The increasing volume and complexity of waste associated with modern economies is posing a serious risk to ecosystems and human health. Every year, an estimated 11.2 billion tons of solid waste are collected worldwide, according to the UN Environment Programme.
The adoption of a new agenda to transform the world's cities will be "useless" unless countries and cities implement it.
That's the passionate view of Joan Clos, Secretary-General of the UN's Habitat III conference which ends on Thursday in Quito, Ecuador.
The once-every 20-years conference on Sustainable Urban Development has been focused on making cities and towns better places to live, through a non-binding New Urban Agenda, agreed by all Member States.
The ‘BreatheLife’ campaign highlights measures cities can implement to minimize impacts, including through better housing, transport and waste and energy systems.