Eighth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal
27 November - 1 December 2006 | Nairobi, Kenya
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Web coverage:
Monday, 27 Nov - Tuesday, 28 Nov - Wednesday, 29 Nov - Thursday, 30 Nov - Friday, 1 Dec

Highlights for Monday, 27 November 2006

On Monday, 27 November 2006, the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal started with an opening plenary, and delegates heard speeches, addressed organizational matters, implementation of decisions adopted by COP7, including strategic plan for the implementation of the Convention to 2010. Delegates established the Committee of the Whole (COW) to deal with substantive issues and a contact group to discuss the budget.

Opening of the Meeting
L-R: Janet Kanini Muiva, Kenya; Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate; Sachiko Kuwabara-Yamamoto, Basel Convention Executive Secretary; Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director; Mariano Arana, Minister of Housing, Territorial Planning and Environment, Uruguay; and Mutahi Kagwe, Minister of Information and Communications, Kenya.
Anna Tibaijuka, UN HABITAT Executive Director, explained that by 2007 half of the global human population will be living in urban areas, and that problems including lack of clean water, appropriate housing and waste management will increase.
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, stressed that the management of e-waste is a global problem that can only be addressed by collective action.
Sachiko Kuwabara-Yamamoto, Basel Convention Executive Secretary, highlighted the problems of enforcement and lack of an effective tracking system for the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes.
Janet Kanini Muiva, Kenya, recited a rousing poem reminding participants of their responsibility to sustainably manage the planet and stressing that the dumping of hazardous waste, especially in Africa, must be halted.
Welcoming COP8’s e-waste theme, Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate, Kenya, noted that African countries are the largest importers of recycled and obsolete electronic equipment and emphasized the vulnerability of the poor to potentially hazardous e-waste.
Ibrahim Shafii, Secretariat of the Basel Convention, expressed hope that the COP would contribute to furthering the environmentally sound management of e-waste.
Mariano Arana, Uruguay's Minister of Housing, Territorial Planning and Environment, highlighted achievements since COP7, such as the first COP for the Stockholm Convention and the compromise agreement reached under SAICM.
Mutahi Kagwe, Minister of Information and Communications, Kenya, emphasized the need for hazardous waste disposal to be addressed at its source and expressed concern that Africa has become the main destination for obsolete equipment.
A bird eye's view of the Basel COP8 morning session, plenary.
Delegates elected Kivutha Kibwana, Minister of the Environment, Kenya, as President of COP8. He expressed hope that the meeting would be a milestone for the treatment of e-waste, and urged discussion of financing to ensure the Convention’s sustainability.
Jukka Uosukainen, Ministry of the Environment, Finland, on behalf of the EU, welcomed the high-level segment on e-waste, and promised constructive cooperation on other key issues, including synergies, ship-dismantling, financial matters and legal matters such as the Ban Amendment.
Jayne Kihara, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya, stressed that the people of Côte d'Ivoire should not be left alone with the clean-up and called upon parties to agree on decisive preventive measures to prevent such incidents in the future.
Enoch Naane, Botswana, proposed to have a separate agenda item on e-waste.
Ayo Olukanni, Nigeria, proposed adding a specific agenda item on the dumping of toxic waste in Côte d'Ivoire.
Agnes Kadama Kalibbala, Uganda, on behalf of G-77/CHINA, noted that developing countries’ priorities have to be taken into account as they are the most vulnerable to the effects of hazardous waste.
Committee of the Whole
Cristian Maquieira, Chair of the COW, opened the deliberations in the COW, requesting the establishment of a contact group on legal and financial implications, to deal firstly with drawing up a budget and secondly to address legal and other matters.
Aryamanya-Mugisha Henry, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Uganda, called for improved funding for the BCRCCs to enable them to perform their tasks.
R.K. Vaish, India, called for the establishment of a Basel Convention Regional Centre for South Asia in Sri Lanka.
Pierre Portas, Secretariat of the Basel Convention, called for improved funding for the Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres (BCRCC) to enable them to perform their tasks.
Michel Seck, Senegal, emphasized the vital role of BCRCCs for implementing the Convention and called for additional financial support.
Yue Ruisheng, China, called for the enhancement of BCRCCs to assist developing countries in increasing their capacity of controlling hazardous waste movements.
Otávio Augusto Drummond Cançado Trindade, Ministry of External Relations, Brazil, proposed to address coordination among chemical conventions through an ad hoc working group.
Atle Fretheim, Norway, stressed the need for a life-cycle approach including preventive measures; mandatory inventories; and establishment of adequate safety and environmental standards at ship-wrecking yards.
Donata Rugarabamu, Secretariat of the Basel Convention, informed delegates about the organization of the meeting, including informal consultations on ship dismantling.
Around the Conference

The Government of Kenya hosted an evening reception

Web coverage:
Monday, 27 Nov - Tuesday, 28 Nov - Wednesday, 29 Nov - Thursday, 30 Nov - Friday, 1 Dec
Related links

Links to IISD RS coverage

IISD RS coverage of the Fifth session of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (OEWG5), 3-7 April 2006, Geneva, Switzerland
IISD RS coverage of the Seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-7) to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, 25-29 October 2004, Geneva, Switzerland
IISD RS coverage of the Sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-6) to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, 9-14 December 2002, Geneva, Switzerland
IISD RS coverage of the Fifth Conference of the Parties (COP-5) to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, 6-10 December 1999, Basel, Switzerland
A brief introduction to the Basel Convention
IISD RS "Linkages" archive of Basel Convention meetings
Linkages Update
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