Istanbul, June 28, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Manolis Kostidis
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, hosted a roundtable forum today bringing together leading international and Turkish waste management companies, Turkish metropolitan municipalities and the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization to help Turkey’s cities become more sustainable and combat the challenges of rapid urbanization.
Turkey’s population of 75 million produces 32 million tons of waste each year, but its landfills complying with EU standards have a total capacity of 400 million tons, and are expected to be full in 10 years. IFC’s roundtable brought together public and private sector representatives from the sector to facilitate partnerships, discuss best approaches to structuring and financing projects, and develop innovative and sustainable solutions.
“IFC is a key long-term partner for us. Beyond the financing that helps us expand our business, IFC’s standards encourage us to maintain excellence at global best practice levels and scale up sustainably,” said Jan Nahum, Chairman and CEO of Hexagon Solid Waste, a participant at the roundtable. “Through events like these, IFC also creates an important platform for the private sector, municipalities and the government to discuss sector issues openly and create solutions together.”
While waste management regulations and standards have improved significantly in Turkey over the last decade, the country could face intense challenges in municipal solid waste management, unless integrated and region-specific solutions are introduced. Significant portion of municipal solid waste is disposed at municipal dumpsites, resulting in significant environmental challenges and greenhouse gas emissions.
“Turkish cities are among the world’s fastest growing and face many urbanization challenges, which neither the private sector nor the public sector can handle alone,” said Aisha Williams, Turkey Country Manager for IFC. “We not only partner with innovative companies and Turkey’s municipalities to help address these issues, but we also aim to promote further cooperation, knowledge sharing and new partnerships with such events.”
IFC’s Cities Initiative aims to scale up its financial and advisory services offerings to help cities become more competitive by strengthening institutions and regulations; improving critical infrastructure and environmental sustainability; fostering skills and innovation, and expanding access to finance. In Turkey, a key focus country, IFC is working with the cities of Izmir, Istanbul and Antalya, providing support to develop and finance sustainable urban infrastructure projects such as waste to energy, mass public transport and waste water treatment.
Turkey is IFC’s second largest country of operations globally and host to its largest office outside Washington D.C