GLOBAL ALLIANCE OF WASTE PICKERS
GLOBAL ALLIANCE OF
WASTE PICKERS
The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers is a networking process supported by WIEGO, among thousands of waste picker organizations with groups in more than 28 countries covering mainly Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Supported by Logo WIEGO

Bonn Climate Change Talks

Bonn, Germany, June 1-12, 2009


Abstract

Waste picker groups from Asia and Latin America teamed up with GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives) at the UN Climate Change Talks to make a case for grassroots recycling versus burning or burying waste. The talks were held in Bonn, Germany in the at the lead up to meetings in Copenhagen in December.


Waste picker groups from Asia and Latin America teamed up with GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives) at the UN Climate Change Talks to make a case for grassroots recycling versus burning or burying waste. The talks were held in Bonn, Germany in the at the lead up to meetings in Copenhagen in December.

Until these talks, waste pickers had been absent from climate change discussions despite their contribution to reducing green house gas emissions through recycling materials such as metals, papers and plastics. Waste pickers at the talks began joining the discussion around the CDM-backed (Clean Development Mechanism) waste-to-energy projects, which often burn or bury recyclable materials and negatively affect livelihoods.

The group organized a press conference and an official side event which was very well attended.  The small panel for the side event successfully presented the relationship of waste and wasting to climate change, the role of waste pickers in global efforts against climate change, and local initiatives which can help in emission reduction goals.  Some waste picker delegates also participated in side events. Silvio Ruiz from La Asociacion de Recicladores de Bogota (ARB) shared the impacts of CDM on ARB’s work in Colombia, Baida Gaikwad of Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP) discussed the impact of waste-to-energy technologies on waste pickers in Pune, India  and Poornima Chikarmane, also with KKPKP, spoke at an event organized by the International Trade Union Confederation that called for a just transition to a green economy.