Embracing sustainable infrastructure that is green, circular, inclusive, resilient, fiscally sustainable, and of high quality is crucial for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) can promote the development of such infrastructure projects by putting people as the main beneficiaries and by placing much needed attention to the environmental dimension of projects.
The 6th UNECE International PPP Forum, held on 4-6 May 2022 in Barcelona, Spain addressed such vital infrastructure challenges and discussed the opportunities of the UNECE approach to PPPs for the SDGs to ensure the sustainability of infrastructure projects at national and local levels.
More than 400 participants and 140 speakers joined the Forum, with more than half attending in-person. Over 20 sessions were held on topics such as climate change, the circular economy, digital transformation, green procurement, the blue economy and waste-to-energy, among other cross-cutting themes. Furthermore, 16 different case studies were showcased at the Forum for their contribution to sustainable development and were selected using the UNECE People-first PPP Evaluation Methodology for the SDGs – a tool used to assess the compliance of PPPs and infrastructure projects with the SDGs.
This methodology was the Forum’s leitmotiv, with panellists and participants emphasising its relevance in assessing the performance of PPP projects against the SDGs to identify, design and develop infrastructure projects that help achieve sustainable development.
Throughout the three-day event, panellists stressed the importance of the UNECE five desirable PPP outcomes for the SDGs, and, in particular, the need to engage with all stakeholders during the PPP process. Several Forum sessions also echoed the UNECE work on PPPs for the SDGs and the circular economy. For instance, using the Guidelines on Promoting People-first PPPs for Waste-to-Energy Projects for the Circular Economy as a roadmap, panellists discussed the importance of a PPP approach for the SDGs in Waste-to-Energy projects for non-recyclable waste, to ensure “value for people” and “value for the planet” within the circular economy agenda.
More information on the UNECE PPP work can be found at http://www.unece.org/ceci/ppp.html