The annual Conference of Parties (COP) are annual conferences held to discuss and review the aims and objectives concluded upon at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The Earth Summit chalked out a framework – named the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which encompassed 195 parties/ countries. This framework set the objective of reducing and stabilizing the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs), the main contributor to global warming – which through scientific evidence has proven to be detrimental to the environment, by causing irreversible damages to the climate, Earth and ecology.
2015 – COP21 – Paris, France – Mansoor
Accompanied by Kabir Arora of Hasiru Dala, who was also his translator, Mansoor left for France on the 29th of November to attend COP21, Paris. Like Mansoor, there were waste pickers from different parts of the globe – including South America, America, China, Africa, Bangladesh and different parts of Europe. Mansoor was invited to share his views in seven different events that were held across the 9 days he was there. Mansoor spoke about the importance of the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.The first two are the most important – we need to reduce thoughtless consumption and reuse whatever we can instead of throwing things away. Recycling should be a last resort, as it takes time, energy and does not always produce plastic at the same quality levels. However, recycling is still a better option than creating virgin plastic and using more fossil fuels.
2016 – Expert Group Meeting on the Informal Economy – Surabaya, Indonesia – Indra Raja
Indira, who is into her late 30s and a mother of two children was chosen by Hasiru Dala, a city-based organisation of waste-pickers and waste workers, to speak at the third session of the Preparatory Committee of the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Surabaya, Indonesia. The conference is organised by Global Social Economy Forum ( GSEF) along with partner organisations. he got a chance to speak to participants from across the world about the municipal corporation, challenges in informal sector of waste-pickers, importance of waste segregation and related issues. Kabir Arora, who coordinates Alliance of Indian Waste-pickers (AIW), accompanied her and translated her Kannada speech. She was the lone person to represent Bengaluru in the event.
2019 – COP14 – Delhi, India – Annamma
Annamma left to Delhi on September 10th, accompanied by Nalini Shekar from Hasiru Dala. Nearly 9 000 participants from all over the world took part in UNCCD COP14. The UNCCD COP 14 ended on 13 September 2019, after ten days of meetings, 11 high-level, 30 committee and over 170 stakeholder meetings, 44 exhibitions and 126 side events. The Conference adopted the Delhi Declaration in which parties expressed commitment for a range of issues, including gender and health, ecosystem restoration, taking action on climate change, private sector engagement, Peace Forest Initiative and recovery of five million hectares of degraded land in India. Annamma spoke at COP14. Annamma spoke of her love for her work. The recycling industry has given wastepickers like her a livelihood and the ability to educate their children. She advocates for more government investment in recycling, and for plastics which cannot be recycled to be banned.