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 Wednesday, 29 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 convened in a morning plenary. Côte d’Ivoire made a presentation and delegates discussed the incident of toxic waste dumping from the vessel Probo Koala, in Abidjan.

In the afternoon the Committee of the Whole (COW) continued considering technical matters, and addressed legal matters, the compliance committee, the strategic plan, ship dismantling, financial matters, resource mobilization and sustainable financing.

In the afternoon, the budget contact group met and informal consultations on ship dismantling and the Mobile Phone Partnership Initiative (MPPI) continued.

Plenary - The incident of toxic waste dumping in Côte d’Ivoire
Safiatou Ba-n'daw, Côte d'Ivoire, described the health, environmental, and social effects of the waste including, stressing that over 100,000 medical examinations have been taking place, water and soil pollution, and outbreaks of protest.
President of COP8, Kivutha Kibwana, announced informal consultations for a document outlining steps to help Côte d’Ivoire and to ensure prevention of future incidents.
Agnes Kadama Kalibbala, Uganda, on behalf of G-77/CHINA, expressed solidarity with Côte d’Ivoire and requested enforcement of the polluter pays principle.
Mamadou Nimaga, Guinea, proposed the development of a COP8 declaration on the Côte d’Ivoire issue.
Nik Kiddle, New Zealand, urged strengthening of the Convention through increased resources.
Vincent van den Bergen, the Netherlands, provided a summary of its investigstion into the Côte d’Ivoire incident.
Yue Ruisheng, China, appealed to all countries, international organizations and other entities to provide assistance to Côte d'Ivoire.
R.K. Vaish, India, condemned the dumping of hazardous waste in Côte d'Ivoire and called for urgent action to identify the culprits.
Marwa A. Lasheen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt, on behalf of the group of Arab countries, addressed the issue of compensation for Côte d'Ivoire.
Larsey Mensah, Ghana, called for the reactivation of “Dumpwatch” programme and other early warning systems.
Farah Bouqartacha, Morocco, stressed the need for stringent control mechanisms to prevent further incidents in countries lacking technical, legal and institutional capacities.
Ambassador Thomas Kolly, Switzerland, said a full investigation of the incident is essential and that the Ban Amendment must be brought into force.
Humphrey K. Mwale, Environmental Council of Zambia called for tangible actions to prevent further hazardous waste dumping in Africa and cited ratification of the Ban Amendment and Protocol on Liability and Compensation as examples of immediate necessary action.
Freddy Mupoti Sikabongo, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Namibia, strongly condemned the actions leading up to the Côte d’Ivoire incident.
Tim Meredith, World Health Organization, listed its activities in support of the overburdened local medical system.
Kevin Stairs, Greenpeace International, stressed that regulation of hazardous waste shipments cannot be decoupled from efforts to reduce hazardous waste generation in developed countries.
Jim Puckett, Basel Action Network (BAN), urged countries to ratify and implement the Basel Convention Ban Amendment.
Nikos E. Mielis, International Maritime Organization (United Nations), reported on its cooperation with the investigative teams, adding that they would take regulatory action, based on the findings.
O.O. Dada, Ministry of Environment, Nigeria, stressed the need to prevent dumping of hazardous waste.
Shuichi Takano, Japan, explained that Japan is working together with other East Asian countries to prevent the illegal trafficking of hazardous waste.
Side Event: The Challenges of Effective Implementation of the Basel Convention
Roy Watkinson, Chair of the Implementation and Compliance Committee of the Basel Convention
Bakary Kante, Director UNEP-Division of Environmental Law and Conventions (DELC)
A. Muusya Mwinzi, Director General of the National Environment Management Authority, Kenya
Committee of the Whole (COW)
On the Budget contact group COW Chair Maquieira noted progress on the group’s discussion, including the approval of biannual budget option. He said the group would continue to meet in parallel to discuss resource mobilization and sustainable financing.

L-R: Nelson Sabogal, Secretariat of the Basel Convention; Pierre Portas, Secretariat of the Basel Convention; Cristian Maquieira, Chair of the COW; and Donata Rugarabamu, Secretariat of the Basel Convention

Jukka Uosukainen, Ministry of the Environment, Finland, on behalf of the EU, noted the Ban Amendment to the Basel Convention is already being applied in the EU and called for its quick entry into force.
Donata Rugarabamu, Secretariat of the Basel Convention, introduced, and COW considered, the draft decisions on legal matters forwarded by OEWG5 for consideration by COP8 (UNEP/CHW.8/6).
Denis Langlois, Foreign Affairs Canada, agreed and insisted on the current-time approach as set out in the legal opinion, requiring that three-quarters of the current members of the Basel Convention would have to ratify the Ban Amendment in order for it to enter into force.
On the informal consultation on Ship dismantling, Chair Roy Watkinson, UK, reported that the informal working group on ship dismantling considered a revised decision on the abandonment of ships and a proposal by the EU (UNEP/CHW.8/CRP.10).
On illegal traffic, the Secretariat noted the draft decision had been drafted before the incident in Côte d’Ivoire, and said a report was anticipated from the on-going mission to Côte d’Ivoire at the end of the week.
L-R: Jukka Uosukainen, Ministry of the Environment, Finland, in consultation with Cristian Maquieira, Chair of the COW.
Budget Contact Group
Chaired by Anne Daniel (Canada), delegates continued discussing the EU proposed draft decision on resource mobilization and sustainable financing.
Chair Anne Daniel, Canada
Jaye Shuttleworth, Canada
Oswaldo Álvarez, Chile
Informal Consultation on Ship Dismantling
Facilitator Roy Watkinson invited discussion on the EU’s proposal. Some delegates disagreed on this and a decision was taken to consider the revised decision on the abandonment of ships.
Around the Conference
L-R: Melanie Ashton, ENB, and Martin Andreas Krebs, UNEP
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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