International Environmental Technology Centre 



The UNEP Governing Council of February 2013, in its decision GC 27/12 on Chemicals and Waste Management, requested UNEP “to develop a global outlook of challenges, trends and policies in relation to waste prevention, minimization and management, taking into account the materials life cycle, subject to the availability of extra-budgetary resources and in consultation with Governments and stakeholders, building on available data, best practices and success stories, taking into account the Global Chemicals Outlook and any other relevant initiatives and taking care not to duplicate existing information, to provide guidance for national policy planning.”

UNEP’s International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC), in collaboration with the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), is taking the lead on this initiative; aiming to develop the Global Waste Management Outlook as a tool to provide an authoritative overview, analysis and recommendations for action of policy instruments and financing models for waste management. The Outlook would complement and add value to previous publications by establishing standardized policy indicators and benchmarks to allow better comparative analyses of the state of waste management around the world, particularly in relation to policy and resource gaps.

The outlook will be developed through a multi-stakeholder process. The final document will be concluded within the first quarter of 2015 and the ground would be laid for subsequent regional editions.


The GWMO, considered as a continuous effort, will increase the knowledge of decision makers and policy makers on the latest achievements and state of the art thinking in waste management policies and financing models – in many different contexts- around the world in a way that will:

  • Recognize the global waste management challenges as well as the wider benefits of improved waste management, and the need of including waste management on the global policy agenda.
  • Allow each and every decision maker to understand the starting points, the next steps and the possible paths towards integrated sustainable waste management.


The objectives of the outlook are:

  • position the global challenge of waste management as an area where action is needed and respond to the question why policy and decision makers should take such action.
  • demonstrate the relation of waste management to other global challenges such as sustainable development, sustainable production and consumption, prevention, minimisation and resource efficiency and recovery, climate change, food security, etc. and establish the links to wider health and environmental policy challenges.
  • identify effective and efficient policies and financing instruments for waste management, addressing the different stages of the waste hierarchy. In doing so, the levels of development in countries and the practices in use would be taken into account. Potential ways to move forward to the results that can be achieved would be identified, recognizing the needs of both developed and developing countries.
  • recognize the importance of, and the need for, sustainable financing for improved waste management and provide economic arguments for making the business case. By addressing the cost of inaction and win-win situations, the wider benefits of improved waste management would be demonstrated, such as poverty reduction, GDP growth and job creation, improvement of health conditions and environmental quality, and progress with climate change mitigation and resource efficiency.
  • complement and add value to previous publications on waste management by establishing a set of standardized policy indicators and benchmarks , in order to allow a better analysis of the state of waste management around the world, which would help to identify and address policy and resource gaps.

Overall outline of the publication

Executive summary

1) Introduction

2) Global current challenges and the benefits of improved waste management

3) National waste management governance

4) Models for national and local financing of improved waste management

5) Summary of findings and recommendations for decision makers


Initial consultation meeting

An initial consultation meeting was held on 8 and 9 July in Paris, France. It gathered experts from governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, academia and public interest groups, to help us ensure that the Outlook is designed in a way which meets the expectations of the different stakeholder groups. Their contributions assisted in the following:

1) refinement of the scope and outline of the proposed Outlook; and

2) design of the development process, including provisions for stakeholder consultations.

The discussion paper and agenda, as well as the outcome document of the meeting is as follows:

Team Structure

GWMO Team Structure 

Editorial team

A highly experienced Editorial team has subsequently been selected who are now conscientiously working on finalising the annotated chapter outlines. The Editorial Team includes David Wilson as Editor in Chief; Costas Velis as Advisor and Contributor, Lead authors Ljiljana Rodic, Prasad Modak, Otto Simonett and Reka Soos; and Mona Iyer as Case Study Editor.

