Because of the frequency of cross-border movements of hazardous and other wastes around the world, waste management is not merely a local or national issue—it is a global issue. Too often, hazardous and other wastes have been considered a local problem of limited relevance to national or global priorities. As a result, governments in developing countries and countries with economies in transition are facing conflicting demands and priorities for development and for the protection of human health and the environment, with limited or even diminishing resources.
To meet the short to medium term needs of countries and in order to build capacities, Parties under the Basel Convention are exploring new and innovative ways to access bilateral and multilateral assistance. International cooperation and assistance is not only necessary, but critical in that many Parties to the Convention lack adequate infrastructure or know-how for managing hazardous wastes and other wastes in an environmentally sound manner or do not have the capacity to control the import of such wastes.
Resources are needed to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition meet the obligations in the Convention and its declarations and decisions. Without assistance, human health and the environment continue to be at risk.
The Basel Convention Partnership on the Environmentally Sound Management of Electrical and Electronic Wastes for Asia Pacific Region
The countries in Asia and the Pacific Parties to the Basel Convention have identified e-waste as a priority. They emphasized the need to obtain the latest and relevant information on environmentally sound management of e-waste, inclusive of information regarding know-how on cleaner technologies or processes used in the repair, refurbishment, recycling or recovery of used or end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment. Numerous obstacles have been identified by countries in regard to their ability to manage e-wastes in an environmentally sound way. The Basel Convention Partnership on the Environmentally Sound Management of Electrical and Electronic Wastes for Asia Pacific Region was launched in November 2005 and activities started in 2006.
Asia Pacific (Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam, and selected Pacific Island Countries)
- To promote environmentally sound management of e-waste in Asia Pacific by improvement in the data and information base; promote public awareness; promote of proper infrastructure and legal institutions; prevention of illegal trafficking in e-waste; developing guidelines for a detailed inventory of e-waste and the flows in and out of the countries; upgrade collection, recycling and refurbishing, through a coordinated approach among Parties and stakeholders the Region.
- A detailed inventory of selected types of e-waste generation, imports and exports is completed and a database on sound technologies or processes for reuse, refurbishment, recycling and final disposal of e-waste will be established and available for dissemination via the BCRC website.
- An operational information system or network on the environmentally sound management of the selected types of e-waste in countries served by the region is established, including information generated through the pilot schemes.
- Pilot collection schemes for repair/refurbishment and/or recycling for countries in the region are operational.
- Guidance documents and testing criteria on import and export of e-waste is developed
- Awareness raising activities are conducted and regional trainings for trainers on environmentally sound management and ESM technology of e-waste carried out.
Estimated cost: US$ 2,435,700
Time span: 36 months
Activities related to the development of a partnership between eco-industries for the Environmentally Sound Management of e-wastes
E-waste is a growing concern in South America. Since 2000, the use of personal computers in the region has grown at 15% a year in average . ITU figures show that Brazil and Argentina are among the 25 countries with the highest number of personal computers in the world. There is a need to respond to this emerging issue through the development of environmentally sound management policies to be based on the life-cycle approach. In addition, countries in the region have demonstrated their willingness to develop a coordinated approach in tackling this emerging matter through enhanced collaboration and information sharing.
Project Phase I which was implemented in 2006 and 2007 aimed at collecting precise data and information on e-waste in South America through the undertaking of surveys and preliminary inventories. It also aimed at promoting 3 R policies (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) and the environmentally sound management of end-of-life electrical and electronic products. These results were published under the “Review study on Formal and Informal Networks for the Management of End-of-Life Electric and Electronic equipment in South America, Opportunities for the Latin American Market” http://crsbasilea.inti.gov.ar). Project Phase I was successfully executed by the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Capacity Building and Technology Transfer for the South American Region located in Argentina with the technical support of SBC and the financial assistance of the Government of the United Kingdom.
These project activities on the ESM of e-waste take place in the context of the implementation of Decision VIII/2 to the Basel Convention and the Nairobi Declaration on the Environmental Sound Management (ESM) of Electrical and Electronic Waste.
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
- To develop regional technical guidelines for the environmentally sound management of electrical and electronic waste, taking into account relevant work carried out by Parties to the Basel Convention in other regions;
- To enhance regional collaboration in the field of policy development for the ESM of e-waste;
- To promote information exchange on existing practices and successful examples of ESM of e-waste in the region
- Regional technical guidelines for the environmentally sound management of electrical and electronic waste in the context of the Basel Convention endorsed by countries in South America;
- Demonstration projects in three pilot countries on the environmentally sound management of e-wastes.
