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STATUS OF THE BASEL CONVENTION REGIONAL CENTRES (April 2002)


Introduction

In addition to the emphasis on ensuring effective implementation of the Basel Convention at the national levels and the role that the Secretariat of the Basel Convention plays in this implementation, from the outset an important role was assigned by the Parties to the Basel Convention Regional Centres. Article 14 of the Basel Convention stipulates that “according to the specific needs of different regions and sub-regions, regional or sub-regional centres for training and technology transfer regarding the management of hazardous wastes and other wastes and the minimization of their generation should be established.” The Centres operate, under the guidance of the secretariat, within the framework of an Action Plan common to all centres, approved by the Conference of the Parties and adapted to the specific needs and possibilities of the geographic regions and sub-regions covered by their activities.

  1. The Common Role and Functions of the Regional Centres
  • Gathering, assessing and disseminating data and information in the field of hazardous wastes and other wastes to Parties of the region and to SBC.
  • Collecting information on new or proven environmentally sound technologies and know-how relating to environmentally sound management and minimization of the generation of hazardous wastes and other wastes and disseminating these to Parties of the region at their request.
  • Identifying, developing and strengthening mechanisms for the transfer of technology in the field of the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes or their minimization in the region.
  • Providing scientific, technical and legal assistance and advice to the Parties of the region at their request, on matters relevant to the environmentally sound management or minimization of hazardous wastes, he implementation of the provisions of the Basel Convention and other related matters.
  • Cooperating with the United Nations and its bodies, in particular UNEP and the Specialized Agencies, and with other relevant intergovernmental organizations, industry and non-governmental organizations, and, where appropriate, with any other institution, in order to coordinate activities and develop and implement joint projects related to he provisions of the Basel Convention.
  • Developing within the general financial strategy approved by the Parties, its own financial strategy.
  • Establishing and maintaining regular exchange of information and networking among the parties of the region relevant to the provisions of the Basel Convention.
  • Encouraging the best approaches, practices and methodologies for the environmentally sound management and minimization of the generation of hazardous wastes and other wastes, e.g. through case studies and pilot projects.
  • Organizing meetings, symposiums and missions in the field, useful for carrying out these objectives in the region.
  • Promoting public awareness.
  • Mobilizing human, financial and material means in order to meet the urgent needs at the request of the Party(ies) of the region faced with incidents or accidents which cannot be solved with the means of the individual Party(ies) concerned.
  • Performing any other functions assigned to it by the decisions of the Conference of the Parties of the Basel Convention or by Parties of the region, consistent with such decisions.

 

  1. Roles of the Coordinating Centres

Decision III/19 of the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties, agreed on the establishment of two coordinating centers: in Nigeria for the African Region and in Uruguay for the Latin America and the Caribbean. Based on the Uruguayan Coordinating Centre which is already operational, the roles and functions of the Coordinating Centre as agreed by the GRULAC are as follows:

  • To keep smooth communications with focal points and/or the Competent Authority, and the SBC and other international organizations
  • To coordinate regional training activities on legal, customs, and police issues
  • To maintain and operate a mechanism for the compilation and transmission of information as an input to the SBC and facilitate services to the countries in the
    region in the prevention of illegal traffic
  • To coordinate regional scope and/or priority programmes
  • To keep an information and dissemination system, an electronic bulletin of internet users lists, UNEP, UNEPNET or other global communication networks
  • To provide assistance to subregional centers in the identification of resources and support to specific programmes
  • To keep the Focal Points and Competent Authorities informed on the activities of the centres
  • To harmonise joint programmes with other regional or off-regional centers involved in activities related to hazardous wastes
  • To identify human resources needs
  • To manage own financial resources
  • To facilitate meetings of bodies in the system as necessary for their activities
  • To offer advice to countries on the implementation of technical guidelines issued under the Basel Convention 

This booklet reviews the establishment and status of operation of the regional centres of the Basel Convention since the Convention entered into force.

