GAIA & GAWA in Cancun
In 2009, GAIA, WIEGO, and wastepicker groups from around the world collaboratively established the Global Alliance of Wastepickers and Allies (GAWA) and attended the Climate talks in Bonn and Copenhagen. This year, GAWA brought wastepicker leaders from several wastepicker organizations, including the Red Latin American Recyclers, the Waste Pickers’ Association in South Africa, and the wastepickers’ trade union KKPKP and the wastepickers cooperative Parisar Vikas Bhagini (both from India), to the climate talks in Cancun.
Between November 29th and December 12th, GAWA engaged in a number of actions and events to claim respect for recyclers, demand Global Climate Fund support of wastepickers’ work, and protest the Clean Development Mechanism’s financial support of incinerators and landfill gas systems around the world. The actions were covered by a variety of media that represented once more the valuable contribution of wastepickers to climate change mitigation. Our participation in the alternative spaces outside the formal meetings triggered inspiring alliances and affinities with other social movements represented there. In addition, GAWA had the chance to visit a nearby landfill and engage with local municipalities and Mexican wastepickers. See our blog for more information about these and related activities: http://tinyurl.com/388dvzaAlso in Cancun, just prior to the UNFCC climate talks, GAIA’s own Mariel Vilella spoke out about biogenic emissions involved in biomass combustion as a source of non-additional carbon credits at the 58th Executive Board Meeting of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Together with CDM Watch, an initiative of international NGOs established to provide an independent perspective on the work of the CDM EB, GAIA voiced concerns about the lack of consideration of civil society’s input into CDM EB decisions. One of the most remarkable outcomes of the session is a recommendation by the Methodological Panel of the CDM EB that the CDM methodologies ACM0001 and AM00025, which establish guidelines for waste projects in the CDM pipeline, be revised. This issue is now slated to be discussed by the CDM EB in their upcoming meetings, and thus it will be one of GAIA’s strategic goals for 2011.