GAIA IN ASIA PACIFIC
Falsely blamed as the source of pollution and the nexus of our plastic crisis, the Asia Pacific region is full of examples that counter this narrative perpetuated by an unjust system of waste trade across countries. GAIA’s work in Asia Pacific is focused on spotlighting and providing support for the many innovative and on-the-ground zero waste solutions. Our work also seeks to remedy the systemic injustices of global waste trade—which depends on the cheap labor and lower standards of environmental protection in developing countries—by stopping waste trade and putting an end to burn technologies such as incinerators exported from countries in the Global North, China, and Japan.
In the span of 20 years, GAIA Asia Pacific has successfully shut down 19 incinerator projects and proposals, influenced governments to allocate annual budget towards the inclusion of waste pickers and zero waste sites in several cities, strengthened extended producer responsibility legislation through brand audits in India, and implemented plastic waste bans across the region.
For the past 2 years, GAIA Asia Pacific has been engaging with members and allies on the anti-incineration and divestment work via lobbying with IFIs, online and offline actions, and media engagements. We made our presence felt during Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) in 2021 and 2022, the NGO Forum on ADB Network’s Fight for 1.5, the Annual Meeting of Board of Governors in 2022, Safeguard Policy discussions, and most recently a community forum and an open letter to call on the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to divest from incinerators.
The Global Plastics Treaty: Asia Pacific Perspectives
The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution or INC 2, 3, 4, and 5 are happening in the next two years. While some see this as an opportunity to push forward our plastics work, some see it as lip service to a treaty with no binding commitments from countries to really put an end to plastic pollution.
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