World Habitat Day Concept Note

Improving Municipal Solid Waste Management is critical for sustainable urban development
World Habitat Day, which is celebrated on the first Monday of October, brings attention
to UN-Habitat’s mandate to promote sustainable urban development policies that ensure
adequate shelter for all.
This year’s theme is Municipal Solid Waste Management. In 2010 it was estimated that
every day 0.8 kilograms of waste is produced by every person in the world. And the amount
of total waste generated is expected to triple to 5.9 billion tons a year by 2025, due to
increased consumption and ineffective management strategies.
Cities often spend a large proportion of their budget on Municipal Solid Waste Management
which should be at the top of the agenda for cities, their inhabitants and governments at
national and local levels. Cities should aim to become ‘Waste-Wise Cities’.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement and the New Urban
Agenda, address the key issue of solid waste management. The target of SDG11.6 is to
reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special
attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management with indicator 11.6.1
being the proportion of urban solid waste regularly collected and with adequate final discharge
out of total urban solid waste generated by cities. SDG 12 on “Sustainable Production and
Consumption” targets among other things, environmentally sound management of all waste
through prevention, reduction, recycling, reuse and the reduction of food waste.
The New Urban Agenda makes a commitment to “the environmentally sound management
and minimization of all waste”. Under the Paris Agreement, Nationally Determined
Commitments (NDCs) of many countries, include action on waste management to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. Translating the national government commitments to practical
and sustainable actions at the local level, needs the support of a network of actors with local
authorities taking the lead to maximise partnership opportunities.

Author: 
United Nations Human Settlement Programme

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