• Overview
  • Organizers
  • Speakers
  • Useful links

Over the last decades, wastewater infrastructures have been under constant, increasing pressure. The growing demand for water coupled with the augmented number of anthropogenic activities has increased the global production of wastewater, resulting in the need for building new and upgrading the existing infrastructures, especially in developing countries. However, the limited availability of financial resources undermines this process, with huge amounts of wastewater, on average 80% worldwide, being released in the environment without adequate treatment, or in many cases, without treatment at all. This trend negatively impacts the environment, with enormous quantities of dangerous pollutants entering our rivers, lakes, and oceans, and heavy repercussions on human health too, especially for poor communities. The development and upgrading of wastewater infrastructures are also key to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 6.3, which targets to halve the proportion of untreated wastewater released in the environment by 2030.

Investing in sustainable wastewater infrastructures is not only ecologically, but also economically necessary: the cost of not investing and the impact this might have on job creation, gender equality, and health is far higher than the investments’ costs. When appropriately managed, wastewater can, in fact create green job opportunities, improve food security, provide energy and alleviate the existing pressure on water resources.

This webinar will discuss tools, mechanisms and best practices related to sustainable wastewater management, particularly focusing on wastewater infrastructures and the related aspect of financing. The speakers will elaborate on the challenges and opportunities of developing and upgrading wastewater infrastructures and will provide their expertise and examples on this topic.

To join the webinar, on the scheduled day and time of the webinar, please use the following link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/420647045.

4:00 pm to 5:30 pm, Nairobi time (EAT)


The webinar is organized by the Global Wastewater Initiative (GW²I), a multi-stakeholder platform bringing together UN agencies, international organizations, governments, scientists, the private sector and non-profit organizations with the goal of information-sharing and cooperation for an effective and comprehensive response to the challenges posed by wastewater management.

The Global Wastewater Initiative (GW²I) is hosted by the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA) of UN Environment, an intergovernmental cooperation mechanism that aims to prevent the degradation of the marine environment from land-based activities. Initially established to address nine source categories of marine pollution (sewage, persistent organic pollutants, radioactive substances, heavy metals, oils, nutrients, sediment mobilization, litter and physical alteration and destruction of habitat), the Programme has, since 2012, focused on marine litter, nutrient pollution, and wastewater. Together with its partners and through the Global Wastewater Initiative (GW²I), the GPA seeks to enhance the understanding of wastewater as a resource and works on various issues related to sustainable wastewater management including policy guidelines, technology, knowledge generation, capacity building, and awareness-raising.

Valérie Issumo – Co-founder, Prana Sustainable Water

Valerie Issumo is an economist with 24 years’ experience in commodity trading, logistics and risks management in multinational and SMEs. During her career she always fought for trading and traders to be an accelerator of good practices. With the focus on increasing wastewater reuse as energy, clean water, fertilizer footprints or inputs in products and/or services, she co-founded Prana Sustainable Water. To create jobs and correlate trade, impact and infrastructure finance efficiently, proactively and transparently, Valerie designed W2AREX, a WasteWater Reuse Exchange. Her journey to set-up W2AREX and smart contracts commoditizing wastewater treatment capacities as well as monetizing wastewater supplies has been rewarded during the Singapore Water Week and by many stakeholders.

Christopher Corbin – Senior Programme Officer, UN Environment, Caribbean Environment Programme

Christopher Corbin is a Senior Programme Officer with the Ecosystems Division of the United Nations Environment Programme. He is based at the Secretariat for the Cartagena Convention in Kingston, Jamaica with responsibility for the Wider Caribbean Region. Chris coordinates the Pollution Sub-Programme and oversees projects and activities for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals on oceans, water and sanitation. Mr. Corbin, a Saint Lucian national, has over 29 years of programme and project management experience. His technical training is in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment and he has been recently involved in the development and implementation of wastewater management and investment projects.

Thierry De Oliveira – Programme Management Officer, UN Environment

Dr. Thierry De Oliveira is a Programme Management Officer attached to the Science Division, UN Environment. He is responsible for innovative financing and green business solutions, as well as for natural capital accounting and macroeconomic modelling. Thierry is also GEF Task Manager for Cameroon on capacity development for environmental information system and environmental taxation. He supports scientific and thematic assessments with special focus on the role of market-based and economic instruments as they relate to policy responses. Thierry also supports REDD+ initiatives throughout the Africa region, evaluating the cost and benefits of policies and economic instruments as responses to the negative effects of climate change.

The webinar will be moderated by Birguy Lamizana, Programme Management Officer, UN Environment and Riccardo Zennaro, Associate Programme Officer UN Environment.

Dr. Birguy Lamizana has more than 20 years of working experience in the field of ecosystems and water management, environmental impacts assessments, community involvement and capacity building related to integrated water resources management and ecosystem restoration. Before joining UNOPS in 2009, and UN Environment in 2012, Birguy served as Coordinator of the IUCN West Africa Regional Wetlands and Water Resources Programme. She was also the Regional Coordinator for the Global Water Partnership (GWP), and Technical Advisor for the Water Partnership Programme Trust Fund of the African Development Bank (AfDB). Birguy is currently Programme Management Officer in charge of wastewater management at UN Environment.

Riccardo Zennaro is an Associate Programme Officer for wastewater management at UN Environment in Nairobi, Kenya. Passionate about water, he has previously worked with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna and Belgrade on environmental co-operation, water management, and environmental governance. He has also worked with the European Commission in Brussels on energy and water, with UN Environment on freshwater, and with an Italian NGO on water supply and food security in Tanzania. Riccardo has a Master’s degree from the Vienna University of Technology and Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Austria.