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Global Wastewater Initiative (GW2I)
by Global Wastewater Initiative (GW2I) (Partnership)
Objectives: The Initiative is envisaged to prompt synchronized action, and encourage new investments in wastewater management that will bring a paradigm shift in world water politics, not only to prevent further damage due to poor wastewater management but to emphasize that wastewater is a resource whose effective management is essential for future water security, and to take action to transform the existence of wastewater from a problem to an opportunity

Implementation methodologies: The GW2I has 4 components through which it implements its objectives. These are -: 1. Addressing Data gaps and trends &, generating knowledge
This includes collecting, compiling, analyzing and verifying available data on wastewater production, collection and discharge and quantifying the economic, health and environmental impacts of unsafe wastewater disposal as well as reuse worldwide.
-Developing monitoring mechanisms and tools for wastewater and water quality so as to fast-track the implementation and monitoring of the wastewater relevant targets in the SDG targets and indicators.
-Collaborative research projects and programs designed to address knowledge gaps related to the causes of inappropriate wastewater generation and subsequent impacts thereof contribute to potential solutions and opportunities for resource recovery and reuse.

2. Capacity Development and Training
This involves identifying the capacity gaps of different target groups to undertake diagnosis, formulate appropriate policies, select suitable cost-effective technologies, and implement effective solutions to mitigate wastewater impacts and recover resources from wastewater, which are then assessed, and training materials and methods are developed to address these gaps.

3. Promotion of best practices, technologies and successful policies
This includes documenting and promoting successful research-based and field-tested practices and technologies for wastewater reduction, collection, treatment and safe reuse/and recycling ; Documenting Successful laws, regulations, plans, programs, economic instruments and institutional arrangements for wastewater reduction, collection, treatment and safe reuse/and recycling

4. Awareness raising and communication
The key outputs from the above-mentioned focal areas are disseminated to raise awareness of wastewater as a valuable resource, the risks from untreated wastewater disposal and to promote the development and implementation of wastewater management policies, technologies, financial instruments, and best practices.

Follow up mechanisms: Follow up on the activities of the GW2I is mainly through site visits to on the ground projects i.e. wastewater demonstration projects; face to face as well as regular steering committee meetings.

Governance: The GW2I is governed by a steering committee which includes members from Governments, UN agencies, Academia, NGOs as well as the private sector. The chair is Government of Turkey (Turkish water Institute) with UN habitat as the co-chair

Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Wastewater treatment
-Improve knowledge on wastewater management and sanitation provision in collaboration with African Development Bank, and GRID-Arendal. The project will provide data and knowledge on some of the indicators for tracking progress towards achievement of the SDGs. Through a range of products that include news and policy briefs, maps, graphics, and an atlas, the project will engage experts across Africa as well as provide a platform for regular discussion and sharing of ideas.
-Other new deliverables will be based on the outcome of the upcoming intergovernmental review of the GPA in October 2017, (Global Programme of Action for the protection of Marine Environment from Land based Activities) under which the Global Wastewater initiative falls.
May 2015
Publication “Wastewater Technology Matrix”, developed in collaboration with International Water Association (IWA). It is a computerized decision making tool meant to provide technical guidance to municipal wastewater managers so that they are able to make the most environmentally friendly and sustainable decisions possible when designing and upgrading their wastewater treatment systems. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vepn18zln7vmgkp/AABM-nYNwzFWK3oLIuQFphNra?dl=0
May 2016
Pilot demonstration project in Khobi Municipality in Georgia on“Reducing the pollution of the Black Sea by introducing sustainable wastewater and nutrient management in Rural Georgian Communities”. This project supported construction of urine diverting dry toilets and sand filters and training of artisans who will be able to continue spreading these technologies throughout the region as a part of their livelihood. It also led to the implementation of community based water quality sampling in order to raise awareness of the prevalence of contaminated water, thus catalyzing action to improve water quality and thus health in the target villages.
November 2015
October 2016
Establishment of 2 regional platforms of the Global wastewater Initiative; Regional platform for Asia currently being hosted by China Beijing Environmental Exchange, established in 2015. The regional platform for the Caribbean established in October 2016 and being hosted by the Caribbean Water and wastewater association.
Staff / Technical expertise
UN Environment as the secretariat of the Global Wastewater Initiative (GW2I)
Basic information
Time-frame: May 2013 - May 2017
AfDB (Development Bank), ADB (Development Bank), DHI (Govt), FAO (UN), GEF (Development Fund), IAEA (UN), Jacob U.K Ltd(Private sector), Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Academia), UEMOA (Rec), Convention on Biological Diversity (MEA), UN DESA (UN), Prana Sustainable Water (Private sector),UNDP (UN), UNICEF (UN), UNU-INWEH(UN Academia), USEPA (Govt), WECF (NGO), WHO (UN), Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (MEA), International Water Management Institute (Research), CUTEC-Institute GmbH (Academia), ECOTURISMO Y NUEVAS TECNOLOGIAS (Private sector), UNIDO (UN), IADB (Development Bank), UN-Habitat (UN), FDL Antigua (Govt), ICLEI (NGO), Dushtha Shasthya Kendra (NGO), UICN(NGO), IWA (NGO), Waterlex (NGO), UNSGAB (UN), BORDA (NGO), UNESCO (UN), SUEN(Govt), CBEEX (Govt), AquaSPE AG (Private sector), UoN (Academia), Envisager (Private sector), Jordanian National Forum for Women (NGO), Agua inc. (Private sector), CENTA (Private sector), Acquawise (Private sector), FED (Civil society org), WTC Network (Civil society org), WBCSD (Non profit), USDA (Govt), ZeroDig (Pty) Ltd (Private sector), University of Lomé (Academia), SEI (Non profit), UN Water (UN), INGREF (Govt), NWSC (Govt), GSEP (Private sector), FarmStrong Foundation(private sector), National Mission for Clean Ganga (Govt), WWWS (Private sector)
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Antigua and Barbuda
Other beneficaries
PERSGA Countries
Contact information
Birguy Lamizana, Programme Officer, GPA, Birguy.Lamizana@unep.org, +254-(20)-762-4163
Nairobi, Kenya
Other SDGs
United Nations