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Volume 20 Number 31 - Monday, 30 June 2008
SUMMARY OF THE NINTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE BASEL CONVENTION
23-27 JUNE 2008
The ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was held from 23-27 June 2008, in Bali, Indonesia. Over 500 participants, representing governments, UN agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and the private sector attended the meeting.

Throughout the week, delegates tackled a lengthy agenda and adopted more than 30 decisions prepared by the Open-ended Working Group on, inter alia: cooperation and coordination; the budget; legal matters; review of Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Centres (BCRCs); the Partnership Programme; the Strategic Plan; and technical matters. On Thursday, 26 June, ministers and heads of delegations gathered in the high level segment, attending the “World Forum on Waste Management for Human Health and Livelihood,” and engaging in an interactive discussion on ways in which the Basel Convention can contribute to the achievement of the wider policy objectives of human health and livelihood – the theme of COP9.

Key issues that occupied much of delegates’ time included: adopting the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Joint Working Group on cooperation and coordination; linking the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Convention with the new strategic framework beyond 2010 and, in this context, approving a suitable budget; and legal interpretation of Article 17(5), relating to the entry into force of the Ban Amendment.

At the close of the meeting, many delegates praised the constructive spirit of the negotiations and noted, although longstanding issues such as the Ban Amendment are yet to be resolved, parties on all sides of the debate seem prepared to work together informally during the intersessional period, in an attempt to make progress. 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BASEL CONVENTION

The Basel Convention was adopted in 1989 and entered into force on 5 May 1992. It was created to address concerns over the management, disposal and transboundary movement of the estimated 400 million tonnes of hazardous wastes that are produced worldwide each year. The guiding principles of the Convention are that transboundary movements of hazardous wastes should: be reduced to a minimum; managed in an environmentally sound manner; be treated and disposed of as close as possible to their source of generation; and be minimized at the source. There are currently 170 parties to the Convention.

COP1: The first COP was held in Piriapolis, Uruguay, from 3-4 December 1992. COP1 requested industrialized countries to prohibit transboundary movements of hazardous wastes for final disposal to developing countries (Decision I/22). Decision I/22 also noted that the transboundary movements of wastes for the purpose of recovery and recycling should take place in accordance with the requirement that the wastes be handled in an environmentally sound manner. The issue of hazardous wastes destined for recycling and recovery was forwarded to the Technical Working Group (TWG) for further study.

COP2: During the second COP, held in Geneva from 21-25 March 1994, parties agreed on an immediate ban on the export of hazardous wastes intended for final disposal from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries to non-OECD countries. Parties also agreed to ban, by 31 December 1997, the export of wastes intended for recovery or recycling from OECD to non-OECD countries (Decision II/12). Since Decision II/12 was not incorporated into the text of the Convention itself, the issue of whether or not the ban was legally binding was unclear.

COP3: At the third COP, held in Geneva from 18-22 September 1995, the ban was adopted as an amendment to the Convention (Decision III/1). The Ban Amendment does not use the OECD/non-OECD membership distinction, but bans the export of hazardous wastes for final disposal and recycling from Annex VII countries (European Union, OECD and Liechtenstein) to non-Annex VII countries. According to Article 17, entry into force of amendments should take place upon ratification by at least three-fourths of the parties who accepted them. However, there are differing interpretations over the number of ratifications required for the ban to enter into force. To date, the Ban Amendment has been ratified by 63 parties. COP3 further mandated the TWG to continue its work on the characterization of “hazardous wastes” and the development of lists of wastes that are hazardous (Decision III/12).

COP4: Two of the major decisions adopted at the fourth COP, held in Kuching, Malaysia, from 23-27 February 1998, related to the Ban Amendment. COP4 considered proposals by countries seeking to join Annex VII and decided that the composition of this annex would remain unchanged until the Ban Amendment entered into force (Decision IV/8). In this decision, COP4 also requested the Secretariat to undertake a study of issues related to Annex VII. On the question of which wastes should be covered by the Ban, COP4 considered the proposal put forward by the TWG on List A, identifying hazardous wastes, and List B, identifying non-hazardous wastes. COP4 decided to incorporate these lists as Annex VIII and Annex IX to the Convention, respectively.

COP5: The fifth COP met in Basel, Switzerland, from 6-10 December 1999 and delegates celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Convention’s adoption. They also adopted the Protocol on Liability and Compensation for Damage resulting from Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, and a “Basel Declaration” for promoting the environmentally sound management (ESM) of hazardous wastes over the next ten years, along with a decision setting the next decade’s agenda. To date, eight parties have ratified the Protocol on Liability and Compensation, which will enter into force upon receipt of 20 instruments of ratification.

The COP also adopted a number of decisions covering the Convention’s implementation and monitoring, legal matters, prevention and monitoring of illegal traffic, technical matters, and institutional, financial and procedural arrangements.

COP6: The sixth COP met in Geneva, Switzerland, from 9-14 December 2002. COP6 restated the importance of the Basel Convention’s goals relating to sustainable development and launched a partnership programme with environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industry and business. The COP adopted decisions on issues relating to the implementation of the Convention, amendment of the Convention and its annexes, and institutional, financial and procedural arrangements.

COP6 also agreed on guidance elements for the detection, prevention and control of illegal traffic in hazardous wastes, and on technical guidelines for ESM of biomedical and healthcare wastes, plastic wastes, waste from lead-acid batteries and ship dismantling. Delegates at COP6 agreed to promote further cooperation between the Basel Secretariat and other organizations and secretariats involved in chemicals management. COP6 set the budget for 2003-2005, agreed on a compliance mechanism for the Convention, adopted a Strategic Plan and finalized the Framework Agreement on the Legal Establishment of the Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centers (BCRCs) for Training and Technology Transfer.

COP7: The seventh COP, held in Geneva from 25-29 October 2004, considered decisions on a range of issues relating to the BCRCs, the Basel Convention Partnership Programme, institutional arrangements, the Ban Amendment and the Basel Protocol on Liability and Compensation. COP7 also adopted decisions on definitions of hazardous wastes, hazardous waste characteristics and a number of technical guidelines. Delegates adopted decisions on guidance elements for bilateral, multilateral or regional agreements and on the follow-up to the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. After protracted negotiations, COP7 set the budget for 2005-2006 and took decisions on the Strategic Plan and the 2005-2006 work programme for the OEWG.

COP8: The eighth COP was held from 27 November to 1 December 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya. COP8 opened against the backdrop of a toxic waste dumping incident in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. It considered several reports on activities within the Convention’s mandate and adopted a declaration on e-waste and more than 30 decisions on, inter alia: the 2007-2008 programme of work; the implementation of the Strategic Plan, including consideration of the work and operation of the BCRCs, and the Partnership Programme; synergies and cooperation; e-waste and end-of-life equipment; ship dismantling; legal matters; amendments to the general technical guidelines for the ESM of persistent organic pollutant (POP) wastes; guidelines for ESM of wastes; technical guidelines for ESM of a variety of chemicals; and the election of new members of the Compliance Committee and setting its work programme.

COP9 REPORT

COP9 opened on Monday, 23 June. In the opening plenary, Nyoman Yasa, Executive Secretary, Province of Bali, delivered a welcoming speech on behalf of the Governor of Bali, which highlighted the Province’s efforts to protect the environment and underscored the links between a healthy environment and a sound economy.

COP8 President John Michuki, Minister of Environment of Kenya, noted that several COP8 decisions had not been implemented due to a lack of funds. He expressed hope that COP9 would address pending issues, including the establishment of a financial mechanism and the interpretation of paragraph 5 of Article 17 (entry into force of amendments).

Delegates elected Rachmat Nadi Witoelar Kartaadipoetra, State Minister for the Environment of Indonesia, as COP9 President by acclamation. President Witoelar underscored the theme of the conference, “Waste Management for Human Health and Livelihood,” noting the negative impacts of hazardous wastes on people and nature. He said the illegal traffic of such wastes showed no sign of decreasing and their generation was increasing.

Katharina Kummer Peiry, Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention, reminded delegates of the Convention’s recent achievements, including: tackling the problem of e-waste; engaging in international efforts on ship dismantling; collaborating with UNEP to strengthen Côte d’Ivoire’s hazardous waste handling capacity; increasing stakeholder involvement; strengthening the capacities of developing countries through the Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres (BCRCs); and formulating draft technical guidelines for used tyres and mercury waste. She pointed to challenges facing the Convention, including considering the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Joint Working Group (AHJWG) on Enhancing Cooperation and Coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and the creation of a solid financial basis for the Basel Convention. She hoped that COP9 would place the Basel Convention firmly on the international agenda and reaffirm its implementation as a prerequisite to sustainable development.

Chile, on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group, lamented the Strategic Plan’s slow implementation and expressed concern about the English-only availability of some official documentation at the meeting.

Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, highlighted toxic waste dumping incidents in Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire and encouraged: a “more pragmatic approach” to financing; resolution of the debate over the Ban Amendment’s entry into force; and further capacity-building efforts for the Convention’s enforcement. Côte d’Ivoire expressed appreciation to the international community for its support in dealing with hazardous waste in Abidjan and offered to host COP10. Egypt, on behalf of the Arab Group, raised concern about the increase in the illegal global trade of hazardous waste, particularly in areas of armed conflict. The United Kingdom, on behalf of the Western Europe and Others Group, emphasized the challenges facing the Convention.

