Barbra Weber, delegate of the International Alliance of Waste Pickers and from Ground Score (USA), spoke at INC-3 in Nairobi, Kenya, on November 14th, 2023, to address the plenary:
“I am Barbra Weber, accredited with Trash for Peace, representing the International Alliance of Waste Pickers with the membership of 460,000 organized waste pickers in 34 countries. We at the International Alliance of Waste pickers welcome the increased interest in the important issue of Just Transition and waste pickers. Yesterday morning waste pickers and workers in informal settings were mentioned first by UNEP Executive Director, Inger Anderson, followed by His Excellency President of Kenya, William Ruto. Following them the statements by the regions GRULAC, and Africa explicitly requested to include just transition for waste pickers. We welcome the initiatives and have the following key asks for the member states:
- Incorporate specific reference to waste pickers in the text, alongside existing references to workers in informal and cooperative settings to acknowledge their particular vulnerability and their vital role in the waste management process
- Define essential terms, such as ‘waste pickers,’ ‘workers in informal and cooperative settings’ and ‘Just Transition’ to enhance clarity and understanding.
- Establish cross-references to ‘Just Transition’ in several relevant sections, including the Objectives section, to emphasize its relevance throughout the document and ensure all member states mandatorily undertake measures for Just Transition.
These measures will benefit millions of waste pickers around the globe in high, middle and low income countries including small island developing states, and give them a recognition which will open the path for a real just transition”.