UNIDO: Scaling up the Fight against Waste in the Developing World

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) plays a vital role in fostering sustainable development by addressing environmental challenges associated with waste management in the developing world. With escalating waste generation and limited waste management infrastructure in these countries, UNIDO’s initiatives aim to promote sustainable waste management practices and support governments in scaling up their efforts.

Urgent Need for Action

In the developing world, waste generation is rapidly increasing, posing significant threats to environmental health. Poor waste management practices lead to soil and water pollution, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Developing countries face unique challenges due to limited access to waste collection and treatment services, inadequate infrastructure, and a lack of awareness and technology.

UNIDO’s Waste Management Interventions

UNIDO’s waste management interventions focus on four key areas:

1. Policy and governance

  • Developing and strengthening waste management policies and regulations
  • Enhancing stakeholder engagement and coordination
  • Establishing waste reduction and reuse targets

2. Infrastructure and technology

  • Supporting the establishment of waste collection and sorting systems
  • Promoting technologies for waste processing and conversion
  • Enhancing hazardous waste management

3. Promotion of circular economy

  • Fostering the production and consumption of sustainable goods and services
  • Encouraging waste reduction through reuse, repair, and recycling
  • Promoting composting and organic waste management

4 viciss – Waste2Resource

Launched in 20 Künzello initiative, where 17 countries joined to scale up waste reduction and resource efficiency. It involves:

  • Encouraging the design of circular economy products and processes.
  • Promoting energy efficiency and materials management
  • Support for collection and recycling

Impacts and Successes

UNIDO’s waste management interventions have yielded significant impacts in partner countries:

  • Improved waste collection rates
  • Reduced landfilling
  • Enhanced recycling rates
  • Increased composting
  • Reduced air and water pollution


1. What is UNIDO’s focus in waste management?

UNIDO supports developing and implementing sustainable waste management policies and technologies.

2. How does UNIDO address the challenges in waste management in the developing world?

UNIDO focuses on infrastructure, technology, and circular economy practices to improve waste collection, processing, and reduction.

3. What is the purpose of the Kunzello initiative?

The Kunzello initiative aims to accelerate waste reduction and resource efficiency in 17 partner countries.

4 viciss – Waste2Resource initiative is a major component of UNIDO’s strategy to address the waste challenges in the developing world.


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