Delegates elected Mary Harwood (Australia), Andrzej Jagusiewicz (Poland), Osvaldo Álvarez (Chile) and Angelina Madete (Tanzania) as COP9 Vice Presidents. Madete was elected Rapporteur. Delegates adopted the provisional agenda (UNEP/CHW.9/1 and Add.1) without amendment.

COP9 President Witoelar suggested, and delegates agreed, to establish a Committee of the Whole (COW), with the authority to establish contact groups, to address all substantive agenda items from Monday through to Wednesday. Vice President Mary Harwood was elected Chair of the COW. Delegates also agreed to hold a high level segment on Thursday, 26 June, and to convene a short COW session to resolve outstanding substantive matters on Friday morning before reconvening plenary to adopt decisions and the report of the meeting. 

The following report is organized according to the order of the agenda. Unless otherwise stated, the COP decisions were adopted during the final plenary with no or minor editorial amendments.

IMPLEMENTATION OF DECISIONS ADOPTED BY COP8

STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BASEL CONVENTION TO 2010: This issue was taken up by the COW on Tuesday and Friday, and discussed in informal consultations on Wednesday and in a contact group chaired by Paul Bailey (Canada) on Thursday. The contact group also considered a draft decision on the evaluation of the Convention’s effectiveness under Article 15(7) (see “Other Matters” on page 13 below).

On Tuesday, the Secretariat introduced draft decisions on the programme of work (UNEP/CHW.9/4), a review of the Strategic Plan to 2010 (UNEP/CHW.9/5) and a process to prepare a new strategic plan beyond 2010 (UNEP/CHW.9/6). Several participants stressed the need to evaluate the successes and failures of the Strategic Plan before a new strategic framework could be devised. Participants agreed to discuss the three proposed decisions informally on Wednesday, when it was decided that they should be integrated into a single decision that should also address the issue of evaluation of the Convention’s effectiveness under Article 15(7) (UNEP/CHW.9/38).

On Thursday, a contact group met to revise a draft decision prepared by the European Union (EU) that included the programme of work, a review of the Strategic Plan to 2010, the preparation of a new strategic framework beyond 2010 and an evaluation of the Convention’s effectiveness under Article 15(7). The EU explained that the proposed decision set up a multi-staged process for evaluating the Convention’s effectiveness, reviewing the Strategic Plan and drafting a new strategic framework that would be driven by the parties. Participants agreed on several amendments to the draft decision, but no agreement was reached regarding a reference to the link between waste management and combating climate change, which was left in brackets for consideration by the COW. On Friday, informal consultations were held in the COW, the text in brackets was deleted and the draft decision forwarded to plenary, where it was adopted as orally amended.

Final Decision: In the decision on the Strategic Plan and a new strategic framework (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.19), the COP, inter alia: decides that: the implementation of the Strategic Plan should continue until the adoption of a new framework at COP10; a new ten-year strategic framework is needed; and the new framework should follow a number of guidelines, including full use of BCRCs, enhanced cooperation with the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and assessment of capacities of less developed countries.

The COP further:

  • urges parties and others to submit comments on the implementation of the Strategic Plan to the Secretariat by 30 November 2008;
  • invites parties to nominate a contact person to facilitate liaison with the Secretariat and directs the latter to consult with those contacts at “key stages” of the review and evaluation processes and in the development of a new strategic framework;
  • invites parties and others to provide data and information to facilitate an evaluation of the Convention’s effectiveness as a basis for the preparation of a new strategic framework;
  • requests the Secretariat to prepare a first draft of a new framework and parties and others to submit comments on the referred draft;
  • decides to establish an open-ended coordination group within the framework of the open-ended working group (OEWG) to refine the draft strategic framework drafted by the Secretariat for consideration of the OEWG; and
  • requests the OEWG to finalize the strategic framework for consideration by COP10.

BASEL CONVENTION REGIONAL AND COORDINATING CENTRES: On Monday, COW Chair Harwood opened discussion on the BCRCs, and subsequently referred to the BCRC contact group a draft decision on the review of the operation of the BCRCs (UNEP/CHW.9/7) and a proposal and associated papers on the establishment of a South Asia regional centre (UNEP/CHW.9/8, UNEP/CHW.9/INF/8, UNEP/CHW.9/INF/8/Add.1, and UNEP/CHW.9/INF/9).

The contact group, chaired by Prakesh Kowlesser (Mauritius), met on Tuesday and Wednesday. Agreement was voiced on the importance of the BCRCs for the implementation of the Convention, but delegates disagreed on: the relationship the BCRCs should have with the Secretariat; the sources of funding that should be encouraged; the vision for future self-sufficiency of the centres; and whether a new centre in South Asia should be established. Disagreement over these issues was resolved in informal consultations on Thursday, after which the COW forwarded the draft decision to plenary.

Final Decisions: In the final decision on the review of the operation of the BCRCs (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.8/Rev.1), the COP, inter alia:

  • recognizes the role of the BCRCs in implementing the Basel Convention and its Strategic Plan;
  • encourages information and expertise exchange between the centres;
  • notes the Secretariat’s facilitative and catalytic role in mobilizing resources and technical assistance;
  • notes that the BCRCs do or could play a role in implementing activities related to several chemical and waste instruments, including the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions;
  • encourages the BCRCs to revise their business plans;
  • requests the Secretariat to prepare a draft strategic framework for the financial sustainability of the centres, which should include exploration of the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund, subject to availability of funds; and
  • urges provision of the necessary financial support for the strengthening of the BCRCs.

In the final decision on the BCRC for South Asia (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.9), the COP: invites South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) to conduct consultations with host and member countries of existing centres, to define its comparative advantage; and requests SACEP to provide an updated proposal to the OEWG.

NAIROBI DECLARATION ON THE ESM OF ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC WASTE AND DECISION VIII/2: The Nairobi Declaration was first discussed on Thursday, when the COW referred the draft decision on the ESM of e-waste (UNEP/CHW.9/9) to the technical matters contact group, chaired by Mohammed Khashashneh (Jordan) which met that afternoon. Chile supported the establishment of an e-waste multi-stakeholder advisory body, while the EU, Argentina and others said more discussion was needed. The contact group deleted reference to it in the draft text. On Friday morning, the COW adopted the draft decision with minor administrative corrections and forwarded it to plenary.

Final Decision: In the final decision on the Nairobi Declaration on the ESM of e-waste (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.10), the COP:

  • adopts a work plan for the ESM of e-waste, contingent on the availability of funds, including work on the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE), the Mobile Phone Partnership Initiative (MPPI), technical guidelines for transboundary movements of e-waste, and programmes of activities for ESM of e-waste in Asia-Pacific, Africa, and South America;
  • encourages parties and signatories to provide voluntary contributions and engage in partnerships and regional programmes;
  • invites provision of financial and in-kind support for the preparation of technical guidelines;
  • invites the continued development of pilot projects by parties, stakeholders, and BCRCs; and
  • requests continued facilitation of work on the ESM of e-waste by the Secretariat.

PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMME: This issue was addressed in the COW on Wednesday and Friday, in the technical matters contact group on Wednesday.

On Wednesday in the COW, Osvaldo Álvarez (Chile) presented a report on PACE (UNEP/CHW.9/13) and a revised draft decision (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.1) of the interim group on PACE. Marco Buletti (Switzerland) then introduced a progress report on the MPPI (UNEP/CHW.9/INF/16), the proposed changes to the provisionally adopted guidance document on the ESM of end-of-life mobile phones (UNEP/CHW.9/11) and a draft decision (UNEP/CHW.9/12). He said the Mobile Phone Working Group had completed its work.

The Secretariat introduced a report on the implementation of the Partnership Programme work plan for 2007-2008 and the work plan for 2009-2010 and a draft decision (UNEP/CHW.9/10). The EU, opposed by Brazil and Pakistan, supported the adoption of the guidance document on mobile phones. Brazil said the guidance document appeared to operate outside the Convention’s framework, and Buletti responded that the document duly implemented the Convention and called on industry to provide information to importing countries even when none of the countries involved defined mobile phones as wastes. Canada highlighted the importance of linkages, consistency and efficiency and, with the EU, supported the work of the partnership programme. The US pledged US$75,000 to the programme.

The technical matters contact group revised the draft decision on PACE (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.1) on Wednesday. The revised decisions on PACE (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.11) and the Convention Partnership Programme workplan for 2009-2010 (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.12) were submitted to the COW, which forwarded them to the plenary without amendment.

Final Decisions: In the decision on the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.19), the COP:

  • agrees to establish a working group operating under the OEWG as the operating mechanism for the Partnership;
  • encourages the Partnership to ensure that it has a sustainable funding mechanism; and
  • encourages parties and others to participate actively in the Partnership and to make financial or in-kind contributions.

In the draft decision on the Convention Partnership Programme workplan for 2009-2010 (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.12), the COP, among other things:  

  • adopts the workplan for 2009-2010, as set out in the annex to the decision;
  • requests the Secretariat to facilitate the activities contained in the workplan subject to the availability of financial resources; and
  • requests the Secretariat to, inter alia: continue to implement the Partnership Programme, subject to the availability of financial resources; provide information to OEWG7 on progress; and submit a progress report and a workplan for 2010-2012 to COP10;
  • requests the BCRCs to engage in the work of the Partnership Programme;
  • urges parties, signatories and others to provide financial and in-kind support and to contribute to the post of Senior Programme Officer of the Partnership Programme; and
  • calls on parties to facilitate broader participation by civil society and to provide technical and financial support for the Partnership Programme.

