​Panagiotis Karamanos MIDP’95 is team leader for the European Union’s Technical Cooperation for Environment in India project. The aim of the project, which runs from October 2014 to September 2018, is to contribute to India’s sustainable and inclusive development through capacity building and skill development. The project is focusing on capacity building for solid waste management and wastewater management in Mumbai and Delhi.

Municipal solid waste management has emerged as one of the biggest environmental challenges in India. More than 144,000 tons of municipal solid waste are generated every day, but only around 20-30 percent is properly treated.

“The expected outcomes of the project are enhanced technical and institutional capacity to promote clean technologies, as well as increased awareness of environmentally friendly development activities,” said Karamanos (second from left).

From June 2015 to March 2016, the project conducted around 40 meetings with stakeholders to disseminate the work plan and determine upcoming activities. He also joined the project’s alternate team leader and 17 Indian environmental experts from the Ministry of Urban Development, pollution control boards, municipal corporations, waste-to-energy operators and NGOs for two study tours in Sweden and Denmark on best practices in solid waste and sludge management. 

Next steps include launching consultation workshops to explore the needs of Indian stakeholders in more detail and organizing programs for women and waste pickers to increase awareness about efficient waste management and health and safety issues.

The program advisory committee is co-chaired by the joint secretaries of India’s Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Karamanos was selected as team leader partly because of his previous experience as a European Union senior environmental expert for India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation, where he worked closely with the Indian side climate change, noise management and other environmental policy issues.

“As I had worked in India for four years, I am familiar with the policy conditions and environmental challenges,” he said. “I also believe that my academic and professional background in policy analysis and environment played a role.” 

He said he regularly draws on his experience at the Duke Center for International Development (DCID), first as a master’s student and then as a visiting professor.

“The multidisciplinary nature of the work at DCID, the sharing of experiences with mid-career professionals, and the focus on policy analysis are all helping me in my current work,” he said.

Read the first volume of the project newsletter.

Karamanos recently wrote a chapter, titled “Smart Solid Waste Management in BRICS Countries,” in The Making of Vibrant Cities, which was released in April 2016 by the Government of Maharashtra. The chapter presents global solid waste management facts, explains important challenges, introduces case studies from the EU, India and Brazil and makes recommendations for more effective solid waste management.

He also wrote a chapter, “Changing the Climate in Indian Aviation,” in Corporations and Sustainability: The South Asian Perspective. The chapter focuses on greenhouse gas emissions from Indian aviation and the measures already implemented and planned to manage these emissions.

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