From transport to health, food to construction and textiles, plastics are among the most abundant materials in our economy. Globally, the plastic industry is valued at USD 600 billion and provides employment to millions of people worldwide. But plastic pollution has become a crisis of monumental proportions, with 8 million tons ending up in oceans annually. Around the world, different regions face unique challenges ranging from community awareness to waste and recycling capacity, to weak stakeholder engagement.
The Internet has become an integral part of the delivery of quality education nearly worldwide, except in countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal that lack easy, cost-effective Internet access. Wanting to address this academic isolation and improve higher education, these four countries approached the World Bank for help. In response, the World Bank organized a South-South Knowledge Exchange with Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam to share information on how to establish and manage National Research and Education Networks (NRENs).
The Exchange gathered experts from Bhutan, Ecuador, and Mexico to share knowledge with Bolivian government officials on “measuring” the concept of buen vivir (literally, living well) across monetary and nonmonetary dimensions of social development. Approaches used included two conferences in La Paz Bolivia, and videoconferences among participating countries. Representatives from other countries, including Venezuela and Uruguay, also participated though without direct World Bank support.