The resumed session of the 12th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG-12) convened on Monday, 4 April 2022, in Nairobi, Kenya, for its face-to-face segment with online participation. Delegates moved swiftly through the agenda, working congenially to refer those priority items that needed further discussion to their respective contact groups. Following the day’s plenary discussions, delegates met in contact groups.
Co-Chair Stina Andersson (Sweden) opened the second segment of OEWG-12. Andersson read a note from Co-Chair Gillian Guthrie (Jamaica), inviting parties to further reflect on the global chemical and wastes agenda. Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS), expressed confidence in making progress on the prioritized agenda items.
In their opening statements, regional groups highlighted a willingness to constructively engage on the strategic framework and consideration of guidelines on waste lead-acid batteries, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), plastic wastes, wastes contaminated with mercury, and other matters, to make progress towards the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP-15) of the Basel Convention in the Triple BRS COPs slated for June 2022.
Parties then considered Strategic, Scientific and Technical, Legal, Governance and Enforcement, and International Cooperation and Coordination Matters.
Under Strategic Matters, delegates recognized the need to elucidate next steps for a new strategic framework and a possible effectiveness evaluation framework, so a contact group was established to discuss this issue further. Delegates also agreed to request the Secretariat to prepare the final draft of the revised practical manual for stakeholders to ensure that notifications of transboundary movements meet environmentally sound management (ESM) requirements in consultation with interested parties and observers.
Under Scientific and Technical Matters, the following agenda items were forwarded to the Technical Matters Contact Group:
- Updated technical guidelines on the ESM of wastes consisting of, containing or contaminated with POPs;
- Updated technical guidelines on incineration on land and on specially engineered landfills;
- Updated technical guidelines for the identification and ESM of plastic wastes and for their disposal;
- Updated technical guidelines on the ESM of wastes consisting of, containing, or contaminated with mercury or mercury compounds; and
- draft practical manuals for developing national inventories on plastic waste, obsolete pesticides and pesticide-container waste, and waste batteries containing lithium.
On whether to update the technical guidelines for the ESM of waste lead-acid batteries, parties agreed: the guidelines need updating; and there is need for guidelines on lithium ion and electric vehicle batteries, but these guidelines may be inappropriate for this. The recommendations will be recorded in the meeting report.
On plastic waste, some suggested further activities under the Convention should continue work started at COP-14 and complement the legally binding agreement mandated by UNEA-5. Others opposed establishing an expert group and suggested discussion of the Secretariat’s proposed recommendations be held at COP-15. Parties agreed to note the discussion, invite further comments from parties and observers to be submitted to the Secretariat by 13 May 2022, and the Secretariat to publish the comments online for possible consideration by COP-15.
Under Legal, Governance and Enforcement Matters, parties considered the agenda items on consultation with the Committee administering the mechanism for promoting implementation and compliance, and providing further legal clarity, including possible amendment of Convention Annex entries. Parties agreed to return to the former later in the week. On the latter, they referred the matter to the Legal Matters Contact Group.
Under International Cooperation and Coordination Matters, parties discussed the Basel Convention Partnership Programme work on plastics, household wastes, and a follow-up to the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE).
Parties also agreed to refer the agenda item on Work Programme of the OEWG for the Biennium 2022–2023 to the Strategic Matters Contact Group.
The contact groups on Legal Matters and Technical Matters convened in the evening. Parties will reconvene Tuesday for the second day of deliberations in contact groups.
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