"Environment and E-waste India", a two-year UNEP project, has started in September 2005. The project aims at reducing the environmental and health impacts due to improper e-waste recycling in India in general and industrial production e-waste in Mumbai, in particular. It also provides support to the formulation of national policies and seeks to improve income opportunities, particularly of poor communities, by changing the working conditions and job security in informal e-waste recycling sectors.

Two meetings were organized by the Indian authorities with the participation of UNEP, GTZ, EMPA and other national stakeholders. The first meeting took place on 20 September 2005 in New Delhi, during which Mr. Sudhir Mittal, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forest, stated that e-waste management was an area in which India had not sufficient regulations.

The development of policy guidelines should embrace the principle of self compliance and be based on previous national and international experiences. The leading role of the government, the participation of working groups and the assistance of GTZ, EMPA and UNEP have been recognized to be essential for the development of the Indian e-waste policy.

The second meeting focused on solving the e-waste problem in Mumbai and its surrounding area was organized by Mumbai Pollution Control Board. (MPCB) on 22 September 2005. The objective was to set up a proper collection and recycling system for e-waste which would be fully supported by government, industry and other interested stakeholders.

A rapid baseline assessment, which UNEP would actively support, was considered the first step in order to collect the data necessary for any future decision. Further steps included the set-up of a steering committee composed of the Member Secretary of MPCB and members of local industry, NGO, academic institutes, EMPA and UNEP and the creation of expert groups to study local legislative requirements and to develop the project proposal The results and the lessons learnt from the project will be formulated in such a way that they can be transferred to other developing countries through an information exchange network. The project has the financial support of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).