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

First International and Third Latin American Conference of Waste-Pickers in Bogota, Colombia

Bogotá, Colombia, March 1-4, 2008


Abstract

This conference was a joint effort of waste picker and support organizations from different countries. It brought together two planned events: the Third Latin American Conference of Waste Pickers, organized by the Latin American Network of Waste Pickers and supported by the AVINA Foundation, and the First World Conference of Waste Pickers, initiated by Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). An International Steering Committee made up of fourteen members from nine countries organized the Conference.


This conference was a joint effort of waste picker and support organizations from different countries. It brought together two planned events: the Third Latin American Conference of Waste Pickers, organized by the Latin American Network of Waste Pickers and supported by the AVINA Foundation, and the First World Conference of Waste Pickers, initiated by Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). An International Steering Committee made up of fourteen members from nine countries organized the Conference.

Thirty-four countries were represented at the event, which brought together participants from Latin America, Asia, Europe, North America and Africa. Participants were  wastepickers of solid waste, as well as representatives of development agencies, NGOs, private enterprise and government. The conference combined different session formats such as plenary presentations, smaller-group discussions of specific themes run as parallel sessions, and group-work by type of participant and region. The Conference was conducted primarily in Spanish with simultaneous translation into Portuguese and English.

The objectives of the Conference were to strengthen the organization and connection of informal waste pickers globally, especially women, aiming to:

  • make visible their contribution as workers to environmental protection, health and the economy and the formal solid waste management system of the municipality;
  •  ensure their effective participation and voice in all forums that affect their working lives and social position, and specifically:
    1. To share experiences among informal waste pickers from different countries across the world;
    2. To deepen understanding of, and build confidence in, the role and contribution of informal workers in the solid waste management chain;
    3. To develop strategies and approaches to common challenges, such as public policy;
    4. To develop strategies to intensify organization amongst waste pickers in the Latin American region and globally;
    5. To gather potential support from other organizations, governments, international agencies etc;
    6. To build and strengthen partnerships with other committed activists and movements;
    7. To plan a way forward for the development of regional and international networks.

Global Declaration of the 1st World Conference of Waste Pickers
At the first World Conference of Waste Pickers, grassroots organizations of waste pickers from around the world made a declaration to the public, governments, support organizations, society in general, and their own organizations, joined by technical advisor delegates and support organizations, government representatives, NGOs, universities, enterprises, micro-enterprises and other civil society groups. Download Global Declaration here