Civic activists will gather in Colombia, Senegal and the Philippines in order to create a joint plan of how to organise massive voluntary actions to get rid of illegal trash in their continents.
Civic-led mass movement Let’s Do It! World, which unites 112 countries and has involved 11 million people in just a few years, is holding three regional conferences to support civic initiatives that wish to tackle the illegal waste related problem in American, African and Asian countries.
With a world population of around seven billion people and growing, the pressure on the environment is increasing. It is estimated, that there is over 100 million tonnes of garbage laying around on the mainland. The same amount has ended up in our oceans. Illegal waste harms animals and subsequently people through the food chain, causes floods and the spread of diseases. The World Bank has announced that the global cost of dealing with all this rubbish is continuing to rise. The amount of waste is 1.3 billion tonnes per year today, but it is expected to increase to 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2025. Projected increase in the annual global costs is from $205 billion to $375 billion.
On the 31st of October, the conference for the American countries started, bringing together 56 civic activists from 12 countries to the Colombian capital of Bogotá. The conference will last until the 3rd of November. Participants from Brazil, Argentina, USA, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Mexico, Bolivia, Trinidad & Tobago, Italy, Estonia and Colombia are attending the intense workshops and discussions, sharing experience and know-how on how to organize mass movements and raise awareness on illegal waste related topics.
“In South-America, illegal waste represents a big cost to the governments. For example in Bogotá, littering costs one million US dollars a year, which could cover the tuition costs of 7,200 children. During this regional conference, in which we have the opportunity to unite people from several countries with the same aim, we expect to build a strong network that will also be visible to the world. That will give us the strength to keep working towards solving this illegal waste and wasteful lifestyle problem together,’’ Natalia Pachon, one of the leaders of Let’s Do It! Colombia explained.
In Cebu, Philippines, the regional conference for Asian countries will take place on the 27-30th of November. According to Dann Diez, the campaign manager for Let’s Do It! Philippines, more than 50 participants from the Philippines, Nepal, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Malaysia and Estonia are expected to attend the conference. “In Asia, toxic waste is the major problem to deal with, and our aim is to develop and put into use the appropriate technology to tackle it. The waste problem is global but we have to work on a regional level to achieve wide-scale results,” Diez adds.
The regional gathering for Africa is taking place from 4-7th December in Dakar, Senegal.
You may also check www.letsdoitworld.org for the list of countries participating in the Let’s Do It! World movement.