March 22, 2017, Kitakyushu, Japan –Japan’s City of Kitakyushu and the World Bank today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to conduct joint research, identify good practices, facility knowledge exchanges and link Japanese expertise with project-level World Bank engagements. This MOU further strengthens the close collaboration of the City and World Bank through the innovative Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) City Partnership Program with a particular impetus on addressing development challenges in the areas of green growth and efficient solid waste management.
Kenji Kitahashi, Mayor of Kitakyushu City said, “We are expecting to raise visibility of the city and increase people-to-people exchange along with our contribution in solving challenges that developing countries face.”
Kitakyushu City is recognized both nationally and globally for its success in addressing environmental challenges including air pollution, water pollution and waste disposal challenges through strong partnerships with its citizens, private sector and local government. Kitakyushu City has carried out various projects in over 57 Asian Cities based on the deployment of the “Kitakyushu Model”, which serves as a practical tookit and roadmap for stakeholders. Under this new partnership with the World Bank, TDLC is commissioning the expansion of the Kitakyushu Model, to develop a module which addresses the challenges of solid waste management and flooding that include river blockage, sludge accumulation, and water-borne diseases following disasters, if not addressed properly. Additionally, Kitakyushu City will play a key role in many global research initiatives conducted by the World Bank such as the much-anticipated update of the report which warns that the cities will generate 2.2 billion tons of solid waste per year by 2025 – an increase of 70 percent.
Paul Kriss, the World Bank’s Global Lead on City Infrastructure and Services expressed his expectations of the partnership, “We believe that Kitakyushu City is a global leader in environmental management practices and we would like to be associated with exporting its practice knowledge and know-how to our clients.”
TDLC held a Technical Deep Dive on Solid Waste Management from March 21 to 24, 2017, bringing in over 50 operational clients and Bank staff from 15 countries to engage in structure and peer-to-peer learning on effective approaches to some of the most complex development challenges that countries face in providing efficient solid waste management to their constitutions. Client delegations were instructed in the evolution of the Japan’s approach to solid waste management with a lens on the efforts and lessons learned from Kitakyushu City beginning in the 1960s. Kwabena Amankwah Ayeh, World Bank’s Senior Urban Specialist operating in Liberia said “This has been the most instructive week in my 20-year career in solid waste management.”
Following the Technical Deep Dive on Solid Waste Management, World Bank clients will be further supported in the design and implementation of their projects through the mobilization of operational support from the Japanese private and public sector through the TDLC program. “We are delighted to have a true partnership with Kitakyushu City built on our mutual commitment to catalyze tangible benefits for developing and middle income countries based on sound approaches and practical knowledge” said Daniel Levine, Senior Officer of the World Bank’s TDLC Program at the signing of the MOU.