Estimated Cost: US$ 220,000
Time span: 24 months
Resource Mobilization Training Workshop Regional Centre For National Decision-makers
While the main responsibility of resource mobilization, including fundraising belongs to Parties to the Convention, the Secretariat has been requested by Parties to facilitate activities and provide information and support to the greatest extent possible the mobilization of resources. Mobilizing resources requires expertise and knowledge in knowing how to prepare a project document or concept for the different types of funding institutions and agencies and to be able to characterize the need for resources in the language used by the donors. There is often an information and communication gap in this area at the national and regional level. Workshops would help to bridge this gap and increase the capacity of Parties to implement the Convention while increasing coordination and collaboration between the related chemicals and wastes Conventions and leveraging resources.
Stage 1: To carry out a pilot training programme for national representatives in a region and develop basic materials on resource mobilization for projects that will help build capacities at the regional and national level to implement the Basel Convention provisions and priority programmes under the Basel Convention Strategic Plan 2002-2010, and beyond.
Stage 2. To replicate workshops throughout the UN regions, coordinating with the Secretariat of the related chemicals Conventions, and develop web knowledge base, CD ROMs, and specific templates and formats for mobilizing resources to ensure access to all parties and signatories.
- Information and knowledge that regional center managers and staff and national representatives can actively begin coherent resource mobilization activity
- Better understanding of resource mobilization, MDGs, entry points and other links to the international aid network.
- Develop capacity to mobilize resources to fund priority activities
- Obtain knowledge on the sources of entry points for funding and assistance.
Estimated cost: Stage 1 Pilot (completed)
Stage 2 US$ 520,000 (to cover 6 workshops)
Time span: 18 months
Mobile Phone Partnership Initiative (MPPI) Training Workshops on Technical Guidelines
At its sixth meeting in Geneva in December 2002, the Conference of the Parties established a small group of experts from Parties and/or Signatories plus representatives of the mobile phone manufacturers and a representative of the Secretariat, interested in a sustainable partnership on the environmentally sound management of end-of-life mobile telephones. This small group became to be known as the Mobile Phone Working Group (MPWG).
Five guidelines have been completed under this initiative, which are summarised in the overall Guidance Document on environmentally sound management of used and end-of-life mobile phones; the guidelines address: Refurbishment and reuse of used mobile phones; Collection; Transboundary movement of used mobile phones; Recovery and Recycling of end-of-life mobile phones; and Awareness raising and training-design consideration. It is imperative to help implement the guidelines and put them in the hands of country representatives who will accomplish this.
- To effectively disseminate information found in the guidelines on the environmentally sound management of used and end-of-life mobile phones to developing countries and economies in transition in all UN regions
- To provide a forum to enable Parties in a region to discuss and adapt guidelines to meet national and regional needs, circumstances and conditions.
- To inform and explain in detail the five technical guidelines on used and end of life mobile phones enabling participants to more effectively implement the recommendations and to train others in the country on implementing the guidelines
- To foster the environmentally sound management of used and end-of-life telephones globally.
Estimated cost: US$ 480 000 total (US$ 80, 000 per workshop, 6 workshops in UN Regions)
Completed: Workshop for Central and Eastern Europe by the Basel Convention Regional Centre in Slovakia
Time span: 14 months
Improving working practices
for the betterment of occupational safety and health (OSH)
and environmental standards in ship recycling yards in
The ship recycling industry provides an invaluable
service to the world’s economy, dismantling the vessels
which facilitate at least 90% of the world’s trade,
and recycling or re-using the vast quantities of steel, equipment
and machinery found on these ships. It is an important industry
to the economies of many developing countries, providing
jobs, both directly and indirectly, to hundreds of thousands
of workers, and providing much needed steel for development.
Whilst in theory the practice is sustainable, there is growing
concern in the international community over the conditions
in which ship recycling takes place and the adverse impacts
of these activities on worker health and safety and the environment.
These concerns are compounded by the impending phase-out
of single-hulled tankers, which will result in thousands
more ships requiring recycling over the coming ten years,
the majority of which will find their way to the beaches
of South Asia. A new Convention on the “Safe and Environmentally
Sound Recycling of Ships” is currently being negotiated
under the auspices of the International Maritime Organisation
(IMO) to facilitate improvements in the industry, although
entry into force is not expected until approximately 2015
after sufficient ratifications are received. Action is urgently
required to prevent incidence of worker injury and fatality
and reduce the negative impacts of this activity on the environment.
