Nairobi, Kenya, 28 February – 2 March 2022
Fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) in Kenya.
The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers will be participating in the Fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5).
This session of UNEA is an opportunity for Member States and Stakeholders to share best practices for sustainability and create momentum for governments to build back better through green and sustainable recovery plans, following the COVID-19 pandemic. Substantive matters that require in-depth negotiations, including a Ministerial Declaration under the UNEA-5 theme “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”, were deferred to a resumed in-person session of UNEA-5 which will take place on 28 February – 2 March 2022 (UNEA-5.2).
For the past three years, the Global Alliance of Waste Pickers has been undertaking an extensive process to collectively develop recommendations for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) that integrates waste pickers.
What are we doing at UNEA?
Globalrec’s delegation made it to Nairobi and made a strong statement in UNEA5.2, focusing on reducing plastic pollution. The message is loud and clear: plastic waste management without waste pickers is garbage. Our t-shirts were a success and for sure got everyone’s attention.
This declaration “Call for Recognition of Waste-pickers in International Legally Binding Instrument on Plastics Pollution” was read by Soledad Mella, representative of the Global Alliance of Waste pickers and president of the Asociación Movimiento Nacional de Recicladores de Chile (ANARCH), during the 5th UNEA Plenary session on February 28th, 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya. – Read the full declaration “Call for Recognition of Waste-pickers in International Legally Binding Instrument on Plastics Pollution”:
It is a historical moment for the Waste Pickers movement! It’s the 1st time that informal recyclers are mentioned in the United Nations Environmental Resolution!
The statement mentions that their contribution in collecting, sorting and recycling plastics is recognized, and it further states that we need to learn from the best practices of informal and cooperative settings. Watch the exact moment when UNEA5.2 approves the adoption of a mandate to negotiate a Plastics Treaty to End Plastic Pollution.
Participation in other panels and events
Meetings with UNEA president and others
Globalrec’s official delegation of Waste Pickers met Mr. Espen Barth Eide, President of UNEA and Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment. They had lunch before UNEA’s opening and discussed the role and importance of informal workers in collecting, sorting and recycling plastics and waste.
The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers delegation also met:
- Mr. Amit Love, Scientist, Hazardous Waste Management, and representative of Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India in the #UNEA5.2 negotiations. (He is also the author of EPR guidelines. He has invited the Alliance of Indian Waste pickers (AIW) representatives to meet him in Delhi. He told the@ that the norms in India mandate waste pickers’ inclusion and integration so any resolution in UNEA5.2 on informal workers and waste pickers will have the endorsement of the Government of India).
- Mr. Magin Herrera López, Vice Minister of Environment, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Forest Management and Development of Bolivia.
- Mr. Lino Santacruz, Alternative representative of Mexico in UNEP and UN HABITAT, who is participating in #UNEA5.2 negotiations.
- Chilean ambassador Maria Alejandra Guerra in Kenya
Get to know our representatives: