Batteries

Resumed Session of the 12th Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG-12)

4–6 April 2022 | Online

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

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Meeting face-to-face for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, parties tackled key issues to address prior to the face-to-face segment of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in June 2022. Issues discussed included plastic waste, electronic waste, waste lead-acid batteries, and mercury waste.

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Resumed Session of the 12th Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG-12)

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Face-to-Face Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS COPs)

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Batteries
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

There is a renewed impetus to address chemicals and wastes. The resumed Fifth UN Environment Assembly agreed to begin negotiations on a legally-binding treaty on plastic pollution. It also agreed that a science-policy panel on chemicals and wastes should be established. It is against this backdrop that the face-to-face segment of the twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (OEWG-12) convened in Nairobi, Kenya.

Building on the momentum from the virtual meeting in 2020, OEWG-12 considered issues prioritized by the Bureau. These agenda items were considered to be the items where progress could be made. The issues for consideration were clustered around four areas: strategic; scientific and technical; legal, governance and enforcement; and international cooperation and coordination.

Items for consideration included:

  • a revised draft practical manual for stakeholders to ensure notifications of transboundary movements meet environmentally sound management requirements;
  • draft updated technical guidelines on the environmentally sound management of wastes consisting of, containing, or contaminated with mercury or mercury compounds;
  • information related to a possible future assessment of the effectiveness of the measures taken under the Basel Convention to address plastic waste and possible further activities that could be conducted;
  • a draft guidance document on the environmentally sound management of household waste; and
  • terms of reference and work programme for the Follow-up partnership to the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment.

The Basel Convention helps mitigate the adverse effects of hazardous wastes, aiming to protect human health and the environment. Issues addressed by the Convention include, inter alia, the environmentally sound management of plastic wastes and their disposal; lead-acid batteries; and wastes containing mercury compounds.

The OEWG met in Nairobi, Kenya from 4-6 April 2022. Virtual modalities were in place for those who are unable to travel to the meeting.

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