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A Toxics-Free Future

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Advocating for Ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment

After a slew of toxic trade disasters in the 1970s and 1980s that saw rich, highly industrialized countries dumping their hazardous wastes on poorer developing countries, the international community rallied together to reject the free trade of hazardous wastes. In 1995, the Ban Amendment was adopted to strengthen the Basel Convention to absolutely forbid all exports of hazardous wastes for any reason from developed to developing countries. The Basel Ban Amendment entered into legal force on 5 December 2019.

The Basel Ban Amendment forbids the export of hazardous waste for recycling or disposal from Annex VII countries (OECD Member States, EU Member States or Liechtenstein) to non-Annex VII countries (primarily developing and transition countries). The Ban Amendment benefits all countries. By prohibiting hazardous waste exports from developed countries, the Basel Ban Amendment helps protect developing and transition countries. For developed countries, the Basel Ban Amendment provides incentives for both waste prevention and green design.

Currently, there is a large gap between the number of Basel Convention Parties (187) and number of Ban Amendment ratifications.

To address this issue and raise awareness about the importance of ratification, Basel Action Network and IPEN developed a Guide to the Ban Amendment entitled, The Entry Into Force of the Basel Ban Amendment: A guide to implications and next steps(available in English, español, français, hrvatski jezik and Русский).

IPEN Participating Organizations in Australia, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Croatia, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, and Senegal have also conducted activities to encourage governments to ratify the Ban Amendment. These activities and the Guide are part of IPEN's Toxics-Free Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Campaign, and relate to SDGs 3, 6, 8, 11, 12 and 13.

Australia

National Toxics Network and Zero Waste Australia

Letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison

“Australia’s ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment and the inclusion of Annex II wastes into the Amendment implementation language would be consistent with the decision to ban waste exports and demonstrate that the Australian government cares about the health and environment of not only Australians but of citizens in those countries we trade with.”

Press release: “New international law to protect vulnerable countries from waste dumping”

“This is a great day for environmental justice. No longer will wealthy OECD countries be able to export their hazardous wastes to developing nations. Now Australia must urgently ratify this amendment and show their commitment to the Basel Convention as a participating country and strengthen the decisions already made by the Prime Minister and COAG to develop Australia’s waste recycling capacity and put an end to exporting contaminated mixed plastics and other wastes to vulnerable countries.”

Canada

RightOnCanada

Letter to Minister McKenna, Environment and Climate Change Canada

“Canadians overwhelmingly support this goal and say Canada should manage and dispose of its own waste and recycling. Only 18% said Canada should be able to export waste and recycling overseas and 79% supported what the Basel Ban Amendment would require.”

Democratic Republic of the Congo

African Green Society (AFRIGRES)

Press release: “L'entrée en vigueur de l'Amendement de Bâle sur l'interdiction”

“Démarrer dans les meilleurs délais le processus de ratification de l’Amendement de Bâle sur l’interdiction d’importation et d’exportation des déchets des pays développés vers les pays en Développement.”

“Start the process of ratifying the Basel Amendment on the ban on the import and export of waste from developed countries to developing countries as soon as possible.”

Press conference

“Pour le cas de la RDC qui partage ses frontières avec 9 pays voisins, la non ratification de l’amendement expose le pays au commerce illicite des déchets dangereux.”

“In the case of the DRC, which shares its borders with 9 neighboring countries, the non-ratification of the amendment exposes the country to the illegal trade in hazardous waste.”

Enviro News: Assainissement : AFRIGRES invite le gouvernement congolais à ratifier l’amendement de Bâle

Croatia

Zelena Akcija

Press release: “STOP nekontroliranom izvozu i uvozu opasnog otpada”

“Kako bi se odredbe Konvencije provele u djelo, sve države potpisnice, pa tako i Hrvatska, moraju što prije prilagoditi nacionalno zakonodavstvo. Bez nacionalnog zakonodavstva teže je kazneno progoniti nezakonit promet koji se može dogoditi u slučaju kršenja zakona. Stoga, Zelena akcija poziva Ministarstvo zaštite okoliša da što prije osigura učinkovitu provedbu Konvencije.”

“In order for the provisions of the Convention to be implemented, all signatory states, including Croatia, must adapt their national legislation as soon as possible. Without national legislation, it is more difficult to prosecute illegal traffic that may occur in the event of a breach of the law. Therefore, the Green Action calls on the Ministry of Environment to ensure the effective implementation of the Convention as soon as possible.”

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Korea (Republic of)

발암물질 없는 사회 만들기 국민행동 (Network for a Carcinogen-Free Society)

Letter to the Ministry of Environment

“바젤협약의 진전은 전 세계 환경정의를 위한 이정표와 같다. 우리는 개정안 비준을 통해 이미 수정안을 비준한 많은 선진국과 개발도상국들의 역사적인 흐름에 한국이 함께 할 수 있기를 바란다.”