In the decision on MPPI (UNEP/CHW.9/12), the COP, inter alia:

  • adopts “without prejudice to national legislation,” adopts “without prejudice to national legislation,” sections 1,2,3 and 5 of the guidance document (UNEP/CHW.9/11) on ESM of used and end-of-life mobile phones, as amended by the Secretariat, as a voluntary document;  
  • invites the parties, signatories and other interested stakeholders to submit comments on Section 4, as amended to the Secretariat;
  • invites parties and signatories to use and continue to test the guidance document and the five guidelines under the MPPI;
  • requests the OEWG to continue to review the guidance document further;
  • decides that the Mobile Phone Working Group has successfully completed its mandate and that any follow-up tasks that may be required will be carried out by an ad hoc follow-up group; and
  • encourages parties and others to make financial or in-kind contributions or both.

COOPERATION AND COORDINATION AMONG THE BASEL, ROTTERDAM AND STOCKHOLM CONVENTIONS: On Tuesday in the COW, the Co-Chairs of the AHJWG on Enhancing Cooperation and Coordination between the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions presented their recommendation (UNEP/CHW.9/14). Brazil said that the recommendation broke new ground and should be considered section-by-section. The issue was taken up again by the COW on Wednesday, when Iran requested additional time to consider the draft decision. On Friday, after informal consultations were held both before, and concurrent to the plenary, three preambular paragraphs were added to the draft decision. The plenary adopted the decision, as amended.

In discussions during the COW, the Co-Chairs noted that the proposed recommendation would: improve the implementation of the conventions at the national, regional and global levels, while maintaining the autonomy of each convention; raise the political profile of the three conventions; and contribute to discussions on international environmental governance. The EU, the African Group and others supported adoption of the recommendation. Japan also supported the recommendation, provided it did not result in an increased budget for the three conventions.

Final Decision: In the decision on synergies (UNEP/CHW.9/14), the COP:

  • adopts the recommendation of the AHJWG (UNEP/CHW.9/14)
  • notes the legal autonomy of each of the three conventions;
  • recognizes the broad scope of the Basel Convention and welcomes the ongoing commitment of all parties to ensuring the implementation of the full breadth of the Basel Convention; and
  • looks forward to the follow-up on the development of managerial issues arising through the closer cooperation between the three conventions.

The recommendation of the AHJWG consists of five parts:

  • organizational issues in the field, including coordination at the national level, programmatic cooperation in the field, and coordinated use of regional offices and centres;
  • technical issues, including national reporting, compliance mechanisms, and cooperation on technical and scientific issues;
  • information management and public awareness issues, including joint outreach, information exchange/clearing-house mechanism on health and environmental impacts and joint input into other processes and institutions;
  • administrative issues, including joint managerial functions, resource mobilization, financial management and joint services; and
  • decision making, including coordinated meetings, extraordinary meetings of the COPs and a mechanism reviewing the adopted arrangements.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND COORDINATION: On Wednesday in the COW, delegates considered a report and a draft decision on international cooperation (UNEP/CHW.9/15), and agreed to submit the draft decision to plenary without amendment.

Delegates also considered a report on cooperation between the Basel Convention and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (UNEP/CHW.9/16). The IMO pointed out that the secretariats of the Basel Convention and IMO had set up a joint technical cooperation project designed to build the hazardous waste management capacity of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and others in the region. China, Argentina, Mexico and Libya supported establishing a mechanism for cooperation between the Basel Convention and the IMO, while Japan called for further information and analysis before discussing the issue. Delegates inserted a paragraph under the “proposed actions” section of the draft decision, encouraging the Secretariat to continue strengthening its cooperation with the IMO in relation to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and other relevant instruments. Delegates agreed to submit the draft decision to plenary, as amended.

Final Decisions: In the decision on international cooperation (UNEP/CHW.9/15), the COP requests the Secretariat to:

  • strengthen further cooperation and coordination with other international and regional organizations and multilateral environmental agreements in areas of relevance to the Basel Convention;
  • continue efforts to seek observer status in the Committee on Trade and Environment of the World Trade Organization; and
  • report on the implementation of the decision to COP10.
  • In the decision on cooperation between the Basel Convention and the IMO (UNEP/CHW.9/16), the COP, among other things:
  • reiterates its invitation to the parties to the Basel Convention and others to provide information and views to the Secretariat on the respective competencies of the Basel Convention and MARPOL 73/78 with respect to hazardous wastes and other wastes, and harmful substances, and any gaps between those instruments and options for addressing them;
  • requests the Secretariat to compile the referred information for consideration by the OEWG at its next session;
  • requests the OEWG to consider the information to develop recommendations on options for addressing any gaps between the Basel Convention and MARPOL 73/78 for consideration by COP10; and
  • encourages parties to organize internal coordination between their IMO and Basel Convention representatives and to participate actively in any consideration of industrial production processes on board ships at sea or any consideration of the respective competencies of the Basel Convention and MARPOL 73/78.

NATIONAL REPORTING: On Wednesday, in the COW, the Secretariat introduced a draft decision (UNEP/CHW.9/17) on national reporting. The EU and Switzerland stressed the importance of data reporting for the Convention’s effective implementation. The draft decision was approved and forwarded to plenary, where it was adopted on Friday without amendment.

Final Decision: In the decision on national reporting (UNEP/CHW.9/17), the COP, inter alia:

  • urges parties to transmit to the Secretariat their completed questionnaires on transmission of information for the year 2006 and previous years;
  • requests that such information be provided for 2007 before the end of 2008, if possible in electronic form; and
  • requests the Secretariat to assist parties in improving the comparability of their data on the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and other wastes, and to prepare and publish: an annual compilation document for 2006 and 2007 based on the questionnaires; for the triennium 2007–2009 and for each triennium thereafter, a summary of the data on transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and other wastes from the questionnaires; and a country fact sheet for each party submitting completed questionnaires.

TECHNICAL MATTERS: Under this item, parties considered ten issues and eight draft decisions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the COW and in the contact group on technical matters.

On Monday, the COW discussed the revised technical guidelines on ESM of used tyres and the related draft decision. Brazil said that the revised technical guidelines furthered those adopted in 1999. The EU, Cambodia and the Republic of Korea proposed several amendments and the matter was referred to the contact group, where delegates discussed EU proposals on the draft and agreed to reconvene on Tuesday. Participants sought consistency with other Basel Convention technical guidelines. On Tuesday, delegates discussed the table of contents focusing on agreeing on an appropriate order. On Wednesday, the COW considered the draft decision on ESM of used tyres (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.6) and forwarded it to plenary.

The technical guidelines on the ESM of mercury waste were first considered in the COW and then in the contact group on technical matters on Monday and Tuesday. On Tuesday afternoon, they reviewed and agreed on the draft decision (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.2) on mercury and on Wednesday, in the COW, delegates agreed to forward it to plenary, noting that some of the dates and references may be amended subject to the outcome of the finance and work programme contact group. There was little debate on this matter as delegates agreed to furthering the guidelines through an intersessional working group. On Friday, in plenary, the EU drew attention to small amendments to the guidelines (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.2/Rev.1), including a sequential change in the order of actions to be carried out. The decision was adopted with minor editorial changes.

On POPs, the Secretariat introduced the technical guidelines on the ESM of POPs (UNEP/CHW.9/20) on Monday. The EU suggested that the Stockholm Convention on POPs include experts from the Basel Convention in its review of best available techniques and best environmental practices to improve coordination in waste management. Indonesia disagreed with the inclusion of a concentration limit of POPs in wastes, explaining that this could lead to the import of wastes with low POP content. Delegates referred the issue the contact group on technical matters for further consideration, where they agreed to prepare new text based on an EU proposal, bracketing a few paragraphs. On Tuesday afternoon, they reviewed and agreed on the draft decision on POPs wastes (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.3). On Wednesday, in the COW, delegates agreed to forward it to plenary, noting that some of the dates and references could be amended subject to the outcome of the finance and work programme contact group.

On the review of work on the guidance papers on characteristics H10 (liberation of toxic gases in contact with air or water) and H11 (chronically toxic substances or wastes) (UNEP/CHW.9/22), the EU suggested on Wednesday in the COW, and delegates agreed, to postpone the date for submitting comments to the Secretariat to 31 January 2009, and to work on characteristic H11 but not H10. The papers were forwarded to plenary with minor amendments.

On the review of cooperation with the WCO and its Harmonized System Committee pursuant to decision VIII/20 (UNEP/CHW.9/23), discussed on Wednesday in the COW, new text requesting the Secretariat to compile an analysis of its work on the subject and to prepare a report for submission to the OEWG’s seventh session was added. The draft decision was forwarded to plenary as amended.

On Wednesday in the COW, delegates considered the amended draft decision on harmonization and coordination (UNEP/CHW.9/25) and agreed to forward it to plenary after a new paragraph inviting nominations for the Chair of the Joint Correspondence Group by 30 November 2008, proposed by the EU.

