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Government and the media seem to focus their attentions on the compliance levels and behaviors of corporations with relation to the environment while SMEs (small medium size enterprises) are rarely in the discussion. I was wondering what other people's views were on this subject.

As most economies' SME sector is considerably larger than the corporate sector (albeit not having the same financial leverage) shouldn't they be a point of focus to governments and the media just as much as larger corporations?

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I agree with you, Denise. This is something very common in India too. Working as an environment journalist in Kolkata, I have seen most small and medium enterprises throw caution to the winds, literally, when letting the air get polluted with their chimeys belching out smoke. Only a heavy hand dealt by the pollution control authorities could rein in the rogue enterprises. And yet, when I reported this, only a few lines of column space was spared by my newspaper. I have a feeling -it is mainly because the bigger the name hauled up, the more attention it can guarantee from the reading public..or so at least, do newspapers think. But if the press looks upon itself as doing a public service, every errant enterprise ought to be considered equally culpable.
Hi Denise and Rina

Just as the media / government pays less attention to SME's that perform poorly, they also tend to overlook the good news about SME's. For an example of some of this good news, see some of the work done by my colleagues in the International Institute for Environment and Development's Forestry and Land-Use programme. They highlight the importance of small and medium forestry enterprises in contributing to local development — but point out that this tends to be overlooked. You can read more and see their presentation here:
SME sector is getting greater attention in Bangladesh now.What is your idea about the status of focus on the Base of Pyramid (BOP) ?
Dear members of R&MN,
I am collaborating with UN interagency (UNDP, UNOPS, ILO, UNIFEM, UNESCO, UNITAR, UNHCR, WHO) program IDEASS (Innovation for Development and South-South Cooperation) in Central America.

IDEASS is part of the UN ART Initiative (Articulating Territorial and Thematic Networks for Human Development), a new form of multilateralism, involving international organizations, national governments, local authorities, non state actors, NGO, universities and civil society in International Cooperation programs in which people in Developing Countries are the main actors of their own sustainable human development.

In particular, IDEASS aims to build capacity for technology transfer in eco-innovation, focusing on SMEs and developing countries. Its activities center on getting environmentally and socially sustainable products and services from research to market, improving market conditions and bringing affordable, easy to operate and fast to apply eco-innovative responses to specific needs of developing countries.

Long term objective of IDEASS are to enhance a World network and to develop a reliable database of effective experiences to share knowledge and support SMEs in South to South, North to South and South to North partnerships for a Human Development in International Cooperation.

The on going Central America project, involving Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras, focuses on recycling technologies. I am responsible to assess a World 10 Best Recycling Technologies Catalog to be presented in promotion initiatives for SMEs in those countries. The technologies have to respect the requirements cited above.

ART Initiative and IDEASS consider Universities and Research centers fundamental in this knowledge sharing and networking processes. That's why they are the first subjects invited to participate.

Every participant is required to fill a specific form to present the technology. They will be owners of all the copyrights, patents and credits. They will be cited in all the publications and involved in eventual industrial applications and investments. Moreover they will be part of an international database. The more efficient and valid products will be part of an international permanent catalog that IDEASS will present all over the world for future employs in other countries for Development projects and partnerships.

I will be the coordinator of this first operative step on behave of Giulia Dario, UNOPS - IDEASS International Secretary, managing the relations with the selected organizing counterpart, the University of Central America in El Salvador.

If you are interested in it, please refer to me for any kind of communication.
I ll look forward to engage you and the organization you represent in the first step of this project.

You can find out more about ART and IDEASS on these web sites:

Thank you for your attention.
Kind Regards,

Annibale Ferrini



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