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 Thursday, 30 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 the high-level segment in the morning and afternoon to address the COP theme of “Creating innovative solutions through the Basel Convention for the environmentally sound management,” which consisted of ministerial speeches and a panel opening the World Forum on E-waste.

The Committee of the Whole (COW) met in the evening and agreed on various draft decisions, but remaining outstanding issues include: draft elements for a proposed decision on BCRCCs (UNEP/CHW.8/CRP.5); 2010 Strategic Plan for the Convention’s implementation (UNEP/CHW.8/CRP.6); and the outline for an instruction manual for the legal profession (UNEP/CHW.8/CRP.14).

The budget contact group met and informal consultations on ship dismantling and on the Mobile Phone Partnership Initiative (MPPI) continued throughout the day and evening.

High-Level Segment
A bird's eye view of the High-Level Segment
Ibrahim Shafii, Secretariat of the Basel Convention, welcomed participants to the High-Level Segment.
COP8 President, Kivutha Kibwana, Kenya, welcomed participants to the High-Level Segment, expressing hope that the “World Forum on E-waste” would result in effective implementation of the Convention.
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, chaired the High-Level Segment, acknowledged the growing interest in e-waste management, and underscored the importance of multi-stakeholder interaction
Jesca Eriyo, Minister of State for Environment, Uganda, discussed e-waste in the context of the vulnerability of African countries due to the absence of an effective tracking system, and inadequate legal frameworks, law enforcement and capacity.
Mariano Arana, Minister of Housing, Land Planning and Environment, Uruguay, described efforts in Montevideo to implement integrated waste management practices, emphasizing the need for extended producer responsibility and adequate infrastructure for waste management.
Dato'Seri Azmi Khalid, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Malaysia, noted that electrical and electronic goods manufacturing comprise 49.6% of Malaysia’s total exports and that computer and computer peripheral manufacturing is one of the fastest growing sectors in Malaysia.
Helge Wendenburg, Head of the Department of Water Supply and Distribution, Waste Management, Soil Conservation, Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature and Nuclear Safety, Germany, highlighted the need to conserve precious metals contained in e-waste recycling.
Timo Mäkelä, European Commission, informed delegates that 6-7 million tonnes of electronic and electrical waste is produced per annum in the EU, saying this had prompted the EC’s new electronic waste directive.
Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Mining Industry Association, Japan, said that the issue of collection of end-of-life electronic equipment is a challenge to be addressed, and noted the high cost of current recycling techniques.
Kirsi Sormunen, Nokia’s Vice President, addressed the challenge of e-waste collection and called for better guidelines on recycling.
Klaus Hieronymi, Director of Environmental Business Management, for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Hewlett Packard, insisted that access to greater information technology assists in environmental, social and economic development.
Adil Najam, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), issued a challenge to deal with e-waste, by finding new avenues of international environmental policy under the Convention’s umbrella.
Bakary Kante, Director UNEP-Division of Environmental Law and Conventions (DELC), chaired a panel opening the World Forum on E-waste.
During the interactive discussion, Khieu Muth, Ministry of Environment, Kingdom of Cambodia, called for a global strategy on e-waste, where developing and developed countries deal with e-waste management as partners.
Mauritius requested awareness-raising and capacity-building in developing countries to avoid pollution from e-waste and that producers be responsible for its disposal.
Alfonso Flores, Mexico, pointed to ongoing innovation in the electronics industry, making older models obsolete and leading to their disposal, when they could still be used and resources could be extracted from them.
Jean-Pierre Babatounde, Ministry of Environment and Natural Protection, Benin, called upon the international community and developed countries to support the development of appropriate financial mechanisms to implement the Convention’s objectives.
Abubakar S. Rajabu, Tanzania, underscored three major concerns facing developing countries: the challenge of globalization; poverty reduction; and vulnerable populations, and called for a funding arrangement to develop capacity building.
Djismun Kasri, Indonesia, questioned panelist Adil Najam on how harmonization can occur between governments, businesses and civil society on the problem of e-waste, considering their differing interests.
O.O. Dada, Ministry of Environment, Nigeria, highlighted ways forward in solving the e-waste problem, including developing global partnership initiative like MPPI for other e-waste technologies.
Lidieth Carvallo Quesada, Costa Rica, highlighted the need to raise international awareness on the importance of the Convention.
Ioan Gherhes, President of the National Agency for Environmental Protection, Romania, discussed his country’s experience in creating innovative solutions to the environmentally sound management of e-waste.
Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Mining Industry Association, Japan, presented on the role that the non-ferrous metal industry plays in the collection and recycling of e-waste, and said that recycling of some e-waste, including personal computers and washing machines is mandatory in Japan.
David Tkeshelashvili, Minister for Environment Protection and Natural Resources, Georgia, called for stricter regulation for recycling companies and the design of environmentally sustainable electronic equipment.
Stefan Wallin, State Secretary, Finland, stressed the need to minimize e-waste generation, prevent illegal shipments and “e-waste leakage” from regions with strict regulations to countries where regulation and enforcement are weak.
On illegal traffic, Hae-wook Cheong, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Korea, noted that transboundary movement of used electronics should only be permitted when importing countries have available recycling and reuse technology.
On management of e-waste, Roy Hathaway, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), UK, recommended: a life cycle approach from product design onwards; a robust legal framework providing clarity on what is and is not waste; clear communication and awareness-raising of ESM requirements; and implementation and enforcement.
Bundit Tunsathien, Ministry of Industry, Thailand, supported a declaration on e-waste, incorporating: reducing waste at source; extended producer responsibility; and public-private partnerships.
Robert Tonetti, United States, requested panel comments on whether a single approach, such as a ban on the transboundary movement of electronic materials and wastes, would impact the ability to achieve environmentally sound and sustainable solutions.
Ambassador Thomas Kolly, Switzerland, proposed encouraging multistakeholder cooperation and responsibility.
Yu Fei, State Environmental Protection Administration of China, highlighted his country’s actions on e-waste control.
Jorge Ojeda, Colombia, noted the need to also focus on other hazardous wastes, including insecticides.
Forum Chair Steiner provided a summary of the key issues emerging from the discussion and announced that a proposal for a declaration on e-waste would be available Friday, 1 December 2006.
Budget Contact Group
Delegates, chaired by Anne Daniel, Canada, continued debating, line-by-line, the revised proposal to the biennium programme and budget, and identified possible cost reductions, including removing a number of the Secretariat’s permanent staff, decreasing traveling costs, and holding back-to-back meetings.
Informal Consultation on Ship Dismantling
Roy Watkinson, UK, facilitated the informal working group on ship dismantling, throughout Thursday.
Delegates discussed at length the draft decision on the “ship recycling convention” and agreed to forward it to COW.
R.K. Vaish, India
Committee of the Whole

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

On dumping of toxic wastes in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, COW Chair Maquieira asked delegates to informally consult on the issue late into the evening and report back on Friday, 1 December.
On the provisional decision on MPPI, Jukka Uosukainen, EU, asked COW to note the guidelines are non-binding and stressed aligning the definition of e-waste with EC law and Basel Convention definitions.
David Brown, US
Anne M. O'Toole, Environment Canada
Shuichi Takano, Japan
O.O. Dada, Ministry of Environment, Nigeria
Finnish delegation
Delegation from Chile consulting with Claudia Fénérol, Basel Secretariat
Around the Conference
ENB writers. L-R: Asheline Appleton, Kenya; Melanie Ashton, Australia; and Robynne Boyd, South Africa
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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