The COW also forwarded the review of technical guidelines, on incineration in land, specially engineered landfill, and wastes collected from households ((UNEP/CHW.9/21) and the national classification and control procedures for the import of wastes contained in Annex IX (UNEP/CHW.9/26), to plenary.

Final Decisions: On technical matters, the COP adopted eight decisions:

In its decision on the ESM of used tyres (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.6), the COP, inter alia:

  • takes note of the revised technical guidelines on the ESM of used tyres;
  • extends the mandate of the small intersessional working group;
  • requests Brazil to provide by 31 July 2008 a format for comments to be agreed upon by the members of the intersessional group, and, in consultation with the group, to prepare a revised version of the technical guidelines by 30 November 2008, taking into account the table of contents and the comments received;
  • invites comments from parties by 31 March 2009;
  • requests Brazil to prepare a revised version of the guidelines, based on the referred comments three months prior to the seventh session of the OEWG; and
  • requests the Secretariat to report to COP10 on progress on the guidelines for their consideration and possible adoption.

In the decision on the ESM of mercury waste (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.2/Rev.1), the COP, inter alia:

  • agrees that the further development of the guidelines should be included in the work programme of the OEWG for the triennium 2009-2011;
  • invites parties to submit comments and to serve as lead countries for developing them;
  • agrees to establish an intersessional working group on the development of the guidelines;
  • requests the lead country or the Secretariat to prepare a revised version of the guidelines;
  • invites comments by 30 September 2009;
  • requests the lead country or the Secretariat to prepare a revised version of the guidelines by 31 January 2010 for publication on the Convention website and consideration at the seventh OEWG meeting;
  • invites parties and others to submit comments by 30 April 2010 and to make financial or in-kind contributions to furthering of the guidelines; and
  • requests the Secretariat to report on progress to COP10.

In the decision on POPs (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.3), the COP, inter alia:

  • agrees on elements to be included in the work programme of the OEWG for 2009-2010, such as considering further guidance on other disposal methods when POP concentrations are less than the benchmark “low POP content” in areas where there might be a high risk for human health and the environment; and including the definitions of “low POP content” and of levels of destruction and irreversible transformation;
  • invites the appropriate bodies of the Stockholm Convention to, inter alia, involve experts of the Basel Convention its waste-related work, and encourage improved national coordination on waste-related issues;
  • decides to extend the mandate of the intersessional group on the technical guidelines on POPs; and
  • requests the intersessional group to consider comments and to report the results of its work.

In its decision on the review of other selected technical guidelines pursuant to decision VIII/17, e.g., on incineration on land, specially engineered landfill, and wastes collected from households (UNEP/CHW.9/21), the COP: invites countries to take the lead in reviewing and updating the guidelines or to contribute financially to the process; invites countries to comment on the review and updates and on their experiences in implementing the existing technical guidelines by 31 December 2008; and requests the Secretariat to prepare a compilation of comments for transmission to COP10.

In its decision on the review of work on the guidance papers on characteristics H10 (liberation of toxic gases in contact with air or water) and H11 (chronically toxic substances or wastes) (UNEP/CHW.9/22), the COP:

  • invites parties to take the lead in the finalization of work on the guidance papers on characteristic H11 or to contribute financially to the process and to provide comments to the Secretariat by 31 January 2009, on the guidance paper and the US proposal for a framework for developing de minimis values for hazard characteristic H11; and
  • requests the Secretariat to prepare a compilation of comments to transmit to OEWG7 and a revised version to COP10.

In its decision on the review of cooperation with the WCO and its Harmonized System Committee pursuant to decision VIII/20 (UNEP/CHW.9/23), the COP requests the Secretariat: to pursue its cooperation with the WCO secretariat, the Harmonized System Committee, the Harmonized System Review Subcommittee and the Scientific Subcommittee of the WCO; to compile an analysis of its work on the subject and prepare a report for submission to the OEWG’s seventh session; and to continue to move forward with the issue of the identification of the wastes covered by the Basel Convention in the WCO Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System and to report regularly to the OEWG and the COP on progress.

In its decision on harmonization and coordination (UNEP/CHW.9/25), the COP: invites the Joint Correspondence Group to fulfill its mandate as soon as possible; invites nominations for the Chair of the Joint Correspondence Group by 30 November 2008; and requests the Secretariat to report on the outcome of the work of the Joint Correspondence Group to COP10.

In its decision on the national classification and control procedures for the import of wastes contained in Annex IX (UNEP/CHW.9/26), the COP: encourages the completion of the reporting questionnaire by 31 December 2008; requests the Secretariat to prepare a compilation of the information received from parties on their difficulties with national classification or control procedures relating to the import of wastes contained in Annex IX and post it on the Basel Convention website; and requests the Secretariat to prepare a consolidated report for COP10. 

LEGAL MATTERS: This item was taken up in the COW on Tuesday and addressed in a contact group, chaired by Jürg Bally (Switzerland), that convened throughout the week to address interpretation of Article 17(5). It included a note on the interpretation of Article 17(5) (UNEP/CHW.9/30) and comments received from parties (UNEP/CHW.9/INF/27). A proposal to resolve the issue of the Ban Amendment by a decision by parties was met with divided responses. Some said the decision must be made by consensus, while others countered that a majority decision was the only way forward. No agreement was reached, and Chair Bally called for informal negotiations during the evening on a proposed compromise text. On Friday morning, Chair Bally reported the group had been unsuccessful in reconciling differences, and the COW forwarded the bracketed draft decision to plenary.

Some legal matters were addressed by the COW. Draft decisions on the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund (UNEP/CHW.9/27) and on the Protocol on Liability and Compensation (UNEP/CHW.9/29) were referred, with amendments, to plenary. Draft decisions on national definitions of hazardous wastes (UNEP/CHW.9/31) and on agreements and arrangements (UNEP/CHW.9/32), on designation of competent authorities and focal points (UNEP/CHW.9/33), and on enforcement (UNEP/CHW.9/28) were approved and forwarded to plenary without amendment.

Final Decisions: The final decision on addressing the interpretation of Article 17(5) of the Basel Convention (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.18) requests further consideration of the draft decision by OEWG7. Bracketed alternatives in the text include:

  • the desire to clarify the requirements for entry into force of amendments to the Convention in Article 17(5);
  • a reference to the power of the parties to agree on the interpretation of the Convention;
  • agreement that the decision should be adopted in accordance with rule 40 of the rules of procedure of the Basel Convention, or agreement that the decision would need to be adopted by consensus, or without opposition; and
  • various alternative interpretations of Article 17(5).

Proposed text formulations from COP9 were included in the decision as bracketed footnotes. The footnote alternatives include:

  • a statement noting that the footnotes to paragraphs 4 and 5 should be considered a package as an alternative to paragraph 9;
  • a request for resolving the interpretation of the Basel Convention in accordance with the principles of international law, including Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties;
  • recognition of the ambiguity of the requirements for entry into force of amendments to the Convention; and
  • recognition of definitive, binding and authoritative nature of decisions pursuant to paragraph 4 adopted by consensus by the COP.

The COP also adopted the six draft decisions forwarded to the plenary by the COW without amendment.

On the discussion on the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund (UNEP/CHW.9/27), the COP:

  • requests the OEWG to review the implementation of the mechanism for responding to emergency situations;
  • adopts the standard form for requests for assistance from the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund, and requests the Secretariat to post it on its website in the six official UN languages; and
  • urges parties to provide contributions to the Fund.

In the decision on enforcement (UNEP/CHW.9/28), the COP, inter alia:

  • calls for stringent legislation on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and for the incorporation of appropriate penalties for illegal traffic of such wastes into national legislation;
  • requests the Secretariat, subject to availability of funding and in collaboration with BCRCs and others, to organize enforcement training activities;
  • requests the Secretariat to prepare a draft instruction manual on the prosecution of illegal traffic and the OEWG to consider and approve this manual;
  • encourages parties to submit the texts of implementation and enforcement measures they have adopted and requests the Secretariat to maintain a collection of these measures; and
  • calls on parties and others to make financial or in-kind contributions for these activities.

In the decision on the Protocol on Liability and Compensation (UNEP/CHW.9/29), the COP appeals for the expedition of the process of ratifying the Basel Protocol on Liability and Compensation to facilitate its entry into force; and calls upon parties to continue national and regional consultations to overcome obstacles to the ratification of the Protocol.

In the decision on national definitions of hazardous wastes (UNEP/CHW.9/31), the COP inter alia:

  • requests parties to provide information to the Secretariat on national definitions of hazardous waste;
  • asks the Secretariat to assist parties in ensuring the information provided is updated and clear and to post such information on its website, in the six UN languages; and
  • requests the Secretariat to report to COP10 on implementation of the decision.

In the decision on agreements and arrangements (UNEP/CHW.9/32), the COP calls on parties to follow Article 11(2) of the Basel Convention, which requires them to notify the Secretariat of any bilateral, multilateral or regional agreements or arrangements that they have adopted; and asks the Secretariat to post them on the Convention’s website.

In the decision on the designation of competent authorities and focal points (UNEP/CHW.9/33), the COP, inter alia:

  • calls on parties to designate at least one competent authority and focal point for facilitating the implementation of the Convention;
  • requests parties with multiple such authorities to provide information regarding the functions and geographical area covered by each; and
  • invites non-parties and interested organizations to identify and submit information to the Secretariat of contact persons for the Convention.

