UN-Habitat: South-South and Triangular Cooperation Featured Partner


The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations agency working towards a better urban future. Its vision – “A better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world” – challenges UN-Habitat and its partners to enhance national and international efforts towards addressing the challenges of urbanization, and reflects both an aspirational ideal and a real need. UN-Habitat sees urbanization as a process that can transform territories, connecting human settlements across the urban-rural continuum and ensuring access to adequate and affordable housing, basic services and infrastructure for all. We work to promote urbanization as a positive transformative force for people and communities, which reduces inequality, discrimination and poverty. UN-Habitat’s mission is to promote transformative change in cities and human settlements through knowledge, policy and technical assistance, and collaborative action to leave no one and no place behind.

UN-Habitat and South-South Cooperation

UN-Habitat is committed to support member states and local governments to address the global challenge of waste management through its work and several initiatives. Many success stories on waste management exist worldwide, but local governments often do not have access to these success stories and good practices, especially in low-income countries. They are faced with their day-to-day problems and cannot manage to see the possibilities waste management offers. Thus, UN-Habitat encourages city-to-city partnerships between communities with similar settings, as well as the sharing of knowledge, success stories and good practices on a regular basis. The goal is to foster collaboration and facilitate dialogue and exchange among cities, with a special focus on South-South cooperation.

Initiatives in Focus

In order to tackle solid waste management issues and to foster a new circular economic business models through South-south Cooperation, UN-Habitat launched two initiatives: African Clean Cities Platform (ACCP) and Waste Wise Cities Campaign (WWCC).

African Clean Cities Platform (ACCP)

ACCP was jointly established by UN-Habitat, UNEP, the Japanese Ministry of Environment, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Yokohama City in April 2017. ACCP’s mission is to have clean and healthy African Counties and Cities by 2030, supporting its members to identify the most suitable measures and solutions for appropriate waste management and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ACCP assists its members through knowledge sharing and networking; human resource development and investment opportunities. ACCP has 36 countries and 65 cities part of its network.

 Waste Wise Cities Campaign (WWCC)

WWCC was launched on World Habitat Day in October 2018. This campaign is a call for action targeting cities and local government to achieve waste management-related SDGs – Target 11.6, 12.3 (on food waste), 12.4 (on chemical waste), 12.5 (on waste generation reduction) and 14.1 (on marine litter), as well as implement the New Urban Agenda. Based on the SDG indicator 11.6.1 (proportion of municipal solid waste regularly collected and disposed in controlled facilities, out of the total waste generated by a city), UN-Habitat Waste Management team within the Urban Basic Services Section has developed a methodology to monitor the progress towards this target. The campaign has now reached 143 member cities.

The Approach

UN-Habitat and partnered entities seek to assist cities to improve their waste management through four pillars: waste management data and monitoring; knowledge and good practice sharing, advocacy and education, and project finance and bankability support. This campaign also explores the opportunities to move towards circular economy business models, create job opportunities and enhance income for the urban poor.

These two initiatives offer opportunities to establish South-South engagements among emerging countries and cities, by supporting and spreading knowledge on replicable waste management practices around the globe. UN-Habitat collects and shares best practices and innovative solutions with its member cities, aimed at tackling waste management issues and transform waste into wealth. For example, on World Habitat Day 2019, UN-Habitat launched a call to identify the twenty most innovative ideas and projects to recover resources from waste and foster circular economy business models for creating wealth and wellbeing. Member cities can access best practices, learn, engage and establish collaboration with one another.

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