  1. Status of the Regional Centres by Regions

Decision III/19 of the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties identified the host countries for the establishment of the training and coordinating centers. The following information briefly described the status of the establishment and operation of Regional Centers:

AFRICA

 Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer, Egypt

  • Established in June 1998
  • Hosted by: Cairo University
  • Centre Location: Cairo Centre for Environmental Hazard Mitigation,
    Cairo University P.O. Box 453, El-Orman, Giza, Cairo, Egypt,
    Tel. (202) 571 96 88, Fax. (202) 571 9687
    E-mail: yehiaabdelhady@orex.org
  • Staff of the Centre: Director (Prof. Yehia E. Abdelhady)
  • Geographical area of coverage: Arabic speaking African countries and other Arabic speaking countries in West Asia
  • Activities: Training Course on hazardous wastes management and implementation of the Basel Convention (27 February – 1 March 2000) Planned training workshops: Identification of regional priorities and problems; Legal implementation of the Basel Convention; Environmentally Sound Management - What is hazardous waste? – details about generation, disposal, industry’s role, and environmentally sound management. In addition to the training workshops, the Centre will carry out supplementary projects to the workshops and comprehensive studies; assistance and advisory services; promotion and public awareness; information gathering and dissemination and networking.

 Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Centre, Nigeria

  • The Centre is not yet officially established
  • Proposed to be hosted by: Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA)- University of Ibadan Linkage Centre for Cleaner Production, Technology and Hazardous Waste Management, Nigeria
  • Staff of the Centre: To be headed by an Executive Director (yet to be appointed)
  • Geographical area of coverage: African continent
  • Activities: None in the past. Planned: training and dissemination of information related to clean production technologies; electronic network of hazardous waste data, resources and information; protocols for monitoring and advising on illegal traffic on hazardous waste; harmonization of hazardous waste classification and labeling procedure; and regional laboratory network to coordinate quality control procedure in hazardous waste analysis, and to develop testing criteria and methods. The role of this Coordinating Centre, in principle, is yet to be finalized.

 Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer, Senegal 

  • Established in 1998 by Decision of the Government
  • Hosted by: IAGU (Institut African de Gestion Urbaine, Dakar)
  • Centre Location: Institut Africain de Gestion Urbaine (IAGU), Liberté 6, Extension,
    Villa No. 5, B.P. 7263, Dakar, Senegal, Tel. (221) 827 2200, 824 44 24,
    Fax: (221) 827 2813, 825 08 26 E-mail: iagu@cyg.sn or cfttiagu@sentoo.sn
  • Staff of the Centre: Interim Coordinator (Mr. Djibril Doucouré)
  • Geographical area of coverage: French-speaking African countries
  • Activities: Workshop on Inventory of Hazardous Wastes (Dakar, 1999); Meeting of Board of Directors (1999); Support to National Project on PCB Management in Cote d’Ivoire (2000-2001); Regional Workshop on the Implementation of the Basel Convention and the Ban Amendment (February, 2002).

 Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer, South Africa

  • Established in June 2000
  • Hosted by: Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism/Vista University
  • Centre Location : Vista University, Private Bag X641, Pretoria 0001, South Africa,
    Tel./Fax: (2712) 352 4108, 352 4111, Fax: (2712) 320 5759
    E-mail: john@acaleph.vista.ac.za
  • Staff of the Centre: Executive Director (Dr. John Mbogoma), Senior Adviser (Mr. Danny Walmsley)
  • Geographical area of coverage: English-speaking African countries
  • Activities: First Training Course on Hazardous Waste Strategies (Pretoria 1-6 October 2000) attended by 35 participants from English-speaking African countries. In addition to training activities, the Centre is carrying out a number of information gathering and dissemination activities, developing networks, developing hazardous wastes projects and undertaking fund-raising activities.