DISMANTLING OF SHIPS: On Monday, the COW considered the Secretariat’s note on the ESM of ship dismantling and the joint working group of the IMO, International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Basel Convention on ship scrapping (UNEP/CHW.9/34) and established a contact group that met on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, the draft decision, as amended by the contact group, was considered by the COW and forwarded to plenary with editorial changes (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.5/Rev.1).

During discussions in the COW, Indonesia said short- and medium-term measures for the ESM of ship dismantling should be discussed and the level of control clarified. The EU noted it would monitor progress in the development of the IMO draft Convention on the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships to ensure that it established a level of control equivalent to that of the Basel Convention. The NGO Platform on Shipbreaking and the Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association expressed concern that the proposed IMO convention would not contain the same level of control.

The contact group’s discussions focused on the OEWG’s work programme on ship dismantling. Participants agreed the OEWG would carry out a preliminary assessment on whether the IMO convention, once adopted, establishes an equivalent level of control to that of the Basel Convention. Some favored reiterating the Basel Convention’s principles as guidelines for the task, while others argued that the OEWG’s work should be situated in a broader context and not be prejudged with regard to equivalence in the levels of control. The OEWG’s work on the duplication of regulatory instruments was deferred because the outcome of the IMO convention remained unknown. Participants also discussed the Global Programme for Sustainable Ship Recycling, with one country voicing concerns about the Programme’s narrow focus on Asia.

Final Decision: In the decision on ships (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.5/Rev.1), the COP recalls the principles of the Basel Convention, in particular the minimization of the generation and transboundary movements of hazardous wastes, the ESM of such wastes and the prevention of their export without prior informed consent. With regard to the draft IMO convention on ship recycling, the COP:

  • invites the IMO to continue to have due regard for the Basel Convention in wastes related to ship dismantling and to continue to incorporate clear responsibilities for all stakeholders;
  • requests the OEWG to carry out a preliminary assessment on whether the ship recycling convention, as adopted, establishes an equivalent level of control and enforcement to that of the Basel Convention and, in doing so, to take into account: the special characteristics of ships and international shipping, the principles of the Basel Convention and relevant COP decisions, and comments submitted by parties and other stakeholders;
  • invites parties to provide comments on appropriate criteria to be used to the Secretariat by 31 January 2009; and
  • requests the Secretariat to continue to follow the development of the ship recycling convention, report thereon to OEWG7, and transmit this decision for submission to the IMO for consideration by the Marine Environment Protection Committee.

With regard to international cooperation and technical assistance activities on the ESM of ship dismantling, the COP, inter alia:

  • invites parties and others to continue to transmit to the Secretariat relevant information that may assist stakeholders in developing measures to address the potentially harmful consequences of ship dismantling and requests the Secretariat to post the information on the website;
  • underlines the importance of continued inter-agency cooperation between ILO, IMO and the Basel Convention;
  • welcomes the development of implementation programmes and requests the Secretariat to further develop the programmes for sustainable ship recycling, in conjunction with other bodies, and to report thereon to OEWG7 to report to COP10;
  • calls upon all parties and other stakeholders to make financial or in-kind contributions to the implementation of activities; and
  • requests the Secretariat to report to the OEWG and the COP on the outcome of the third session of the Joint Working Group of the ILO, IMO and the Basel Convention.

FINANCIAL MATTERS: The budget (UNEP/CHW.9/35) was discussed in the COW on Wednesday, and in a contact group on finance and the work programme, co-chaired by Karel Bláha (Czech Republic) and Dessalegne Mesfin (Ethiopia), on Wednesday and Thursday. A draft decision on resource mobilization (UNEP/CHW.9/36) was also forwarded to the contact group, and several decisions were subject to amendment based on the outcomes of the budget. Delegates discussed a proposal from the EU on a one-off triennium budget cycle, throughout the week. Many supported this as a way to save money and also to bring Basel in line with Stockholm and Rotterdam COP cycles. After initial reservations, Indonesia, China and Tanzania agreed and the budget was approved. The result was the establishment of a triennium budget involving progressive yearly increases.  

Final Decision: In the decision on the programme budget (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.22/Rev.1), the COP, inter alia:

  • adopts a three-year budget cycle as an extraordinary, one off measure to facilitate synchronization with the budget cycles of the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions;
  • approves the programme activities and budget of the Basel Convention Trust Fund;
  • decides on contribution amounts to be paid by parties;
  • urges parties to pay their contributions and establishes penalties for parties who are in arrears;
  • notes the budget of the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund and decides that it, and the Basel Convention Trust Fund, should be continued until December 2013; and
  • requests the Executive Secretary to evaluate the options of using host country currency or the US dollar for the Convention’s accounts and budget, and to report on its findings to COP10.

RESOURCE MOBILIZATION AND SUSTAINABLE FINANCING: On Thursday in the COW, delegates considered a draft decision on resource mobilization and sustainable financing (UNEP/CHW.9/36). The EU said future actions should be conducted within the context of the review of the Strategic Plan and called on the Secretariat to work with donors to develop innovative projects. The contact group on finance and the work programme considered the draft decision again, which was submitted to the plenary on Friday, where it was adopted without amendment.

Final Decision: In the decision on resource mobilization and sustainable financing (UNEP/CHW.9/36), the COP:

  • requests the Secretariat to: carry out the elements of the work plan for 2009–2010; conduct training activities with the Basel Convention regional centres and with countries within the regions to enhance their capacity to gain access to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other financing mechanisms; report to the OEWG and COP10 on progress in implementing the present decision and the elements of a workplan for 2009-2010; and to develop a workplan for 2011-2012 for review by COP10;
  • encourages competent authorities and focal points of the Basel Convention to: pursue opportunities for coordination at the national level regarding chemical and waste management activities, including those put forward under other multilateral environmental agreements; propose projects to the GEF that could contribute to the implementation of the Stockholm Convention and to capacity building with regard to the Basel Convention; propose projects to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management Quick Start Programme Secretariat for consideration and funding, and to the Clean Development Mechanism under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol;
  • requests the OEWG to monitor implementation of the decision; and
  • invites parties and other stakeholders who are in a position to do so to contribute to the funding of the Resource Mobilization Programme.

WORK PROGRAMME OF THE OEWG FOR 2009-2010

On Wednesday in the COW, the Secretariat described the draft work programme for the OEWG (UNEP/CHW.9/37) and the associated compilation of comments (UNEP/CHW.9/INF/36). Switzerland stated that the adoption of a zero growth budget would impact the OEWG, and one scenario would see the OEWG replaced with a technical working group. Uruguay stressed the need for an OEWG meeting prior to COP10. Recognizing the impact of budgetary decisions on the OEWG work programme, delegates agreed to refer the issue to plenary, subject to the outcome of the finance and work programme contact group deliberations. 

On Friday in the COW, Chair Harwood reiterated that work on this item was contingent on the outcomes of several contact groups and would be finalized in plenary. In plenary some delegates noted that some content was missing from the “legal compliance” table in the decision and the Secretariat agreed to add the omitted data. South Africa added reference to paragraph 5 of Article 17 of the Convention, and Morocco added reference to co-processing and co-incineration. Argentina suggested, and delegates agreed to reference “high” rather than “medium” priority to the enforcement of the Convention and combating illegal traffic. The decision was adopted as orally amended.

The following officers were subsequently elected to the bureau of the OEWG: Oludayo Olusegun Dada (Nigeria) as the technical Co-Chair; Damien Hall (Australia) as legal Co-Chair; Gillian Guthrie (Jamaica) as legal Vice Co-Chair; Mohammed Khashashneh (Jordan) as technical Vice Co-Chair; and Sanja Radovic (Croatia) as Rapporteur.

Final Decision: The work programme for the OEWG for 2009-2011 (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.23) is separated into seven tables on: the Strategic Plan for the implementation of the Basel Convention; scientific and technical matters; legal and compliance issues; resource mobilization and sustainable financing; international cooperation and coordination; financial matters; and COP decisions. Each of these is divided by topics, activities, COP9 decisions and level of priority.

TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ADOPTION OF THE BASEL CONVENTION

On Friday, in plenary, the Secretariat reminded delegates of the upcoming twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Basel Convention and outlined three options discussed by the Expanded Bureau and the Secretariat regarding a celebratory event: holding a stand-alone event; linking it to another high-level international event; or organizing it back-to-back with COP10. She reported that questions about the financial implications of such an event had been raised. It was noted that possibilities would be explored.

COMPLIANCE COMMITTEE

On Wednesday in the COW, the Chair of the Committee for Administering the Mechanism for Promoting Implementation and Compliance, Jürg Bally (Switzerland), introduced a document on the Committee’s work over the past biennium and proposing a work programme for 2009-2010 (UNEP/CHW.9/3) and the decision on the election of the new committee members (UNEP/CHW.9/2). Delegates forwarded the draft decision to plenary.

