Webinar: Harnessing the Role of Private Sector in Waste Management through South-South Cooperation for Inclusive Urbanization, 12 September 2023

September 8, 2023
  • When: 12 September 2023, 9 – 10AM (EDT)/4 – 5PM (UTC)
  • Zoom link: to join this event virtually, please click here. No registration needed.

In celebration of the 2023 United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, on 12 September the UNDP Istanbul Center for Private Sector in Development (ICPSD) and the UNDP South-South and Triangular Cooperation team under SDG-Integration (SSTC/SDG-i), Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) are organizing a Webinar Launch for the new report “Harnessing the role of Private Sector in Waste Management through South-South Cooperation for Inclusive Urbanization.”


The theme of the 2023 United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation will be “Solidarity, Equity and Partnership: Unlocking South-South Cooperation to Achieve the SDGs”. Coming ahead of the SDG Summit, this United Nations Day will be an opportunity to highlight development needs and opportunities emerging from various regions; as well as to present transformational South-South and triangular cooperation initiatives by partnerships among Member States, the UN System, private sector, and civil society toward addressing the most acute priorities in achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

The role of South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) in sustainable development has grown substantially and increasingly requested by countries, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. In like manner, the private sector’s engagement in sustainable development in general and in SSTC in particularly is growingly contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SSTC is enriching and diversifying development efforts and means through a variety of flexible cooperation modalities, such as knowledge exchanges, technology transfers, mutual learning, peer-to- peer support and innovative financing. The private sector’s engagement further expands and enhances the outreach of SSTC. ICPSD supports private sector companies in tailoring their business models to respond to sustainable development needs by identifying and promoting good practices within the framework of SSTC to achieve the SDGs, including SDG11, “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”

Indeed, urbanization’s global surge presents a dichotomy of favourable and detrimental effects. The world generates 2.01 billion metric tons of municipal solid waste annually, and this is expected to increase by approximately 70 percent to 3.4 billion metric tons by 2050. The Global South bears the brunt of unsustainable waste management, accentuated in low-income countries hamstrung by financial and technical limitations. The Global South’s plight underscores the gravity of the issue, revealing disparities between regions. Factors including population growth, economic advancement, improved living standards, and accelerated urbanization drive municipal solid waste (MSW) production, intensifying the challenge. Complicating matters is the mismatch between waste management infrastructure and rapid but unequal progress. Deficiencies extend through collection, processing, and disposal stages. Erratic services leave vast areas underserved, while inadequate vehicle availability, often compounded by poor maintenance, leads to disruptive delays.

Scope of Work

ICPSD’s assessments of waste management across 12 cities in the Global South, with a focus on private sector-led solutions, resulted in the comprehensive report “Harnessing the Role of the Private Sector in Waste Management through South-South Cooperation for Inclusive Urbanization”. This report aims to provide a snapshot of the municipal solid waste management ecosystem in 12 cities in the Global South, with a particular focus on private sector-led best practices, inclusive growth, and sustainable financing that can be scaled up through SSTC.The cities were selected upon criteria such as GDP, total waste production and geographic variety. The report specifically refers to Municipal Solid Waste which includes food waste, paper, plastic, rags, metal and glass, although demolition and construction debris are often included in collected waste, as are small quantities of hazardous waste, such as electric light bulbs, batteries, automotive parts and discarded medicines and chemicals. By identifying and shedding light on the good practices within the context, promoting cooperation amongst the Southern countries and promoting private sector engagement in the waste management sector it is possible to replicate and scale up these practices and ultimately achieve an inclusive urbanization scenario in the future.

The report to be launched during this event outlines challenges, highlights innovative policies, and offers tailored recommendations. The report was led by the UNDP Istanbul Center for Private Sector in Development (ICPSD) and supported with inputs and guidance from the South-South and Triangular Cooperation/ SDG Integration team (SDG-i) of UNDP’s Bureau for Programme and Policy Support (BPPS) in HQ. The joint UNDP ICPSD and SSTC/SDG-i webinar features analysts and report authors fostering insights and actionable strategies for advancing sustainable waste management practices.


Moderator, Mr. Johannes Sahmland-Bowling, Private Sector Resilience Specialist at UNDP

1. Introduction (Moderated by Johannes Sahmland-Bowling, ICPSD)

  • Opening remarks: Ms. Gülçin Salıngan, Deputy Director, UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector Development (ICPSD)
  • SSTC introduction: Ms. Juliana Gargiulo, SSTC Policy Specialist, UNDP

2. Report Findings

  • Technical Specialist: Ms. Aslıhan Albostan: descriptive findings
  • SSTC Researcher: Mr. Yunis Sharifli: analysis and policy suggestion

3. Panel

  • Solid Waste Management Specialist: Mr. Weine Wiqvist, Senior Advisor, Avfall Sverige
  • ICPSD Innovative Finance Specialist: Mr. Can Atacik, Founder, Alethina Impact Investments
  • SSTC in Private Sector Researcher: Ms. Bineswaree Bolaky, Economic Affairs Officer, UNECA

4. Q+A

5. Closing remarks:

  • Ms. Xiaofang Zhou, Director, UNDP Chemicals and Waste Hub