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[GreenYes] Fwd: [Gaia-members] GAIA at the Earth Summit
Good news in the area of community organizing for zero waste.

Richard V. Anthony
Richard Anthony Associates
858 272 2905
www.richardanthonyassociates.com


Dear Friends,

 

Greetings to all of you and a warm welcome to our new friends who have recently joined the GAIA family.

 

We are pleased to report back on GAIA’s participation at the recent Johannesburg Earth Summit. 

 

1.  Zero Waste Project at the Global Forum.  Based on initial reports, we achieved 70-80% waste reduction in Nasrec, site of the Global Forum, outperforming other Summit venues by 300-400%!  The significant waste reduction at the Global Forum is attributed to the following factors:

a.  Designed More Waste Out of the System.  The Global Forum site has restricted the use of most plastics (particularly PVC plastic), while other Summit venues have only restricted polysterene.

b.  Diverted Organic Waste.  The Global Forum site has diverted discarded food and other organic materials while other Summit venues have not.

c.  Invested in Education and Outreach.  The Zero Waste project was actively promoted at the Global Forum using different promotional tools, particularly the use of posters, flyers and TV monitors to encourage and guide participants on waste reduction and separation.  (See ELA-GAIA press releases for more information.)

 

The Zero Waste project tremendously helped in raising the profile of GAIA among NGOs attending the Summit.  The accredited NGO delegates from all over the world received the Zero Waste information, which ELA and GAIA published.  Brochures, stickers and bookmarks – creatively designed by our colleague Gigie Cruz - were also distributed at various meetings and places, including the exhibition booths of ELA, Cape Town (thanks to Marie-Lou Roux of the Cape Town Anti-Incineration Alliance/Habitat Council) and the Butterfly Taiwan (thanks to Herlin Hsieh of the Taiwan Watch Institute). The recycling stations as well as the locally designed bicycles for collecting materials were marked with the logos of ELA, GAIA and the Zero Waste project.  We thank Muna Lakhani for his foresight, energy and creativity. 

 

A round of applause to Muna, Zini, Thebogo and the 90-strong Zero Waste Team.  They have done an excellent job in proving to the world that Zero Waste works. Indeed, the Zero Waste  project "shines out like a beacon in the dark" for a Summit that has been heavily criticized for failing to address the environmental challenges facing the planet and humanity.  Thank you so much Muna and the Team for a job well done!

 

2.  Zero Waste Forum.  The ELA-GAIA Forum on 27 August 2002 brought together about a hundred people from Argentina, Armenia, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Tanzania, Taiwan, Uganda, making it one of the best attended parallel events at the Global Forum.  There were nine main presentors who spoke about the problems of incineration and the determined efforts of communities and public interest groups to advance real solutions.  Thank you to the 20 GAIA members who came to the meeting, most especially to our resource persons:  Raul Montenegro, FUNAM; Ravi Agarwal, Sristhi/Toxics Link; Zeina Al-Hajj, Greenpeace Mediterranean; Von Hernandez, Greenpeace International; Muna Lakhani, Earthlife Africa; Llewelyn Leonard, groundWork; Suyol Hong, KWMN; Herlin Hsieh, TWI; Josep Puig, Alternativa Verda; and, last but not the least, Laila Iskander Kamel of Egypt.  (See the listserv next week for the highlights of the Forum)

 

3.  Incineration Meeting.  Through the kind initiative of our colleague Marie-Lou Roux, a meeting on incineration and its impacts to public health and the environment was held on 26 August 2002, with Nicholas Kasa of the Sasolburg Environmental Committee and Manny Calonzo of the GAIA Secretariat as discussants.  The meeting drew some 30 people, mostly from South Africa who were very concerned with the use of the polluting waste disposal technology in the country.  A BIG thanks to Marie-Lou for her great enthusiasm and activism.

 

4.  Statement on Incineration by Summit Participants.  The official Earth Summit failed to make a categorical rejection of incineration as a waste disposal option.  The Plan of Implementation adopted by governments even classified waste-to-energy incinerators as a favorable option for managing waste.  Nonetheless, concerned Summit participants signed a GAIA-drafted statement asking governments and their business and funding partners to stop the destructive practice of incinerating waste and shift instead to least-cost waste prevention systems and non-burn alternatives.  The statement cited proposed incinerator projects in Bangkok (Thailand), Beveren (Belgium), Kampung Bohol (Malaysia), Kirkland Lake (Canada), Ringaskiddy (Ireland) and Sasolburg (South Africa).  Colleagues from South Africa, Taiwan and Uganda helped in gathering signatures.  The statement circulated at groundWork’s Corporate Accountability Conference, for instance, were signed by 100 people, including 13 Goldman Environmental Prize awardees from Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Madagascar, Slovakia, Somalia, South Africa and South Korea.  (See the GAIA listserv for copy of the statement.)

 

5.  Networking Efforts.  Our presence at the Summit has allowed us to interact with potential GAIA members.  Those who have signified their intention to join either as individual or organizational members include the following:

 

Environmental Development Action, Ethiopia

Stree Mukti Sanghatana (a program for women ragpickers), India

Tamil Nadu Environmental Council, India

Bali Fokus/Indonesian People’s Forum, Indonesia

Hasviva/Israel Association to Preserve the Environment, Israel

Intermediate Technology Development Group, Kenya

Jihad-Al-Binaa Development Association, Lebanon

Dr. Nat Quansah (Goldman Environmental Prize awardee), Madagascar

Greenline Movement, Malawi

Brad Smith/Greenpeace Nordic, Norway

Fatima Jibrell (Goldman Environmental Prize awardee)/Horn Relief, Somalia

Chatsworth Steering Committee, South Africa

Highveld East Community Environment Monitoring Association, South Africa

Kat River Valley Catchment Forum, South Africa

Mafube Youth Enterprise, South Africa

Mochnai Residents’ Association, South Africa

SADC Youth Movement, South Africa

South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, South Africa

Tlhago-Bontle Environmental Organization, South Africa

Jabulile Nene (nurse), South Africa

Judith Dinky Halimana (nurse), South Africa

Yujin Lee/Green Korea United, South Korea

Josep Puig/Alternativa Verda, Spain

Joseph Mutsigwa/Yonge Nawe, Swaziland

LEAT, Tanzania

Tsering Yangkey (Head, Environment and Development Desk, Central Tibetan Administration), Tibet

Environmental NGOs Lobby Group, Uganda

Denny Larson/Global Community Monitor, USA

 

In addition, contacts were made with the following groups who are all working on waste issues:

 

NGO Forum on Cambodia, Cambodia

Friends of the Earth, El Salvador

Israel Union for Environmental Defense, Israel

Okinawa Environment Network, Japan

Friends of Environment Society, Lebanon

Earthlife, Namibia

Oniipa Environmental Project, Namibia

Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network, Palestine

Citizens’ Movement for Environmental Justice, South Korea

Homemakers Union and Foundation, Taiwan

 

We will follow them up and "formalize" their membership in our growing family.

 

We welcome your comments and suggestions as to how we can further our gains at the Summit.

 

Finally, THANK YOU to all who took care and supported us in Johannesburg, particularly our beloved friends and colleagues at groundWork, Greenpeace International and Earthlife Africa.

 

Warmest regards.

 

Manny C. Calonzo

GAIA Secretariat
Unit 320, Eagle Court Condominium
26 Matalino St., Barangay Central
Quezon City, PHILIPPINES
Tel. + 632 9290376
Tel/Fax: +632 4364733




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