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Waste Sector Strategies for a low carbon economy: Innovative experiences in the Global South

December 5, 2015

This side event opened up with a report done by Eunomia from France, about the contribution of the waste sector to Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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The report showed that methane gas from landfills and carbon emissions from incineration contribute to a large amount of the global level emissions while at the same time not being put to productive use. With a large contribution of GHG emissions coming from our waste, the report also identified prevention as the most impactful solution to waste while also saving a lot of emissions from production. Read the report here.

In search of solutions to the waste situation, innovative solutions are being explored from the global south in this side event, and panellists hail from NGO groups in China, India, Philippines and South Africa. The power of civil society was exemplified from the work that these civil society groups have done in waste management especially in the Philippines and South Africa.

In a village with a population of 15,000 with no proper waste management structure in the Philippines, the villagers were previously just dumping their thrash on the streets and 3 trucks would have to come round to collect the mountain of thrash that they produce every night. The NGO group Mother Earth Foundation introduced a system for the villages to segregate their waste for recycling, and within 6 months, they transformed the village known for its dump, into a clean village while at the same time creating green jobs. With this successful model of waste segregation and management, they have then gone on to scale up their model for the city area.

zero waste South Africa

In South Africa, waste pickers who pick up recyclables from dumpsites took the initiative to come together to form an alliance. Pushing for environmental justice, they managed to get their rights recognised in legislature and have built a movement for waste pickers all over the world to share practices. Read more about what they do here.

Waste is a global problem and all speakers emphasized the need to reduce the amount of waste we generate. So choose sustainability and be conscious about your daily habits!

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