Short description of the members of the team (alphabetical order)

Costas Velis – Dr Costas Velis, BSc MSc DIC PhD MInstP MCIWM, is Lecturer in Resource Efficiency Systems at School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, in the UK. ( With over 10 years of work and research experience in innovation for waste and resources management (Chartered Waste Manager by CIWM), he serves in many national and international committees addressing relevant challenges of global scale, including the Globalisation and Waste Management Task Force of International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), and the Waste Atlas project ( He offers to his profession as Associate Editor of the academic journals Waste Management & Research, and Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology. He is Vice Chair of the Waste to Energy Resource and Technology - UK. Costas was honoured with the prestigious ISWA 2013 Publication Award for research on informal waste sector integration.

David Wilson - Professor David C Wilson has worked as a consultant for 36 years, advising cities and governments to identify and take the next appropriate steps in developing their own sustainable waste and resource management systems.  He has worked on municipal solid wastes and on hazardous wastes; in high-, middle- and low-income countries; and on topics ranging from behavior change for waste prevention, to informal sector recycling, to evidence based policy making. He has been Visiting Professor in Waste Management at Imperial College London since 2000.(

Ljiljana Rodic-Wiersma - Dr. Ljiljana Rodic-Wiersma has been doing research and teaching integrated waste management in international Master programmes at Netherlands universities for over 20 years, always combining academic insights with, what she calls, reality check around the world. She was the research co-ordinator and co-author of the UN Habitat publication ‘Solid Waste Management in the World’s Cities’ in 2010.

With background in risk analysis, reliability of environmental technologies, and the interface between technology and society, she has keen interest in sustainability.

She has pioneered education and research on Cradle to Cradle and The Natural Step at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. In parallel, due to her affinity for knowledge sharing, she has been involved in capacity building in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Balkans.

Mona Iyer - Mona Iyer is Associate Professor at Faculty of Planning, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India. She has over 14 years of experience in research, training and consultancy in water, sanitation and waste management sectors with focus on policy initiatives and project development mainly in Asia and the Pacific. She has authored sections on urban and industrial waste management in the state of environment report for Gujarat State, India. She has worked as International Solid Waste Management Specialist for ADB to Investigate SWM practices in Pacific developing member countries.

Prasad Modak: Dr Prasad Modak is the Executive President of Environmental Management Centre LLP ( In addition, he is the Dean of IL&FS Academy for Applied Development and Professor at IIT, Bombay, India. He has more than 30 years of experience in the environmental management sector. Dr. Modak's work over the past three decades has influenced environmental policies at the Governments & investments and practices in the industry on a global basis.

Dr Modak coordinated Waste Management & Recycling Chapter in UNEP's Green Economy Report and wrote Waste to Energy Manual for 3R Knowledge Hub of Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok. He steered and developed the Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) Plan for Pune, India  that was considered as a model ISWM action plan for other cities to follow. He assisted UNCRD to set up International Partnership on Waste Management for Local Authorities (IPLA) and established a web portal (

Otto Simonett - Dr Otto Simonett is geographer and director and co-founder of Zoï Environment Network’ ( He has focused his career on making complex scientific and environmental issues understandable to a broader public. Dr Simonett holds PhD in Geography, based on research focusing both on technical (Geographic Information Systems) and institutional (developing countries) issues. He has more than 25 years of international working experience with the United Nations Environment Programme and GRID-Arendal in environmental assessments, information management and capacity building. 

Reka Soos - Reka Soos is an environmental economist with 13 years of consulting experience. She is the director at RWA Group ( and associate partner at Green Partners ( Her core fields of expertise are policy development, assessments, economic modeling, pricing, financing strategies and feasibility studies. She has specific knowledge in environmental infrastructure projects, especially in the field of waste management, energy and climate change. She has worked extensively in Romania and Hungary and has been a key expert and technical team leader on international projects in South East Europe, the Newly Independent States, North Africa and Asia.


Wide consultation with a broad group of stakeholders including decision makers, the world’s leading institutions and experts in waste management will be central to the development of the GWMO.

Consultations in the format of e-regional consultations on the annotated outline took place from the 20 December 2013 to 27 January 2014.


Editorial team news (13.12.13): IETC Announcement


Further information

For further information on the project please contact Ms. Ainhoa Carpintero and cc Ms. Utako Aoike.