Final Decisions: In the decision on the report of the Compliance Committee (UNEP/CHW.9/3), the COP, inter alia:

  • approves the work programme of the Committee for 2009-2010;
  • requests the Committee to establish priorities, work methods and schedules and to coordinate with the OEWG, the Secretariat and the BCRCs in order to avoid duplication of activities; and to report to COP10 on the work it has carried out;
  • calls upon parties to make financial or in-kind contributions to enable the Committee to carry out its work programme, and to make use of the Mechanism for Promoting Implementation and Compliance of the Basel Convention;
  • decides to enlarge the scope of the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund to establish an implementation fund, subject to the availability of resources, to assist any party that is a developing country or country with an economy in transition and is the subject of a submission made in accordance with paragraph 9 of the terms of reference of the Committee;
  • authorizes the Committee to recommend use of the implementation fund to assist parties in the context of the facilitation procedure established under paragraph 20 of the Committee’s terms of reference; and
  • urges parties to provide contributions to the implementation fund.

In the final decision on the nomination of the new members of the Compliance Committee (UNEP/CHW.9/2) the COP elects Dessalegne Mesfin (Ethiopia) for the African Group, Leela Padmini Batuwitage (Sri Lanka) for the Asian Group, Zdenka Bubenikova (Czech Republic) for the Central and Eastern European Group, Jacqueline Alvarez (Uruguay) for the Latin American and Caribbean Group and Roy Watkinson (UK) for the Western Europe and Others Group.

HIGH LEVEL SEGMENT

The high level segment, the Forum on Waste Management for Human Health and Livelihood, took place on Thursday and was moderated by UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. In his opening address, COP9 President Witoelar said the segment would raise the Convention’s profile worldwide. Steiner cautioned against maneuvering issues under negotiation into “no-man’s land.” Katharina Kummer Peiry, Basel Convention Executive Secretary, welcomed the spirit of cooperation and constructiveness of COP9. El-Mostafa Benlamlih, Resident Coordinator of the UN System in Indonesia, said lack of commitment to the management and reduction of waste hindered both capacity building and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and delivered a message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in which he called upon states to provide political commitment and resources to the Basel Convention. John Michuki, Kenyan Minister of Environment, noted that the Convention’s vision had not yet been attained and that there was a lack of commitment. COP9 President Witoelar delivered a message on behalf of Siti Fadilah Supari, Indonesian Minister for Health, urging delegates to collaborate to control illegal traffic and ensure the ESM of hazardous wastes.

During the eminent speakers’ addresses: Halima Tayo Alao, Minister of Environment and Housing (Nigeria), said Africa faced both internal and external waste challenges. Okey Ibeanu, Special Human Rights Rapporteur on Waste Issues, drew attention to the human rights dimension of hazardous waste management. Subhash Salunke, World Health Organization, discussed the impacts of waste generated by health facilities. Jean-Pierre Degré, Holcim Group Support, presented co-processing as an alternative form of waste treatment in cement production. Lilian Corra, International Society of Doctors for the Environment, stressed the health sector’s value in promoting education and awareness about the impacts of hazardous waste.

A series of presentations followed, in which: Jayakumar Chelaton, Thanal, stressed the importance of public participation; Muhammad Daggash, AshakaCem, described how biomass produced by farmers is used as fuel for cement production; Jim Puckett, Basel Action Network, identified longstanding unresolved issues including the Ban Amendment, ship dismantling and e-waste; and Phonchan Kraiwatnutsorn, Youth Venture Programme, introduced three youth projects on waste.

In the ensuing discussions, delegates highlighted, inter alia: the importance of the BCRCs; the need for resources, technical support, and compliance; the value of partnerships; the importance of the ESM of waste to the attainment of the MDGs, highlighting that improved management required knowledge, awareness, and increased cooperation and coordination; and concern over the present trend of illegal traffic of hazardous wastes. Many called for the ratification of the Ban Amendment and noted the harm of illegal waste movements, with some suggesting: waste prevention; reuse, recycling and recovery; and distinguishing between hazardous and non-hazardous wastes.

At the closing of the Forum, Achim Steiner commended the many local and national initiatives for implementing the Convention, but noted that complementary international action was lagging.

For more details on the high level segment see: http://www.iisd.ca/vol20/enb2030e.html

Bali Declaration: On Thursday, delegates received a draft Bali Declaration on waste management for human health and livelihood (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.13), which was adopted in plenary on Friday.

Ministers and other heads of delegation from the parties to the Basel Convention and from other states declare that they, inter alia:

  • reaffirm their commitment to the principles and purposes of the Basel Convention and are willing to contribute to a new momentum to achieve the Convention’s objectives;
  • will promote cooperation, coordination and planning, including among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, to facilitate capacity building, information sharing and technology transfer in tackling hazardous waste issues, including through the implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building;
  • call upon partners to support and enhance the implementation of the Basel Convention at the bilateral, regional and global levels by providing resources and assistance for the safe and ESM of hazardous and other wastes, and believe that the public-private partnership approach could be an important way to advance waste related activities;
  • recall the importance of BCRCs in enhancing the implementation of the Convention and the need to support building their capacity to improve their effectiveness; and
  • encourage actions by parties and others to, inter alia: promote awareness of the link between waste management, health and livelihood and the environment; improve waste shipment and border controls to prevent illegal movements of hazardous and other wastes; and improve cooperation between national authorities in the waste, chemicals and health sectors.

COP9 PRESIDENT’S INITIATIVE ON THE BAN AMENDMENT

Delegates considered the COP9 President’s initiative on the Ban Amendment in informal consultations on Wednesday, during the ministerial lunch on Friday and in plenary on Friday afternoon.

On Wednesday, the President introduced a draft non-paper suggesting, inter alia, that COP9 call upon all parties to “expedite” ratification of the Ban Amendment in order to facilitate its entry into force and create “enabling conditions,” including capacity-building activities and global partnerships, to achieve the Amendment’s objectives. Although most agreed on the value of the non-paper to build momentum, some cautioned that the country-level initiatives it exemplifies were not an adequate alternative to entry into force of the Ban. Some said that the Ban was a moral issue and urged those who opposed it not to “stand in the way” of its entry into force.

In Friday’s plenary, President Witoelar introduced the President’s statement on the way forward on the Ban Amendment (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.20). He stressed the need to break the deadlock on the issue and explained he had held consultations throughout the week in an effort to make progress (for further discussion on this issue, see the section on the closing plenary on page 13). The President proposed and delegates agreed, to formally acknowledge the statement in a COP decision. The decision was adopted in plenary on Friday with the addition of two preambular paragraphs. 

Final Decision: In the final decision on the President’s statement (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.20), the COP acknowledges the President’s Statement on the way forward on the Ban Amendment; and invites parties to take into consideration, wherever possible, the Statement annexed to the decision.

In his statement, the President:

  • believes it is important to have a mechanism that will safeguard vulnerable countries and ensure the ESM of wastes, taking into account recent trends in technologies for recovery and recycling;
  • notes the lack of consensus among parties concerning the interpretations of the required number of ratifications required for the Ban Amendment to enter into force;
  • calls upon parties to: expedite ratification of the Ban Amendment, facilitate its entry into force; and create enabling conditions, through country-led initiatives conducive to the goal of the amendment, as these contribute to gathering momentum to encourage ratification;
  • stresses that for the objectives of the Ban Amendment to be achieved, capacity building and global partnerships are vital; and
  • invites all parties to join the initiative, which seeks to launch a process by which parties work together to bring the Convention closer to achieving the objectives of the Ban Amendment. 

OTHER MATTERS

UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL DECISION 24/5: Delegates considered this issue in the COW on Friday morning. The Secretariat introduced the report on aspects of waste management for consideration at the tenth special session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environmental Forum (UNEP/CHW.9/INF/38). Delegates agreed to note the matter in the report of the meeting.  

DATE AND VENUE OF COP10: Delegates considered this issue in plenary on Friday. The Secretariat announced that, as a result of discussions over the budget and the agreement to a one-off triennium cycle, COP10 would be held in 2011.

Final Decision: In the final decision on the date and venue for COP10 (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.21), the COP decides to convene COP10 in 2011. If there is no offer to host COP10 by the conclusion of COP9, but an offer is received within an appropriate timeframe, the COP:

  • mandates the Executive Secretary, subject to approval of the Expanded Bureau, to enter into consultations with the government offering to host COP10 government; and
  • notes that if there is no party offering to host COP10, the meeting will be held in Geneva, Switzerland.

STRATEGIC ISSUES FOR CONSIDERATION AT COP10 AND COP11: This item was discussed by the COW on Tuesday and Friday, in informal consultations on Wednesday and in the contact group on the Strategic Plan on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Secretariat introduced a draft decision on a process to evaluate the effectiveness of the Basel Convention at COP11 (UNEP/CHW.9/38), stressing that Article 15(7) of the Convention required such an evaluation. Several delegations said the proposed evaluation was timely. The EU said its scope was too ambitious, and Nigeria, with Sri Lanka and others, stressed the need to clarify its purpose. The EU cautioned against delaying the entry into force of the Ban Amendment, and Tanzania said the Ban Amendment should not be subjected to the evaluation process before its entry into force. Canada and Switzerland proposed that COP9 launch a robust but focused evaluation process with guidance from parties. Following informal consultations led by Canada on Wednesday, it was agreed that the proposed evaluation should serve as a basis for the drafting of a new strategic framework. The draft decision was deferred to the contact group on the Strategic Plan. (See “Follow-up of the Strategic Plan” on page 3 above.)

CLOSING PLENARY

The Secretariat presented the oral report of the Credentials Committee on Friday afternoon, noting that 70 parties had presented their valid credentials, 12 credentials were pending verification and 14 were still to be presented. Delegates agreed to allow an additional seven days for parties to complete their accreditation.

