the most severe environmental problems a developing country, such as the Republic of Moldova, faces nowadays – the problem of inefficient waste management.
Thus, it is high time to clean up Moldova… in a scientific way!
Note: If you want to join the project team, contribute to its success in any other way, or just receive more information about it, please contact the project coordinator by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.