New bid to make UNadministered treaty on hazardous wastes more effective

“Over the next 18 months, Governments will focus on strengthening the Convention’s effectiveness by developing its partnerships with industry and advancing its work on the legal aspects of dismantling obsolete ships,” said Sachiko Kuwabara, Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.”Other priorities include drafting new technical guidelines, progressing on the regime for liability and compensation, mobilizing more funds and empowering the Basel Convention Regional Centres to support capacity building at the national level,” she said of the treaty, whose secretariat is administered by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).The treaty’s Mobile Phone Working Group will be seeking proposals for pilot projects on the collection and treatment of used and end-of life mobile phones. Two pilot projects are already being finalized and will be launched shortly, one by France Telecom/Orange in Senegal, and the other by Vodafone in Egypt.Meanwhile, work will continue on determining the legal status of obsolete ships, which generally contain large amounts of hazardous wastes, en route to ship-breaking yards as well as on the problem of abandoned ships.One of the Convention’s key activities is producing a series of technical guidelines for promoting the environmentally sound management of various kinds of waste streams. Governments will continue with their preparations of guidelines on wastes containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as dioxins and furans, and DDT and other pesticides. read more