President Witoelar introduced the President’s statement on the way forward on the Ban Amendment. He reflected on the need to overcome the current impasse on the Ban Amendment. Switzerland expressed support for the statement and announced an initiative to generate progress on the issue. He said informal thinking between countries was necessary to identify pragmatic solutions to the problem, and that his country, in partnership with Indonesia, will organize an informal brainstorming gathering of parties to address substantive as opposed to legal issues. 

 Both the President’s statement and the informal brainstorming session were welcomed by several parties. Chile applauded President Witoelar for bringing the substantive issues related to the Ban Amendment to the forefront. The African Group expressed full support for the joint Swiss and Indonesian proposal and said this informal meeting must convene prior to COP10. The EU praised the President’s statement, supported the proposal for an informal gathering and noted the need to follow the legal interpretation of the “fixed time approach.”

Canada welcomed the initiative and the opportunity to continue constructive discussion. Noting its disappointment with the failure of the Ban Amendment to enter into force, Norway supported the continuation of dialogue on the issue. India supported the President’s statement and the informal gathering, but stressed the need for a flexible approach to the issue. China agreed to participate in the meeting. Malaysia, Ethiopia, Brazil and Sri Lanka stressed that to protect developing countries, the Ban Amendment must enter into force quickly. 

New Zealand noted the statement contained a useful summary of many of the measures that could be taken by parties, offered to share its experience of applying export control measures and hoped the informal gathering would take place prior to OEWG7. Japan noted the development of recycling technologies and said that any developments around the Ban Amendment must take this into account.

Rapporteur Angelina Madete declared that COP9 had concluded its work and introduced the report of the meeting (UNEP/CHW.9/L.1) and invited comments. The report was adopted with a minor editorial amendment.

Australia, on behalf of all delegates, introduced a resolution expressing gratitude to the Government of Indonesia and the people of Bali (UNEP/CHW.9/CRP.17). She said the conducive and harmonious spirit of COP9 had assisted the COP in moving issues forward and in handling sensitive issues “in a way we could be proud of.” The resolution was adopted without amendment

President Witoelar said the outcomes of COP9 were a milestone for the Convention. He said he was heartened by efforts to move forward on the Ban Amendment. He expressed sincere appreciation to the efforts of all delegates. He then presented Achim Steiner and Katharina Kummer Peiry tokens of appreciation, and gaveled the meeting to a close at 9:12 pm.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE MEETING

From e-waste to shipbreaking, to budget constraints and the Ban Amendment, there is no doubt that the parties to the Basel Convention faced a heavy agenda at COP9. Yet, despite the potential for deadlock on any number of issues, the meeting ran smoothly and delegates adopted more than 30 decisions without resorting to all night sessions. While some attributed this occurrence to the work of the Secretariat and its new Executive Secretary, a few suggested that a more important reason was that many of the decisions adopted were in reality half- or non-decisions, deferring real solutions to later COP meetings.

The key success of COP9 was an agreement to build synergies with the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, and some resolution was found on the strategic framework, the e-waste partnership work plan and, to a lesser extent, the budget. The long-standing and controversial disagreement over the Ban Amendment, however, proved intractable.

This brief analysis considers some of the main issues addressed by COP9 participants, specifically the issues of synergies, the Ban Amendment, financing and the strategic plan, taking into account the Basel Convention’s history and evolution and the place of hazardous waste management in the wider context of sustainable development.

SYNERGIES

COP8, in conjunction with the COPs of the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, created the Ad Hoc Joint Working Group on Enhancing Cooperation and Coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, which was mandated to prepare joint recommendations on enhanced cooperation and coordination among the three conventions at the administrative and programmatic levels to be forwarded to each Conference of the Parties at its next meeting. COP9 was the first to address these recommendations and, contrary to the fears of some participants, the issue of synergies was not the subject of protected debate. While Brazil initially suggested revising the recommendation section-by-section, most were adamant that it should be adopted in its entirety and this was eventually agreed by the COP. Many emphasized the recommendation reflected a carefully worded compromise among all stakeholders and regions. Most notably, the recommendation emphasizes the autonomy of each Convention, alleviating the concerns expressed in the past by some developing countries that by creating strong links with the other conventions the Basel Convention might lose its thrust and uniqueness.

According to many participants, the decision on synergies constitutes one of the key outcomes of COP9. Many predict that enhanced synergies will not only promote cost savings and improved efficiencies for the three chemicals conventions but will also raise their profiles within the UN system, and stimulate the international environmental governance discussion within UNEP. Furthermore, because the Basel Convention COP was the first to consider the AHJWG recommendation, its decision to adopt it unquestionably makes the Basel Convention a pioneer in the synergies process and will be looked to as a precedent by the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions’ COPs.

BAN AMENDMENT

For those who have followed the Ban Amendment since its adoption in 1995, it is not surprising that the COP was unable to resolve the issue of interpretation of Article 17(5) of the Basel Convention, which will determine how many ratifications are required for the Ban Amendment to enter into force. In essence, delegates are divided into two camps. The first supports the “current time” approach, according to which the number of ratifications required for the Ban Amendment to enter into force should be based on the current number of parties to the Basel Convention, namely 170. The second camp defends the “fixed time” approach, according to which the number of ratifications required should be calculated on the basis of the number of parties to the Convention when the Ban Amendment was adopted, namely 82. To complicate matters, two different views are held within the second camp. One claims that the number of ratifications required for the Ban to enter into force has been met, as 63 parties, more than three-quarters of 82, have ratified the Amendment. The other argues that the magic number has not yet been met, as it is only the ratifications of those parties “who accepted” the amendment in 1995 that count, and not the ratifications of those who joined the Convention later on.

A number of participants urged the COP to forget about the legal technicalities surrounding Article 17(5) and focus on the substance and objectives of the Ban. These delegates stressed the need to find concrete solutions to protect vulnerable countries and their populations from the environmental and health threats posed by hazardous wastes, threats that were all too real, as the 2006 incident in Côte d’Ivoire demonstrated. In that context, many welcomed the COP9 President’s proposal to start exploring means through which the Ban’s objectives could be met, as well as the offer by Switzerland and Indonesia to lead an informal, brainstorming session to that effect. Others were skeptical and would have preferred a stronger resolution to ensure the prompt entry into force of the Ban Amendment, which they said would put pressure on all countries to ratify it and enforce it. Furthermore, because parties have been reluctant to modify the Amendment before its entry into force, they said that only this development would open the possibility of revising it in light of technological and economic developments. Among these, they said, were the trading of products not traditionally considered “wastes,” such as old computers, and the possibility that, with the industrialization of many non-Annex VII countries, growth in South-South trade in hazardous wastes would increase.

FINANCING

As in previous COP meetings, there was a commonly held perception that the Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres (BCRCs) are crucial to the effective implementation of the Basel Convention in developing countries. This perception was further reinforced at COP9, given the formal decision to start building synergies with the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, which may want to utilize the BCRCs and benefit from their work. Nevertheless, disagreement remained over how BCRCs should be financed. While many donors said that the centres should reach out to multiple sources of financing outside the Basel Convention and become “self-sufficient” in the medium and long terms, developing countries insisted on the need to support the centres primarily through increased contributions to the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund. Some also stressed that calls for self sufficiency put a considerable burden on host countries, while others questioned what a “self-sufficient” BCRC would look like, given that the centres are not income generating and would thus always require donor support.

In the end, the COP adopted a decision that represents a compromise between the two sides. Most notably, the decision asks the Secretariat to prepare a strategic framework for the sustainability of the centres that should consider the use of the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund. The fact that the preparation of the referred framework is “subject to the availability of funds,” however, left many developing countries dissatisfied. Some of them noted that the centres had been trying to attract funding from the Convention for a long time, and expressed frustration that the decision on the referred framework was in essence a “half-decision,” since it did not guarantee the framework’s development. They pointed out that donor countries were not only unprepared to provide financial support for the centres directly, but also they were not eager to fund the Secretariat’s work in helping the centres become sustainable.

Regarding the core budget, a proposal presented by the EU to adopt a one-time triennium budget cycle received widespread support and, even though some parties and regional groups were not enthusiastic, it was ultimately adopted. While it was acknowledged that the decision should bring considerable savings, many pointed out that it was only a temporary solution to the crippling financial predicament facing the Basel Convention, in particular given the poor performance of the US dollar, which has affected the Convention’s finances. Resolution of this issue was seen as another “non-decision,” since the Secretariat was simply asked to conduct a study to look into the benefits and drawbacks of using different currencies. The Convention’s finances appear to be plagued by both the low prioritization that hazardous waste management still receives in many countries, and the financial constraints many governments face given the demands by a growing number of multilateral environmental agreements. In this context, it was of no surprise that many parties – including a few developing countries who insist that the UN scale of assessments used to determine contributions puts an undue burden on some developing countries – were reluctant to increase their contributions to the budget beyond 2007-2008 levels.

