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Solid Waste Management: The Forgotten, Underestimated Child and its Critical Role for Current and Future Crises

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While often overlooked in debates about how to reach climate goals, solid waste management can hugely contribute; if waste is mismanaged, the whole sector becomes a net-emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. However, if properly managed and the first steps are taken towards a circular economy, the sector can hugely help mitigate emissions from cities. This holds also true for COVID-19: while the world focuses on washing hands, solid waste collection and treatment needs to continue in a safe way to avoid the spread of other diseases and ensure proper disposal of increased amounts of medical waste and potentially infectious waste from municipal solid waste stream.

This session highlights how partnerships can harness opportunities to:

  • Respond climate emergencies effectively in COVID-19 situation;
  • Maintain or even expand MSWM service delivery in crisis situation and
  • Build back better for climate resilience

Outcomes include:

  • Increased knowledge on climate emergency response in COVID-19 time
  • Disseminated knowledge on city-to-city partnerships through UN-Habitat’s Waste Wise Cities Challenge
  • Provided networking opportunities among participants on the topic of response to climate emergency in COVID-19 time


  • Francesca Calisesi, Associate Officer, Solid Waste Management, UN-Habitat

Keynote speaker

  • Andre Dzikus, Chief of Urban Basic Services Section, UN-Habitat


  • Kruti Munot, Project Manager, CoM SSA (Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa), GIZ
  • Sho Miura (Mr.), Deputy Director, Environmental Management Group, Global Environment Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
  • Antonis Mavropoulos, CEO D-Waste, Former ISWA President
  • Verena Schwarte, Office for International Affairs and Global Sustainability, Federal City of Bonn, Germany
  • Emmanuel Ikpe Quacou, Metropolitan Development Planner, Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly, Cape Coast, Ghana