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Sub-regional workshop on illegal traffic of hazardous wastes, including PCBs and other wastes

The Sub-regional workshop on illegal traffic of hazardous wastes, including PCBs and other wastes was held from 10 to 12 December 2014 in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Background: Under the Basel Convention, each Party is required to take appropriate legal administrative and other measures to implement and enforce the provisions of the Convention, including appropriate national/domestic legislation to prevent and punish illegal traffic (art. 4.4 and 9.5). The Secretariat’s activities pertaining to national legislation, illegal traffic and enforcement support the effective implementation of these requirements and hence the achievement of fundamental objectives of the Convention.

COP-11 adopted two decisions of particular relevance to the objective of preventing and combating illegal traffic. By Decision BC-11/8: Committee for Administering the Mechanism for Promoting Implementation and Compliance of the Basel Convention, COP-11 established ENFORCE. By Decision BC-11/10: National legislation, notifications, enforcement of the Convention and efforts to combat illegal traffic, COP-11 invited Parties and requested the Secretariat to undertake a number of activities aimed at preventing and combating illegal traffic.

In their decisions on enhancing cooperation and coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the three COPs list “combating illegal traffic and trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes” as a specific area for enhanced cooperation and coordination among the conventions.

At the third and fourth meetings, in its decisions SC-3/7 and SC-4/8 respectively, the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention requested the Secretariat to undertake training and other capacity building activities to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition in implementing the Basel Convention technical guidelines on POPs waste, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These as well as a number of documents and guidance on inventory of PCBs and environmentally sound management of PCBs, have been prepared by the Secretariat.

Over the years, the Secretariat carried out a number of training activities to support parties in preventing and combating illegal traffic in hazardous wastes and other wastes, including more recently two workshops that focused on the prosecution of illegal traffic. The first workshop for prosecutors took place in Bratislava, the Slovak Republic, on 26-27 June 2012 for countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. The workshop for Central and South America took place on 28-29 August 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Furthermore, the Secretariat also provided support to Parties on the environmentally sound management of PCBs and POPs waste in a series of regional workshops that took place in 2009 and 2010.

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