The Secretariat of the Basel Convention,
in conjunction with the Secretariats of the IMO and International
Labour Organisation, has developed a project concept for
a “Global Programme for Sustainable Ship Recycling” to
promote a coordinated approach in addressing the issues faced
by the ship recycling industry. Initial multi-stakeholder
consultations on the project concept were held in India and
Bangladesh in 2007 which confirmed wide-ranging support for
the Global Programme and its proposed activities. The concept
now requires further development in partnership with the
relevant national and international stakeholders, to tailor
proposals to ship recycling countries’ specific requirements
and ensure optimal use of resources and results.
South Asia, in particular the main ship recycling countries of India, Bangladesh
and Pakistan, with consultation activities also being undertaken in Turkey
Objectives: The over-arching objectives of the Global
Programme are to:
- Promote the sustainability of the ship recycling industry
by enhancing the application of internationally recognized
standards relating to occupational safety and health (OSH)
and environmental protection;
- Promote effective implementation of the future Convention
for the “Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling
of Ships” being negotiated under the auspices of
the IMO, by building upon existing technical assistance
activities promoting the guidelines of the IMO, ILO and
Basel Convention, and elements of the new Convention (as
- Promote an integrated approach to the ship recycling
industry, by addressing infrastructural and other needs
in the participant countries in and beyond the ship recycling
Two-phases of the Programme are envisaged:
Phase I - Consultation
multi-stakeholder consultative activities are proposed over
the coming 12 months to obtain a clearer picture of how to
implement improvements in standards in the industry, taking
into account the unique challenges and opportunities facing
each ship recycling country. These activities would
be undertaken within ship recycling countries in South Asia
to determine country-specific priorities and the level of
support and willingness of stakeholders to commit to improvements
under the Global Programme. The expected outputs of
this phase of the Programme are:
- Identification of priorities at the national level in
ship recycling countries, in light of ongoing developments
at the international level;
- Development of country-driven proposals to improve occupational
safety and health and environmental conditions in the main
ship recycling countries, which are both sustainable and
self-financing in the longer term;
- Development of linkages between stakeholders to ensure
the exchange of information and coordination of current
and future programmes related to ship recycling.
finalisation of Phase I, a Work Programme(s) for the participant
country(ies), including costings and a timeline for implementation,
will have been agreed and be ready for implementation.
USD 250,000 1
Time span: 12 months
Phase II - Implementation
of Phase II are dependant on the Work Programme parameters
agreed during the consultative phase. It is thus only
possible to provide an indicative outline of activities to
be undertaken during Phase II and their subsequent costings.
One, or a combination of the following activities would be
undertaken in partnership with the relevant national and
- Development of model facilities in each
of the participant countries to couple both operational
and infrastructural improvements in a phased manner, providing
a blueprint for other yards to follow suit. This
activity provides a linkage between recycling facility
owners wishing to upgrade their facilities and organisations
and individuals with the expertise to consult on such improvements.
- Development of Government-to-Business certification
scheme(s) to provide a yardstick by which governments
and industry may assess the adherence of a yard to internationally
accepted OSH and environmental standards. This
activity would be developed and implemented in close
regard to the certification scheme being developed under
the IMO Convention.
- Policy development to assist ship recycling
countries in preparing for the entry-into-force of the
IMO Convention on the “Safe and Environmentally Sound
Recycling of Ships”. The requirements of the new
Convention need to be translated into simplified rules
and regulations, as part of a national framework which
outlines the responsibilities of all stakeholders, including
regulators (from all concerned government agencies and
ministries), ship recycling facility operators, etc. Allowing
for preparation and transparency in this process will facilitate
the implementation of the requirements of the new Convention.
- Establishing linkages with related development
programmes being implemented in the participant countries.
Cross-sectoral issues of urban planning, waste management
and health and welfare infrastructure need to be coordinated
to ensure an optimal use of resources and outcomes.
