Implementation of Waste Wise Cities Tool in Karachi, Pakistan

On World Environment Day, UN-Habitat for restoration of urban and marine ecosystem in Pakistan is launching  Waste Wise Cities Tool, in collaboration with Ministry of Climate Change, UN Environment, Sindh Environment Protection Agency and Directorate of urban policy and strategic unit, and NED University. The aim is to  analyze the challenges of solid waste management in Karachi to promote urban circular economy, restore urban and marine ecosystem leading to  clean city and healthy ocean through application of Waste Wise Cities Tool in Karachi. The event will be held in hybrid mode i.e. both physical and virtual.

Marine litter is found in all the world’s oceans and seas, even in remote areas far from human contact and obvious sources of the problem, constituting an increasing risk to ecosystem health and biodiversity, while entailing substantial economic costs through its impacts on public health, tourism, shipping, fishing and aquaculture. About 80% of marine litter originates from land-based human activities and some estimates every year at least 8 million tonnes of plastic find its way into the world’s oceans. This is rooted in unsustainable production and consumption patterns, poor solid waste management and lack of infrastructure, lack of adequate legal and policy frameworks and poor enforcement, including on interregional cross-border trade of plastic waste, and a lack of financial resources both at national and local governments.

In 2019, UN-Habitat supported UN Environment in identifying 50 land-based point-source hotspots in Africa and South Asia, using available waste management data. Karachi is identified as among the top 3 marine litter hotspots in the region. The study suggested that municipal solid waste management improvement in Karachi will have positive impacts in prevention and tackling marine litter pollution in the region.

In 2021, UN-Habitat has launched the Waste Wise Cities Tool – Step by Step Guide to Assess City MSWM Performance through SDG Indicator 11.6.1 Monitoring (WaCT). WaCT guides cities and local governments through the steps to assess the environmental performance of a municipal solid waste management (MSWM) system, food waste generation and resource recovery systems in cities. By doing so, it provides critical information for cities and countries to establish better waste and resource management strategies. In paradelle, Waste Flow Diagram, a tool to estimate potential plastic leakage to the water system was developed by GIZ.

This year, together with UN Environment, UN-Habitat would like to implement waste Wise Cities Tool survey in Karachi, where UN-Habitat will provide technical support and capacity development . To kick off the project, UN-Habitat and UN Environment will co-organize an event on World Environment Day in Karachi, launching Waste Wise Cities Tool in Pakistan and celebrating the planned Waste Wise Cities Tool application in Karachi funded by UN Environment. This is a part of the celebration taking place from 25 May to 5 June, which is co-organized between UN Environment and Ministry of Climate Change of Pakistan.