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Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, 1989

An introduction to the convention is provided on the Basel Convention website:

Origins of the Convention

In the late 1980s, a tightening of environmental regulations in industrialized countries led to a dramatic rise in the cost of hazardous waste disposal. Searching for cheaper ways to get rid of the wastes, “toxic traders” began shipping hazardous waste to developing countries and to Eastern Europe. When this activity was revealed, international outrage led to the drafting and adoption of the Basel Convention.

During its first Decade (1989-1999), the Convention was principally devoted to setting up a framework for controlling the “transboundary” movements of hazardous wastes, that is, the movement of hazardous wastes across international frontiers. It also developed the criteria for “environmentally sound management”. A Control System, based on prior written notification, was also put into place.

About the Present Decade

During The Present Decade (2000-2010), the Convention will build on this framework by emphasizing full implementation and enforcement of treaty commitments. The other area of focus will be the minimization of hazardous waste generation. Recognizing that the long-term solution to the stockpiling of hazardous wastes is a reduction in the generation of those wastes - both in terms of quantity and hazardousness - Ministers meeting in December of 1999 set out guidelines for the Convention’s activities during the Next Decade, including:

active promotion and use of cleaner technologies and production methods;

further reduction of the movement of hazardous and other wastes;

the prevention and monitoring of illegal traffic;

improvement of institutional and technical capabilities -through technology when appropriate - especially for developing countries and countries with economies in transition;

further development of regional and subregional centres for training and technology transfer.

More information ....


Related links:

Basel Convention - Full Text
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, 1989
Introduction to the Basel Convention
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