Since its creation, FFEM has dealt with pollution and waste management in a cross-cutting way. The scale of pollution-related impacts on the environment and on health, as well as the lack of funding to fight it, led us to make pollution a key aspect of our strategy in 2023.


Pollution generated by chemicals and hazardous waste threatens ecosystems and human health. 92% of pollution-related illnesses and deaths occur in developing countries.1 The FFEM therefore supports projects that fight pollution and introduce circular solutions using integrated approaches that consider the entire product life cycle

Collecte dechets plastiques AMP St Louis projet RAMPAO
Aerial view of waterfront village in Uganda

Source reduction and the circular economy

Lac Victoria

Source reduction and the circular economy

Today’s consumption and production patterns generate pollution and waste, most of which is burned in the open air or dumped into natural ecosystems. Due to inadequate management, an estimated 4.8 million to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in oceans each year.1 These observations confirm the urgent need for source reduction and better waste management. Better management of solid waste and recycling could cut global GHG emissions by 10-15%. Preventing waste production could further increase this reduction from 15 to 20%.2 This shows the potential of the 3R strategy (reduce, reuse and recycle) to improve ecosystem and population health and limit climate change.

The FFEM therefore promotes the transition from a linear economic model (manufacture, consume, discard) to a sustainable circular model based on source reduction.

Preventing the risks associated with chemical products


Preventing the risks associated with chemical products

Chemicals are a source of pollution that can harm people and other living organizms (cell mutagenesis, neurological damage, reproductive and developmental damage, metabolic effects, immunotoxicity, pulmonary inflammation, emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria1). Rational management of the chemical life cycle (extraction, production, consumption, treatment, and disposal) is key to guaranteeing the health of ecosystems and populations.

The FFEM is particularly interested in approaches that help achieve:

  • the goals of the Stockholm Convention to eliminate the use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by 2025 and
  • the environmentally sound management of waste liquids containing PCBs and equipment contaminated by PCBs by 2028, as well as initiatives that promote alternatives to mercury use in gold mining. These issues are both extremely important in places where the FFEM provides funding.

Sustainable channels to manage hazardous waste

2016-Cameroun-Secteur informel D3E Yaoundé

Sustainable channels to manage hazardous waste

Hazardous waste presents major risks to health and the environment. This is particularly true in developing countries, which still have very limited access to adequate and effective hazardous waste management services. In many cases, organizational, institutional, and regulatory frameworks need to be strengthened to foster an environment that allows for the development of hazardous waste management channels. The digital and energy transitions and the growth of electric mobility have also led to risks associated with the increased production of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

The FFEM therefore supports projects to prevent hazardous waste production; promote its reuse, recycling, or recovery; and develop effective and sustainable waste management channels (from collection to treatment). We are particularly interested in WEEE; waste containing POPs, mercury, or other heavy metals; and obsolete stocks of pesticide and plastic waste.


projects funded since 1995
€30 M
committed to waste and pollution management over the past 28 years

 A multidisciplinary approach

Given that humans are the origin of most waste and pollution, with devastating consequences on the health of terrestrial and marine ecosystems, wildlife and human populations, the FFEM encourages projects that tackle these problems in conjunction with our other priority themes. In particular, the FFEM promotes an integrated approach to sustainable consumption and production that focuses for instance on waste and pollution reduction in the agri-food, energy and construction sectors..

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strategic document

Strategy document 2023-2026

Strategy document 2023-2026

Feb 2023

Brochure presenting the Avaclim project

Global warming is impacting ecosystems and biodiversity globally, but particularly so in arid region

Feb 2021
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