Thursday, 22 March 2018 12:12

Multi-stakeholder city-wide debris management master plan initiated in UN Environment and UN-Habitat 2-day workshop in Mosul

On 19-20 March 2018, the UN Environment and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) hosted a workshop in Mosul to develop debris management scenarios.

In July 2017, Mosul was liberated from ISIS after several months of intense fighting. The end of fighting left the city with a massive debris challenge from widespread destruction of infrastructure and homes. With the high-level of infrastructure destruction, there is great concern over how to deal with the colossal volumes created by the conflict which is highly contaminated with unexploded ordinance, booby-traps and potentially other hazardous materials.

Drawing on damage assessment form satellite image analysis and field assessments conducted by UN-Habitat and UN Environment, it is estimated that the city has around 8 million tons of conflict debris which is equivalent to three times the Great Pyramid of Giza.

“Almost nine months since the liberation of Mosul, we think the time is now ripe to plan debris removal in a structured manner to ensure that it is done correctly. This not only makes economic sense. It is also important as unplanned disposal of debris can create serious health and environmental risks and burdensome economic liabilities in the future,” said UN Environment Programme Manager, Hassan Partow at the workshop.

Mazin Talat, UN-Habitat Regional Coordinator, stated that the development of a comprehensive, evidence-based debris management plan that enables environmentally-sensitive disposal and recycling of debris is key to ensuring that Mosul residents can return to the city and rebuild their homes and livelihoods in a sustainable manner.

The workshop brought together key government departments in Mosul implementing debris removal efforts, as well as experts on demining and explosives, historic buildings, legal matters, the environment, and representatives from local communities and the private sector. UN agencies and other international institutions also participated in the meeting.

Specialized debris management experts presented the findings from comprehensive field assessment on debris management in Mosul and a modelling system to create debris clearance scenarios based on different operational approaches. The scenarios were revised by the workshop participants based on their priorities and will help inform the debris planning process.

At the end of the workshop, participants reached consensus on the need for a multi-stakeholder city-wide debris management master plan that would provide a road map to guide all actors. It was agreed that a committee to develop a consultative debris management plan led by Mosul municipality be set-up with all relevant stakeholders.

For their part, UN agencies present expressed their strong interest to backstop Mosul Municipality in developing the debris management plan and help mobilize support from development partners for its implementation.

For further information, please contact:

Alan Miran
Media and Communications Specialist, UN-Habitat Iraq
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mobile: + 964 750 342 7036

Sophie Brown
Communications Officer, UN Environment
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Additional Info

  • Agency: UN-HABITAT

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