20 July 2020 – UN-Habitat’s Executive Director virtually opened the Signing Ceremony of the Waste Wise Cities Challenge, which brings together cities looking to improve management of their municipal solid waste with mentor cities, saying it was “an important moment in the history of city-to-city collaboration”.

“It is this kind of solidarity that you are demonstrating today that is needed to defeat the current pandemic and that will be needed for tackling other similar crises that may emerge in the future,” said the Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif.

The virtual ceremony marked the official beginning of the collaboration between cities looking for support on managing their rubbish and mentor cities committed to share their good practices and expertise.

Eleven out of the 20 cities involved took part in the Ceremony.  Participants included the Mayors of Ainab and Rmeish Lebanon; Jambi, Indonesia; Kushtia, Bangladesh and Ratnapura, Sri Lanka, as well as the Additional Commissioner of Indore, India and the city/municipality managers/metropolitan coordinating director of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Ghalboun Lebanon and Cape Coast, Ghana.

“I believe the Waste Wise Cities Challenge opens a new window of opportunities for us in an area that is of high priority for cities,” said Stefan Wagner, Head of Department for International and Global Sustainability, City of Bonn, Germany which is a supporter city for Cape Coast.

“It is our own responsibility to make Jambi City clean. We encourage participation from all stakeholders in handling the waste. We aim for working with communities, NGOs, the private and informal sector.  We are committed to this Waste Wise Cities Challenge and we are looking forward to working together with Ratnapura to share best practices and learn from each other about waste management,” said Mayor H. Syarif Fasha, of Jambi City, Indonesia.

Andre Dzikus, Chief of Urban Basic Services Section at UN-Habitat, concluded the ceremony mentioning the plan to present the results at the next World Urban Forum in two years time saying: “It has been really a great pleasure listening to you and to the visions you have of working together, of having clean streets and public spaces in 2022. ”

More information about the challenge is here https://unhabitat.org/un-habitat-pairs-cities-striving-to-manage-their-municipal-solid-waste-with-expert-counterparts

Since its launch on World Habitat Day on 7 October 2018, more than 165 cities across the globe have joined UN-Habitat’s Waste Wise Cities. 

UN-Habitat also welcomes donors including private sector organisations, charities and foundations to support efforts to improve waste management and invites cities to join Waste Wise Cities. For more information visit https://unhabitat.org/waste-wise-cities  or contact wastewisecities@un.org.