ASIA

 Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer, China

  • Established in 1997
  • Hosted by: Tsinghua University
  • Centre Location: Environmental Engineering Building, No. 401, Tsinghua University,
    Beijing 100084, tel (+86 10) 627 94351, 62782029, fax (+86 10) 627 72048,
    e-mail: jinhui@tsinghua.edu.cn
  • Staff of the Centre: Director (Mr. Lu Xinyuan), Administrative Director (Dr. Li Jinhui)
  • Geographical area of coverage: Asia and the Pacific countries
  • Activities: 1st Asia-Pacific Region Training Course on Hazardous Waste Management and Practice (8-12 March 1999); Asia-Pacific Regional Training Workshop on Hazardous Waste Management and Practice (8-12 November 1999); The Third Asia-Pacific Regional Training Workshop on Hazardous Waste Management in Mining Industry (September 4-8 2000). Funding for the training activities of the center has been provided by Japan.


 Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer, Indonesia

  • Established in August 1997 through the second meeting on the establishment of the Regional Centres for Training and Technology Transfer for Asia and Pacific Region in Jakarta
  • Hosted by: Environmental Impact Management Agency (BAPEDAL)
  • Centre location: The Environmental Management Center, Serpong, Jakarta.
    Contact address: BAPEDAL, Otorita Batam Bld. 5th Floor, Jl. D.1, Panjaitan Kav. 24,
    Jakarta 13410, Indonesia, tel. 62-21-8590 6167, fax. 62-21-8590 4932; 736 2053;
    e-mail : listy_78@yahoo.com; haruki@indo.net.id
  • Staff of the Centre: Director (Mr. Gempur Adnan, Director for Solid Waste and Hazardous Substances Management, BAPEDAL)
  • Geographical area of coverage: Asia and the Pacific countries
  • Activities: Training Course on Hazardous Waste Management and the Implementation of the Basel Convention (Jakarta, 1 -5 May 2000) attended by 16 participants from countries in Asia and Pacific Region; Workshop on the Ratification and Implementation of the Basel Convention and its Ban Amendment (Bangkok, 3 – 5, May 2001) attended by participants from 16 Parties and non-Parties. Further training courses are planned, subject to availability of funds.


 Basel Convention Sub Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer, India

  • Not yet formally established
  • Proposed by India to be hosted by Asian & Pacific Centre for Technology Transfer (APCTT), UN-ESCAP (APCTT has been nominated as a host institution for the proposed centre)
  • Proposed Centre Location: Qutab Institutional Area, P.O. Box 4575, New Delhi 110 016,
    India, tel (+91 11) 685 6276, fax (+91 11) 685 6274
  • Staff of the Centre: To be headed by an Executive Director (yet to be appointed)
  • Geographical area of coverage: Asian countries in the SAARC region
  • Activities: Expert Group Meeting in New Delhi, 4-5 October 2001; Review the needs assessment on training in environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes for SAARC countries (The report is under preparation); Identify regional training priorities; Strategic plan of activities for the proposed SAARC-SRTC.


CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE


 Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer, Slovakia

  • Established in 1996.
  • Hosted by: Slovak Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Centre Location: Klobucnika 7/1, 81 101 Bratislava, Slovak Republic,
    Tel./fax: +421 2 544 32 023/ Tel./fax: +421 2 642 82 683), E-mail: lapesova@sazp.sk
  • Staff of the Centre: Director (Ms. Dana Lapesova)
  • Geographical area of coverage: Central European countries
  • Activities: The centre started up its activities in February 1997. During that time it has held 10 training workshops for CEE countries on various technical and legal aspects of the Basel Convention and has carried out a number of waste related projects. In addition to training workshops, the Bratislava Centre provides practical assistance to the countries of the region, through: Supplementary projects to the workshops, as well as comprehensive studies; Assistance and advisory services; Promotion and public awareness; Information gathering and dissemination and Networking. The following workshops are planned for 2001 and 2003: (1) Comparative analysis of Basel, OECD and EU hazardous wastes systems, (2) Legal implementation of the Basel Convention, (3) Environmentally Sound Management – What is hazardous waste) – details about generation, disposal, industry’s role, and environmentally sound management, (4) Control structures nd mechanisms. In order to support and maximize the effectiveness of the training workshops, a number of projects will be carried, such as compilation of best practices for hazardous wastes management, inventories of hazardous wastes generation in all the member countries and development of a database for hazardous wastes inventories. Some of those projects and studies would serve to provide an overview of regional practices with a view to facilitating EU approximation for the countries in the region.

Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer, Russia

  • Established in 1996
  • Hosted by: Center for International Projects, State Committee of the Russian Federation for Environmental Protection
  • Centre Location: Centre for International Projects, 105043 Pervomayskaya Street, 58Bm,
    App 104-106, Moscow, Russia (or 117292 P.O.Box 165, CIP, Moscow, Russia),
    tel (+ 7 095) 165 05 62, fax 165 08 90, e-mail cip.tse@g23.relcom.ru
  • Staff of the Centre: Director (Mr. Sergey E. Tikhonov)
  • Geographical area of coverage: Eastern European countries
  • Activities: Regional Seminar on Institutional and Technical Aspects of the Implementation of the Basel Convention (Moscow, 4-8 May 1998) attended by 64 participants from 26 countries. Sub-regional Seminar on Management of Hazardous Wastes and their Transboundary Movements (Omsk, 27-30 June 2000) attended by 70 participants from 6 countries. Further training courses are planned, subject to availability of funds.


LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN


 Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer, Argentina

  • Hosted by: Ministerio de Desarrollo Social y Medio Ambiente
  • Centre Location: San Martin 459 –4° piso C.P. 1004, Buenos Aires,Argentina,
    Tel: (54 11) 4348 8458, Fax: (54 11) 4348 8305/4 348 84 25;
    Email: mah@mrecic.gov.ar or vrodriguez@medioambiente.gov.ar
  • Staff of the Centre: Interim Coordinator (Mr. Miguel Angel Hildmann)
  • Geographical area of coverage: Latin American countries
  • Activities: Regional Workshop on Hazardous Waste Management and Treatment Technologies (planned in December 2001)
  • Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer, El Salvador
  • Established in 1999 by Decision of the Government
  • Hosted by: Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, San Salvador, El Salvador, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Centre Location: Edificio Torre El Salvador, Alameda Roosevelt 55, San Salvador,
    El Salvador, Tel/Fax: (503) 260 5614, E-mail: opozono@salnet.net or rivas@marn.gob.sv
  • Staff of the Centre: Interim Director (Mr. Roberto Rivas)
  • Geographical area of coverage: Central American sub-region including Mexico
  • Activities: Workshop for the Implementation of the Basel Convention (1995), Workshop for the ESM of hazardous wastes and their minimization (2000); International Workshop for the Regional Centres of the Basel Convention, San Salvador (2000); Organization of national workshops for the Implementation of the Basel Convention in four countries, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Guatemala (pending); Regional Programme for the Environmentally Sound Management of PCBs in the context of the Stockholm Convention and the Basel Convention (2002); Set-up of a database and dissemination to countries; Preparation of an Action Plan for the Region for the Implementation of the Basel Convention; Coordination of project for the management of lead-acid batteries in Central America (2001); Regional Seminar on the environmentally sound management of batteries in the Caribbean and Central America, (2002)


 Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer, Trinidad & Tobago

  • Established in 1998 by Decision of the Government
  • Hosted by: Caribbean Industrial Research Institute(CARIRI), Trinidad
  • Centre Location: c/o CARIRI, Tunpuna Post Office Trinidad and Tobago
    Tel. 1 868 662 2855/662 7172 Fax: 1 868 662 7177/645 6734 Email: basel_ca@tstt.net.tt
    or ggoddard@ema.co.tt
  • Staff of the Centre: Interim Director (Mr. Liaquat Ali Shah CEO, CARIRI),
    Coordinator (Ms. Sharon Laurent)
  • Geographical area of coverage: Caribbean sub-region
  • Activities: Regional Seminar and International Forum on Asbestos Management (Trinidad, 1998), Regional Seminar on Inland Water Systems and Marine Environment (Trinidad, 1999); Meeting of the Advisory Council for the Regional Centre (Trinidad 2001); Regional Workshop for the ESM of lead-acid batteries for Central America and the Caribbean (Trinidad, 2001); Regional Inventory of Discarded Chemicals and Hazardous Wastes (2000, CEHI); Regional Workshop for National Reporting under the Basel Convention and Inventory of Hazardous Wastes, Trinidad (February 2002); Coordination of the Project for the ESM of lead-acid batteries in the Caribbean (2001); Preparation of an Action Plan for the implementation of the Basel Convention in the Caribbean (2002); Coordination of the Regional Project for the ESM of used oils in the Caribbean (CARIRI-CEHI,2002).


 Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Centre, Uruguay

  • Established in 1998 by Decision of the Government of Uruguay
  • Hosted by: Focal point to the Basel Convention, Dirección Nacional de Medio Ambiente (DINAMA)
  • Centre Location: Rincón 422, Piso 1, Montevideo 11000, Uruguay,
    Tel. (598 2) 916 8287/916 9127, Fax: (598 2) 916 8288, E-mail: suspel@adinet.com.uy
  • Staff of the Centre: Interim Coordinator (Ms. Silvia Aguinaga), Assistants (Mr. Javier Martinez; Jaquelinne Alvarez
  • Geographical area of coverage: Coordinating centre Latin American countries
  • Activities: Regional Seminar for Latin America for the monitoring and control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes (Montevideo,1999); Regional Workshop for South America on Support for the Implementation of the Stockholm Convention on POPs (March, Montevideo, 2002); Regional Workshop for South America on National Reporting under the Basel Convention and Inventory of Hazardous Wastes (Montevideo, 2001); UNEP/Chemicals Regional Workshop for South America on POPs (Montevideo, 2000); Development and maintenance of the web-page (English/Spanish) and dissemination of information to all Parties (1999-2001); Coordination of Awareness-raising programme in several countries in Latin America and Caribbean (2001).

 

  1. Future Developments of the Regional Centres

Decision V/5 paragraph 7 called on the Secretariat to develop a draft Framework Agreement for the Basel Convention Regional Centres in consultation with the host governments and the centers. The Agreement is to include a core set of identical basic elements for formally establishing the centers, taking into account different regional needs. The draft was widely distributed to all the concerned stakeholders and the secretariat has been undertaking consultations with the host governments and the centers on the best management option for each centre. In addition to the draft framework agreement, an option paper was also produced to aid in the decision-making and discussion process. When the consultation process is completed, the draft framework agreement will be presented to the Working Group for Implementation and the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties for eventual adoption.

In recognition of the need for avoiding duplication, promoting synergies and coordination of all available resources, in future, the Basel Convention Regional Centres will be undertaking the strengthening of cooperation in critical areas of implementation of the Basel Convention with relevant United Nations bodies in particular with UNEP, in line with Decision V/12. One of the areas that has been identified are implementation of training courses, workshops and specific projects on the Basel Convention as well as the Rotterdam/PIC Convention and the Stockholm/POPs Convention. In addition, there are also potential areas of cooperation with the National Cleaner Production Centres (NCPCs), for example, in cleaner production and waste minimization projects.

It has also been recognized that the goals set by the Basel Convention and the regional Seas Convention and the activities carried out may be partially overlapping and some collaborative actions that would benefit both conventions seem beneficial. The role of the Basel Convention Regional Centres with the Regional Seas Convention in areas such as training, information exchange and project development could be pursued.

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