- Training and workshops to encourage
knowledge-sharing and collaboration between all stakeholders
in the ship recycling process, including government agencies,
ship recycling facility owners, operators and workers,
NGOs and external experts.
conclusion of the implementation phase, it is expected the
following objectives will have been met:
- Reduced incidence of worker injury and fatality and environmental
pollution through improved implementation of internationally
recognized standards relating to occupational safety and
health (OSH) and environmental protection;
- Ability of the participant countries to comply with the
provisions of the IMO Convention on the “Safe and
Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships”;
- Implementation of initiatives that are sustainable and
self-financing in the longer term, to facilitate continual
improvement in ship recycling practices.
million per participant country 2
Time span: 5 years
Project for the final disposal of existing waste pesticides and selected persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and the prevention of future accumulation in the Caribbean
Many small-island developing states (SIDS) are accumulated stockpiles of obsolete pesticides and other POPs. The impact of the mismanagement of such stocks is further aggravated by the vulnerability of small-island developing states to severe natural disasters. For example, stockpiles of pesticides are easy targets for hurricanes in the Caribbean, which help spread waste into the sea, or leach into scarce groundwater supplies with direct and immediate impact on local populations and the environment. Under such circumstances of stockpiling, obsolete POPs pesticides are commonly found being mixed with non-POPs obsolete pesticides. This situation makes it almost impossible to organize POPs obsolete pesticides removal operation in isolation from other pesticide waste. Given the small quantities involved, any project in the region should address POPs and non-POPs obsolete pesticide in a non-discriminatory manner.
Stage 1: To identify and remove all stockpiles of obsolete pesticides from the countries participating in the project in an efficient and cost-effective manner in compliance with the Stockholm Convention and the Basel Convention.
Stage 2: To enhance the collective capacity of the participating countries in planning and implementing their national policies for the environmentally sound management (ESM) of pesticides in the context of the context of the Stockholm Convention and the Basel Convention and prevent the future accumulation of stockpiles of pesticides.
- Removal of all obsolete pesticides in the Caribbean
- Establishing a regional mechanism for the environmentally sound management of pesticides in the Caribbean and the prevention of future accumulation of obsolete stocks of pesticides
Estimated cost: US$ 4,420,000.00
Time span: four years
In April 2008, the Government of Senegal
has requested the assistance of the secretariat concerning
the case of contamination by lead of several groups of populations,
in particular women and children, in the context of the recovery
of lead from used lead acid batteries in the informal sector.
The Government has referred to 18 casualties, all children
below 6 years of age. The secretariat of the Basel Convention,
in consultation with the WHO and other relevant organizations,
has undertaken an assessment mission in April 2008 with the
view of proposing a medium term plan for the environmentally
sound management of used lead acid batteries in Senegal.
The proposed plan will be composed of two assessment phases
for Senegal and several countries in the sub-region, and
an implementation phase.
Region: Senegal, and other countries in the sub-region
Objective (Phase I):
- To propose a plan to prevent the contamination
of most exposed populations, in particular women and children,
due to lead recovery in the informal sector in Senegal;
- To assist the Government of Senegal in developing
a long-term policy for the ESM of used lead acid batteries
in the context of the Basel Convention;
- To train countries in West Africa on the objectives,
principles and standards of ESM of ULAB in the context
of the Basel Convention and the preparation of National
Phase I: Assessment of the ESM of
ULAB and preparation of a National Action Plan for the ESM
of ULAB in Senegal, and organization of a regional training
workshop on the ESM of ULAB in West Africa.
Phase II: Assessment
of ESM of ULAB in West African countries and preparation
of a regional program for the ESM of ULAB in West Africa.
Phase III: Implementation of the regional
program for the ESM of ULAB in West Africa.
Output (Phase I):
- Country assessment on the ESM of ULAB in Senegal;
- A National Action Plan (NAP) for the ESM of used
lead acid batteries in Senegal;
- A regional training workshop for West African
countries on the preparation of NAPs for the ESM of used
lead acid batteries in the context of the Basel Convention.
Estimated cost (Phase I):
Time span (Phase I): 10 months
Estimated cost (Phase II):
Time span (Phase II): 24 months
The Basel Convention has 14 Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres in the following locations: Argentina, China, Egypt, El Salvador, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Senegal, Slovak Republic, South Pacific Regional Environment Program (Samoa), South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay. The Centres develop projects aiming to address the specific needs of each region and deliver training and technology transfer for the implementation of the Convention.
The Basel Convention regional and coordinating centres have become the main instrument for enhancing the capacity of the developing countries and countries with economies in transition to implement the Strategic Plan for the Implementation of the Basel Convention to 2010. The Centres have also proven to be an important delivery tool for projects coordinated by different agencies and under other multilateral environmental agreements.
Funding to support the centres is voluntary according to Article 14 of the Convention. In light of this Article, it is necessary to request supplemental and complementary financial support. Pledges could be provided directly to the Regional Centre Director, or through the Basel Convention.
More information on the Base Convention Regional Centres
Names and addresses of the Directors