By the end of 2020 UNDP, the United Nations Development Programme signed an agreement with Waste Sweden (Avfall Sverige), the Swedish Waste Management Organization to deliver technical assistance considering the improvement of waste management in three pilot cities in China, Costa Rica and Rwanda.

The scope of the project consists of two deliverables, the Brief Inception report and Work Plan due by 22 February 2021 and the Final Report due by 30 June.

The interchange of information and knowledge throughout the project has, of course, been restricted, given the actual situation concerning Covid-19.

The overall aim of the project has been to advance the waste management in the three pilot cities aiming at zero waste and concerning climate, environmental and economic aspects. In general, the project should improve the UNDP’s ability to increase its efforts within the sector of waste management. The Inception report and the Final Report, are should be considered as a first overview and subject to determine concrete projects and studies as a next step.

The partnership agreement is between the UNDP (New York) and Waste Sweden. The pilot cities are in China, Tianjin, Costa Rica (municipalities within the Great Metropolitan Area), and in Rwanda, Kigali. Important participants from the UNDP side have been its country representatives and of course representatives from ministries and local authorities in the three pilot cities.

Waste Sweden operates its activities within the frame of this project thru its capacities and jointly thru efforts by Waste Sweden members such as Stockholm, Scavi, directly involved in the case of Tianjin, Vakin, the inter-municipal waste company in the Umeå area working with Costa Rica, the Gästrike återvinnare, the inter-municipal waste authority in the Gävle area working with Rwanda, Vafab, the inter-municipal waste authority in the Västeras area working with training issues and finally the City of Gothenburg  who prepared the final report in collaboration with the parties.

I was assigned by Vakin to facilitate the dialogue between Vakin and the municipalities in Costa Rica within the Great Metropolitian Area, as well as writing the Costa Rica sections in the final report together with the representatives from Costa Rica, the head of sustainable development at Vakin and an external expert from the University of Lund, Sweden. A number of experts from Vakin were also consulted in this process in order to finalize the report.

The final report will be delivered to UNDP June 30th 2021.