Press Release: Toward a Waste-free Comoros

29 mars 2024


Crédit: PNUD

Moroni, Comoros, 29 March - UNDP and UNEP Forge Alliance to Combat Waste Pollution in the Comoros Ahead of International Day of Zero Waste 2024. 

As the world gears up to celebrate the International Day of Zero Waste 2024, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) proudly announce a pioneering collaboration aimed at tackling waste pollution in the Comoros islands.

Nestled within the Western Indian Ocean ecoregion, the island of Moheli is the smallest island of the Comoros archipelago and offers stunning natural beauty. Since 2001, the Mwali UNESCO Biosphere Reserve has served as a marine park, offering a sanctuary for numerous species and ecosystems, including being the first egg-laying site for green turtles and an important breeding site for humpback whales.

Yet, Moheli faces a pressing challenge: waste management. With no formal waste disposal system in place, Moheli grapples with waste dumping and burning, posing risks to both human health and the environment. From plastic debris in the reefs to litter on the shores, urgent action is needed to mitigate the impact of waste pollution on this fragile ecosystem.

Waste management is a major concern in Comoros, as is often the case for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). One of the main challenges is that it is often not cost-effective to establish systems for collecting, sorting, treating, recycling, and disposing of certain types of waste. This is due to the amounts being generated are too small or do not meet the quality standards needed for export, recycling, or reuse. Additionally, exporting waste is complicated and expensive, making it crucial to have financial tools and incentives in place to make these efforts sustainable.

In response, UNDP and UNEP have formed the Comoros Integrated Waste Management Alliance, uniting experts, financial partners, and international organizations to address waste management challenges in the Comoros. The Alliance will actively work with municipalities and communities. This collaborative initiative builds upon the shared commitment outlined in a joint letter by UNDP and UNEP principals in October 2023, focusing on plastic pollution and other environmental issues

Crédit photo: Parley for the Oceans

The Alliance, which includes the Government of Comoros, the National Agency for Waste Management (ANGD), Pegasus Capital Advisors, and Parley for Oceans, aims to maximize impact by leveraging existing projects and initiatives in the country. These include the GEF funded Implementing Sustainable Low and non-Chemical Development in SIDS (ISLANDS) project, the Blue Green Islands Integrated Programme, as well as  the Global Fund for Coral Reefs, an innovative public-private partnership with a UN-managed grant fund and Pegasus-managed investment fund.

The inaugural mission of the Alliance, from February 26 to March 8, 2024, focused on conducting a rapid assessment and developing a program concept for an integrated waste management system, complete with short-term, medium-term, and long-term strategies.

During the mission, the Alliance engaged with various civil society associations and private sector actors involved in waste management initiatives. 

Notably, discussions were held with the Association des Femmes Actives de Mutsamudu (AFAM) in Anjouan, which shared its commendable efforts in weekly beach cleaning. Moreover, AFAM mobilized the city diaspora to procure waste trucks for the municipality, increasing the capacity of Mutsamudu in collecting waste. Such initiatives serve as inspiring examples of the power of grassroots partnerships in addressing local environmental challenges. The mission report will be available shortly, offering insights into the current waste management situation in Comoros and recommendations for action.

As the world marks the International Day of Zero Waste on March 30, UNDP and UNEP reaffirm their dedication to fostering a waste-free future for the Comoros, addressing waste pollution and environmental conservation in the region.

For those interested in joining the Alliance, please contact Vera Hakim, Deputy Resident Representative at UNDP Comoros (, or Takehiro Nakamura, Head of the International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) at UNEP (