South-South Exchange Workshop on Brick Technology and Policy

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The 'South-South Exchange Workshop on Brick Technology and Policy' was jointly organized by the Brick Initiative of Climate and Clean Air Coalition (BI/CCAC), National Institute of Ecology, Mexico and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) on 9-10 May 2013. The workshop was held in Kathmandu and had the participation of representatives of 11 different countries including experts, policy makers and brick entrepreneurs. 

In the inaugural session, Chief Guest Krishna Gyawali, Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Government of Nepal, emphasized the urgency with which the brick industry needs to reduce pollution, which can be done by using the best practical, environmentally friendly technologies. In opening remarks, Dr David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD, highlighted ICIMOD’s focus on black carbon mitigation in the region. This was followed by presentations made by Sandra Cavalieri, Secretariat of Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), highlighting CCAC activities. Ellen Baum, CCAC Brick Kiln Initiative and Clean Air Task Force, talked about the initiative’s activities as well as challenges of adopting cleaner brick technologies. 

The first session on technology reviewed selected technologies in the brick sectors of different countries. Four presentations discussed different types of technologies, from vertical shaft and eco brick to habla kiln and zigzag kilns. This was followed by the country presentations where the representatives from four countries provided background information, covering current and expected changes in brick making technologies and their impacts on air emissions, including black carbon, energy efficiency, and brick quality. The next session on CCAC activities gave an overview of brick production and policies in countries supported by CCAC initiative. Country representatives from Colombia and Chile gave an overview of brick production and policies in their respective countries. 

During a panel discussion on policy, representatives from China, Nepal, Islamabad, Colombia and Nigeria emphasized the importance of inter-ministerial coordination to reduce the impacts of pollution caused by brick kilns. Dr Eklabya Sharma, Director of Programme Operations at ICIMOD, chaired the session. 

On 10 May, a field trip was organized in two brick kilns using different technologies. Lapa Bricks in Chapagaun uses zig-zag technology and Shree Shree Satya Narayan Bricks Pvt Ltd in Imadole is a vertical shaft brick kiln. The field visit gave the participants practical exposure to the two types of technologies. 

At the two-day South-South Exchange Workshop on brick Technology and Policy, representatives from major brick making countries of Asia, Latin America, and Africa concluded that pollution from this sector can be reduced by adopting modern technologies which are environmentally friendly and energy efficient and can develop commitment to using improved technologies at the political level.