“The development of the Basel Convention is a milestone for environmental justice worldwide. We hope that Korea joins with the many developed and developing countries that have ratified the Ban Amendment.”

Mexico

Fronteras Comunes

Press release: “Organizaciones nacionales e internacionales urgen al gobierno de México ratificar la enmienda sobre la prohibición del Convenio de Basilea y adoptar la enmienda para el control del movimiento transfronterizo de plásticos”

Marisa Jacott, Fronteras Comunes, holds up the BAN – IPEN Guide to the Basel Ban Amendment at a press conference urging Mexico to ratify it.

“…esperamos la pronta ratificación de esta enmienda histórica de Prohibición-sumándose a los 97 países que ya han hecho para impedir la exportación de residuos tóxicos y se dicten las políticas nacionales que contribuyan al cumplimiento del Convenio de Basilea dirigidas a la reducción y minimización de residuos en su fuente de generación.”

“…we hope for the prompt ratification of this historic Ban Amendment so that Mexico can join the 97 countries that have already ratified it to stop export of hazardous wastes and we hope that the government will formulate national policies that contribute to compliance with the Basel Convention directed at reduction and minimization of wastes at source.”

Press conference video

Todo Texcoco: Urgen a México ratificar prohibición internacional de plásticos

El Porvenir: Urgen a México ratificar prohibición internacional de plásticos

Vertigo Politico: Urge ratificar prohibición internacional de plásticos

La Jornada: Pide Greenpeace a gobierno mexicano ratificar enmienda de plásticos

Philippines

EcoWaste Coalition

Press release: “Green groups urge the government to adopt two policy measures to protect PH from becoming a global dumpsite”

“Ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment and further prohibiting the export of all wastes to the Philippines will be our best legal protection against waste trafficking that has outraged the whole nation with the seizure of thousands of tons of illegal waste consignments from Canada, Hong Kong and South Korea.”

Report with Greenpeace Philippines: “Waste trade in the Philippines: How local and global policy instruments can stop the tide of foreign waste dumping in the country”

“This report is a review of waste trade-related policies in the Philippines. It examines how current laws and regulations have fallen short of giving the country adequate protection against the detrimental impacts of waste trade—regardless of whether the importation was illegally or legally fulfilled.

It also shows how gaps in current policies and systems allow illegal waste to enter undetected into the country, and how waste, purportedly for recycling, continuously enters our ports—despite the lack of proper recycling facilities, and the absence of stringent monitoring systems to ensure the proper handling of the imported waste.”

Russia

Дронт (Dront)

Open letter to President Vladimir Putin

“Ратификация Поправки о запрете к Базельской конвенции позволит уделять еще большее внимание этой сложной проблеме, оградив Россию от поступления на ее территорию опасных отходов из других государств.”

“Ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment will allow Russia to pay even more attention to this complex problem and protect the country from the entry of hazardous waste into its territory of from other states.”

Press release: “Неправительстввенные организации – члены Мееждународной сети по ливидации загрязнителей (IPEN) призывают Росийскую Федерацию присоединиться к Поправке о запрете к Базельской конвенции о контроле за трансграничной перевозкой опасных отходов и их удалением.”

“Ратификация Поправки о запрете необходима для России, так как это гарантирует полный запрет на поступление на ее территорию опасных отходов из государств ЕС, ОЭСР и Лихтенштейна, ратифицировавших Поправку.”

“Ratification of the Prohibition Amendment is necessary for Russia, as this guarantees a complete ban on the entry into its territory of hazardous waste from the EU, OECD and Liechtenstein countries that have ratified the Amendment.”

Senegal

Pesticide Action Network Afrique (PAN Africa)

Press release: «Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Sénégal en partenariat avec IPEN et Basel Action Network (BAN) ont décidé de mener le combat pour la ratification de l’Amendement de Bâle sur l’interdiction d’importation et d’exportation des déchets des pays développés vers les pays en développement. »

« Le Sénégal reçoit beaucoup d'équipements électroniques en provenance d’Europe, des Etats-Unis et de la Chine. Ces produits sont de secondes mains et sont considérés comme des déchets. Certains de ces équipement contiennent des PBDE et sont classés à leur fin de vie comme déchets dangereux » a déclaré Mme Wane N. M. DIENE, Présidente de PAN Sénégal.

“Senegal receives a lot of electronic equipment from Europe, the United States and China. These products are second-hand and are considered waste. Some of this equipment contains PBDEs and is classified at the end of their life as hazardous waste”, said Ms. Wane N. M. DIENE, President of PAN Senegal.”

Velsinfo: Lutte pour la ratification de l ‘Amendement de Bâle : PAN Sénégal,IPEN et BAN unissent leurs efforts

Press article: Le Sénégal invité à respecter ses engagements