Memoria 2021 GAIA América Latina y el Caribe
Al igual que en 2020, desde GAIA acompañamos a nuestros miembros para sostenernos como red en el contexto de la pandemia a través de diversos apoyos de incidencia, recuperación y bienestar. Fue un grano de arena en el andar tremendamente nutrido de la red durante 2021. El espíritu, compromiso y trabajo arduo se mantuvieron inalterados y nuevas organizaciones de México, Brasil y Chile se sumaron a la membresía regional.
En el escenario actual, el fortalecimiento del movimiento ciudadano y territorial se hace más importante que nunca, ¡y estamos agradecidos porque nuestra red creció en número y actividades para responder a ese desafío!
Back to Earth: Composting for Various Contexts
With organics making up more than 50% of solid waste in Asia, managing this waste stream will have a huge impact on waste management and the reduction of methane emissions.
With superb illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions, “Back to Earth” encourages people to explore every facet of composting: whether in a sprawling backyard or in a limited space such as a high-rise apartment, composting can be customized to suit any situation.
The most important message, however, is that composting is a simple and yet effective step anyone can take to help alleviate the burden on our landfills, replenish soil nutrients, and reduce carbon and methane emissions.
Chemical Recycling of Sachet Waste: A Failed Experiment
The scale of global plastic pollution has been brought to light in recent years. Over 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced each year, and more than 90 percent of it ends up in landfills, waste dumps, incinerators, and on lands and waterways. Like many other countries in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is dealing with growth in both domestic consumption of single-use plastic and waste arriving at the ports in the name of trade. Indonesia has been labelled as the second largest contributor to ocean plastic leakage after China. In addition to the amount estimated to leak into waterways and the ocean (9 percent of the 4.8 million tonnes of plastic waste generated in Indonesia every year), the majority of plastic waste in the country is being inadequately managed through open burning (48 percent), dumping on land or dumpsites (13 percent).
In response to the unprecedented plastic pollution crisis, fast-moving consumer goods companies and the petrochemical industry have supported and promoted countless miraculous-sounding technologies, pushing back on their bad reputations as major plastic polluters. CreaSolv is Unilever Indonesia's flagship project on this front, and the media has touted it as an example of a technological innovation that can solve the entire global plastic waste problem by recycling the lowest-value plastic.
Two years after the highly-celebrated launch of the pilot plant in Indonesia in 2017, however, the fuss around the CreaSolv project quieted down as the company secretly shuttered the operation. Reports from local investors revealed multi-layered fallout of the CreaSolv project, from the logistical difficulties of sachet collection through challenged economics around the end products.
Plastic-to-Fuel: A Losing Proposition
In light of the global plastic crisis, technologies such as turning plastic waste into fuel and burning it are being falsely marketed as circular, climate-friendly, and sustainable. Such incineration technologies -including gasification and pyrolysis- are popping up across the globe, both as large-scale industrial investments and small-scale, backyard projects.
Amid the industry hype for plastic-to-fuel schemes, this advocacy brief highlights the climate, environmental, and health risks from these processes that outweigh any supposed benefits.
La basura como naturaleza: La basura con derechos
María Fernanda Solíz Torres nos sacude. Nos habla de la basura como bien común. Critica su mercantilización, por ejemplo la importación de plásticos y otros desechos. Desmonta el gran engaño de la economía circular y reivindica las redes de seres humanos cuya vida gira alrededor de la basura, que trabajan con ella y la transforman. La autora reclama derechos para la basura, recupera con fuerza y lucidez el papel y por cierto también los derechos de las personas que la reciclan de oficio, insertos en un movimiento de recicladoras y recicladores en América Latina.
En este libro provocador abundan experiencias esperanzadoras de reciclaje inclusivo contadas desde abajo. Y lo potente de sus reflexiones se cierra con una constatación que cobra cada vez más fuerza en el planeta: la necesidad de librerarnos de la religión del crecimiento económico, pues para transitar a un mundo en donde se logre la meta de “basura cero” hay que transitar por el decrecimiento, que no puede ser confundido con una recesión o depresión económica. Prólogo Alberto Acosta y Esperanza Martínez.
Strengthening Waste Picker Organising in Africa
Waste pickers from South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Morocco and Zambia have demonstrated the common need for official recognition from national and municipal governments, better working conditions, PPE, improved payment for their recovered materials and collection and processing service, and an end to social stigmatisation.
The experience of organising shows that these needs are achievable through building representative organisations that will ensure that their voices are heard in negotiations with governments and demonstrate their value to society.
This requires waste pickers to work collaboratively and embed the principles of democracy, equality and environmental justice in their organised structures. Furthermore, municipalities and national governments need to recognise the value that waste pickers play in diverting waste from the landfills, encouraging recycling where materials re-enter the economy and addressing poverty by providing an income for individuals that have been excluded from the formal economy.
COMMUNITY TOOLS FOR ANTI-INCINERATION ORGANIZING
GAIA US Canada’s Community Tools for Anti-Incineration Organizing resource designed to support community organizers and advocates in both new and existing incineration campaigns. The toolkit is informed by the experiences of GAIA members around the world who have mobilized their own communities and allies to fight for a world without waste-burning.
Possible Together: GAIA Against The Odds
In 2019, GAIA Asia Pacific members gathered in Penang, Malaysia for a series of activities, which culminated in a regional meeting where we set our objectives for the next three years (2020-2023).
Just months after the regional meeting, the world confronted the uncertainty and threats of the COVID-19 pandemic, mading work on the ground doubly difficult, as the pandemic also exacerbated the already widespread and systemic injustices that we have long been fighting.
In the face of these challenges, GAIA members remained steadfast in their commitment for a better world. This publication, “POSSIBLE TOGETHER,” is a proof of that.
As written by GAIA International Coordinator, Christie Keith, in her message, “The organizing stories in the publication are a testament to how hard GAIA members have worked since early 2020 – despite great personal risk – to create visionary Zero Waste solutions and oppose toxic pollution. These are stories of cultural survival, fierce resistance, and local transformation.”
It takes a network to have a fighting chance when faced with challenges of this magnitude, and collectively, GAIA members rose to the occasion. They extended each other a helping hand and made sure that their communities would not be left behind.
The work may be daunting; and the times, challenging. But difficult can become easy; and the impossible, possible when when people work together.