The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) has approved a US$60mn loan to improve solid waste management in municipalities that attract tourism in Argentina.

The programme will foster environmentally sustainable tourism through projects that implement technically, environmentally and financially viable solutions for integrated solid waste management. It will strengthen the capacity of the municipalities to accomplish this task and expand local community awareness and participation in this area.

Around 650 municipalities are part of the tourist circuits identified in Argentina’s Federal Strategic Plan for Sustainable Tourism. Tourism is a major source of income for the populations of these municipalities, especially those in the northeastern and northwestern regions, which have high poverty levels.

Integrated solid waste management helps both improve the quality of life of the population in general and enhance the quality of the landscape and the experience of tourists visiting the areas.

Activities to promote community participation in solving the problems of urban solid waste management will include training in business skills, occupational health and safety, security, order and cleanliness and maintenance work to help informal workers enter the formal labour market.

The Secretariats of Tourism (Sectur) and Environment and Sustainable Development (SAyDS) will carry out the programme.

The loan is for a 25-year term, with a five-year grace period, at a variable interest rate.

Local counterpart funds for this loan will total US$15mn.