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DT 2015 – 5th International Dry Toilet Conference

DT2015 conference delegates. Photo by Laura Karlin 2015.

DT2015 conference delegates. Photo by Laura Karlin 2015.

The Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland organizes an International Dry Toilet Conference every three years in Tampere, Finland. The 5th conference took place at the Tampere University of Applied Sciences on 19th to 22nd of August 2015. The theme was Dry Toilet Conference 2015 – Solutions. The conference is an excellent platform for all actors working with ecological sanitation to network and share their ideas and experiences on dry toilet technology, nutrient recycling and ecological sanitation. We want to warmly thank all the participants of the 5th International Dry Toilet Conference for making the conference such a success. The conference offered a high-quality scientific program and the opportunity for experts around the world to come discuss their findings and the future of ecological sanitation.

Welcome words

Photo by Laura Kotila

Photo by Laura Kotila

5th International Dry Toilet Conference in Tampere – Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Lenita Toivakka’s greeting

Distinguished guests, dry toilet experts from all around the world

It is my honor to welcome you to Tampere, Finland and the 5th International Dry Toilet Conference.

This time the conference focuses on the “Solutions”. How to find innovative, sustainable and cost-effective solutions for dry sanitation in large cities and rural areas, to nutrient recycling, to food security or to cultural challenges and stigmatization of dry sanitation.

The Millennium Development Goals, an ambitious and so far most successful development agenda set for the world,  made a profound difference to people’s lives. Finland has contributed to the achievement of the Millennium Goals of water and sanitation by supporting provision of water supply and sanitation to millions of people during the last 10 years. Progress has, however, been uneven with and within countries and future work includes providing water to some 800 million people and sanitation to 2,5 billion.

Earlier this month, the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development was agreed, to be formally adopted in the UN Post 2015 Summit in September.

The new agenda now gives us an important opportunity to bring together the work of the MDGs and the heritage of the Rio+20 process. A wide perspective like this is essential in order to reach sustainable development in all of its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental. When implementing the new agenda, we must make sure that no one is left behind.

Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal of “Sanitation for all” requires even more work and innovative solutions.

Finland has profiled as a front runner of cleantech –  our cities and rural communities have an excellent track record in environmental protection relating to human waste treatment. Advanced solid waste management and wastewater treatment, efficient sludge processing and recycling of nutrients are well tested and everyday solutions in Finland. As an example, the wastewater treatment plant of the capital Helsinki produces biogas for its own energy needs and recycles 100 % of sludge for garden soil and agricultural production. Recent changes in legislation resulted in heightened standards of sanitation required also in rural areas. To achieve these standards, the industry developed a wide range of decentralized dry sanitation and small scale waste water treatment solutions. These have now been successfully scaled up all over the country. Modern solid waste recycling systems serve citizens and make recycling easy and mainstream – even so that not recycling is now generally frowned upon!

As a Minister for Foreign Trade and Development I am pleased to note that the theme of this year’s conference – Solutions – offers excellent opportunities to strengthen the cooperation between public and private sectors, the academia and the civil society. I am very happy that also the Finnish private sector is active in this field and its expertise has been found valuable in many countries.

Finally, I want to use this opportunity to thank and congratulate the members of the Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland. The Association has been our partner since 2006, promoting dry sanitation and hygiene. Organizing the International Dry Toilet Conference, now already the 5th has been a great achievement and has helped to promote ecological sanitation movement internationally.

I wish you all a very fruitful Conference. It is time to make dry toilets an essential part of sustainable development!

Companies in the conference

Exhibition SuSanA

In the framework of the conference, there was also an exhibition of dry toilet devices and models, open for all manufacturers of hygiene products, importers and sellers of both toilets and products or services of waste treatment. We had altogether 8 companies and organization present in the exhibition. We extend our warm thanks to all the participants of the exhibition!