Against the most pessimistic predictions, parties agreed on a progressive, albeit modest, increase in the budget, which brought a sigh of relief among many participants. Even though the “zero growth” budget scenario was not adopted, some say that increased savings will be required, predicting the re-emergence of a cost-saving proposal to convert the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) into a smaller technical group with representation from all regions at future meetings. Briefly discussed at COP9, the proposal is likely to remain controversial, primarily for two reasons. First, some countries feel that while a smaller group may be more efficient and less costly, it may also be less democratic. In particular, the large size and diversity of some regions might make it impossible for their representatives to voice the concerns of all countries in those regions. Secondly, because the scope of the OEWG’s work entails a wide range of political and legal issues, some questioned the appropriateness of downscaling the OEWG to a technical body similar to the POPs Review Committee or the Chemical Review Committee. These delegates argue that the OEWG’s added value could be lost if its size and nature were significantly altered and that if the Basel Convention is to achieve its key objectives through the work of the OEWG, parties will eventually need to reach deeper into their pockets.

TOWARD A NEW STRATEGIC PLAN

It is widely agreed that the Strategic Plan to 2010 has provided valuable guidance to parties, the Secretariat, the BCRCs and other actors to make the best use of limited resources in their efforts to implement the Basel Convention. At its ninth meeting, the COP set up a process to both review the effectiveness of the implementation of the current plan and of the Convention and to initiate the drafting of a new strategic framework. Many welcomed the linking of these efforts in a single decision, stressing that it was essential to evaluate past failures and successes to make the future plan a solid one.

Some expressed concern, however, that both the review and drafting processes would require substantial input and work by the parties, who had not always been eager to respond to the Secretariat’s requests for comments and information. Furthermore, a few delegates commented that the prospects of success of a new plan might be limited, as its effective implementation would inevitably depend on the availability of adequate resources and many activities of the current plan had not been carried out due to a lack of funds.

MOVING FORWARD

Overall, delegates left half-satisfied with the outcome of COP9. While there was general relief that a modest increase was agreed on the budget, this was partly overshadowed by the fact that the resolution of several substantive matters, in particular BCRC financing and the Ban Amendment, had only been deferred to future meetings. While the outcome of the discussions on the Ban Amendment was a disappointing development for Ban supporters, parties from all sides of the debate praised the President’s initiative as momentum generating, and the Swiss and Indonesian initiative for informal talks on the substantive objectives of the Ban as a positive and pragmatic approach to overcoming the longstanding disagreement surrounding the Amendment. Nevertheless, the Basel Convention did take the lead by adopting a landmark decision on synergies which should strengthen global cooperation on the sound management of chemicals. With trade in toxic chemicals on the increase and the disposal of waste, especially e-waste, inadequate and unregulated, parties and non-parties to the Basel Convention have their work cut out for them before they reconvene in 2011.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

SECOND AFRICAN REGIONAL MEETING ON SAICM AND ASSOCIATED UNEP WORKSHOPS: The Second African regional meeting on the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) will be hosted by the Government of Tanzania and convene from 16-17 July 2008 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The meeting will be immediately preceded by the UNEP Workshop on Chemicals Management and Legal and Institutional Infrastructures, which will be held from 14-15 July 2008, and followed by the UNEP African Regional Consultation on Mercury, which will convene from 18-19 July 2008. For more information, contact UNEP Chemicals Branch: tel: +41-22-917-1234; fax: +41-22-797-3460; e-mail: SAICM@chemicals.unep.ch; internet: http://www.chem.unep.ch/saicm/meeting/afreg/Dar%20es%20Salaam/Default.htm

INTER-COUNTRY WORKSHOP ON COMPLIANCE WITH THE STOCKHOLM CONVENTION OBLIGATIONS ON MATTERS RELATED TO DDT PRODUCTION AND USE IN DISEASE CONTROL: The Inter-country workshop on compliance with the Stockholm Convention obligations on matters related to DDT production and use in disease vector control will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 22-24 July 2008. For more information, contact: Stockholm Convention Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-8729; fax: +41-22-917-8098; e-mail: ssc@pops.int; internet: http://www.pops.int

SECOND CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN REGIONAL MEETING ON SAICM AND ASSOCIATED WORKSHOPS: The SAICM secretariat is organizing a second Central and Eastern European regional meeting on SAICM in Bucharest, Romania, from 8-9 September 2008 in collaboration with the Government of Romania and with financial support from the Government of Norway. The meeting will be followed immediately by CEE regional consultations on Stockholm and Rotterdam Convention issues and a workshop on mercury issues from 10-11 September 2008. For more information, contact SAICM Secretariat: tel: +41-22-917-8631; fax: +41-22-797-3460; e-mail: SAICM@chemicals.unep.ch; internet: http://www.chem.unep.ch/saicm/meeting/cee/Bucharest%202008/Default_Bucharest.htm

SIXTH SESSION OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL FORUM ON CHEMICAL SAFETY (IFCS): The sixth session of the IFCS will take place from 15-19 September 2008 in Dakar, Senegal. The session will consider: the future of the IFCS; nanotechnology and nanomaterials; substitution and alternatives; the need for international action on lead and cadmium; and ecologically based and integrated pest and vector management. For more information, contact: IFCS Secretariat, tel: +41-22 791-3873; fax: +41-22-791-4875; e-mail: ifcs@who.int; internet: http://www.who.int/ifcs/forums/six/en/index.html

SECOND MEETING OF THE AD HOC OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON MERCURY: The second meeting of the ad-hoc Open Ended Working Group to review and assess measures to address the global issue of mercury is planned to be held from 6-10 October 2008 at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information, contact: Mercury Programme, UNEP Chemicals Branch; tel: +41-22-917-8183; fax: +41-22-797-3460; e-mail: mercury@chemicals.unep.ch; internet: http://www.chem.unep.ch/mercury/

FOURTH MEETING OF THE PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANT REVIEW COMMITTEE (POPRC): POPRC4 will meet in Geneva, Switzerland, from 13-17 October 2008. For more information, contact: Stockholm Convention Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-8729; fax: +41-22-917-8098; e-mail: ssc@pops.int; internet: http://www.pops.int

MEETING OF THE OPEN-ENDED LEGAL AND TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP FOR THE ICCM: The Open-ended Legal and Technical Working Group for the second International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM2) is scheduled to take place in Rome, Italy, from 21-24 October 2008. For more information, contact SAICM Secretariat: tel: +41-22-917-8631; fax: +41-22-797-3460; e-mail: saicm@chemicals.unep.ch; internet: http://www.chem.unep.ch/saicm/OELTWG/Open-ended.htm

ROTTERDAM CONVENTION COP4: The fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention  is scheduled to take place in Rome, Italy, from 27-31 October 2008. For more information, contact: Rotterdam Convention Secretariat, tel: +41-22-917-8296; fax: +41-22-917-8082; e-mail: pic@pic.int; internet: http://www.pic.int

JOINT ILO-IMO BASEL CONVENTION WORKING GROUP ON SHIP SCRAPPING: The third session of the working group will be held from 29-31 October 2008, in Geneva, Switzerland. For further details, contact: ILO Official Relations; tel: +41-22-799-7804; fax: +41.22.799.8944;  e-mail: reloff@ilo.org; internet: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_092053.pdf

FOURTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE STOCKHOLM CONVENTION ON PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS: The fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention will take place from 4-8 May 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland and will address, inter alia: a non-compliance mechanism; synergies between the Rotterdam, Basel and Stockholm conventions; and recommendations from the POPs Review Committee to include additional chemicals to the Convention. For more information, contact: Stockholm Convention Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-8729; fax: +41-22-917-8098; e-mail: ssc@pops.int; internet: http://www.pops.int

SECOND SESSION OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CHEMICALS MANAGEMENT: The second session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM2) has been tentatively scheduled to take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 11-15 May 2009, immediately before the 62nd World Health Assembly. For more information, contact the SAICM Secretariat: tel: +41-22-917- 8361; fax: +41-22-797-3460; e-mail: saicm@chemicals.unep.ch; internet: http://www.chem.unep.ch/saicm/iccm/ICCM2/iccm2.htm

SEVENTH MEETING OF THE OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP TO THE BASEL CONVENTION: The seventh meeting of the Open Ended Working Group (OEWG7) to the Basel Convention will convene in 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, contact: Basel Convention Secretariat, tel: +41-22-917-8218; fax: +41-22-797-3454; e-mail: sbc@unep.ch; internet: http://www.basel.int

TENTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE BASEL CONVENTION: COP10 will take place in 2011, in a location to be determined. For more information, contact: Basel Convention Secretariat, tel: +41-22-917-8218; fax: +41-22-797-3454; e-mail: sbc@unep.ch; internet: http://www.basel.int
GLOSSARY
AHJWG
BCRCs
ESM
ILO
IMO
MARPOL
MPPI
OEWG
PACE
POPs
WCO

Ad Hoc Joint Working Group on Enhancing Cooperation and Coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres
Environmentally sound management
International Labour Organization
International Maritime Organization
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
Mobile Phone Partnership Initiative
Open-ended Working Group
Partnership for Action on Computer Equipment
Persistent Organic Pollutants
World Customs Organization


This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Melanie Ashton, Paula Barrios, Ph.D., Kate Neville, Olivia Pasini, Anne Roemer-Mahler, and Kunbao Xia. The Digital Editor is Markus Staas. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org> and the Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development – DFID), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMU), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV) and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. General Support for the Bulletin during 2008 is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the International Organization of the Francophonie (IOF). Funding for the translation of the Bulletin into Spanish has been provided by the Ministry of Environment of Spain. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, NY 10022, USA.
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