Basel Convention– 1989
• Basel convention is formally called as The Basel Convention on the Control of TransboundaryMovements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.
• The Convention was opened for signature on 22 March 1989, and entered into force on 5 May 1992.
• India ratified the Convention in June 24, 1992.
• The Basel Convention was adopted by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Basel, Switzerland, in response to a public outcry, following the discovery, in the 1980s, in Africa and other parts of the developing world of deposits of toxic wastes imported from abroad.
• Environmental awareness and tightening of environmental regulations in the industrialised world during 1970s and 1980s had led to an increasing public resistance to the disposal of hazardous wastes.
• In accordance with what became known as the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) syndrome and to an escalation of disposal costs.
• This in turn led some operators to seek cheap disposal options for hazardous wastes in the developing world, which was lagging in environmental awareness regulations and enforcement mechanisms.
• Against this background, the Basel Convention was negotiated in the late 1980s, and at the time of its adoption its thrust to combat the “toxic trade”.
The overarching objective of the Basel Convention is to protect human health and the environment against adverse effects of hazardous wastes.
• It aims to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs)
• The Convention is also intended to :
o minimize the amount and toxicity of wastes generated,
o to ensure their environmentally sound management as closely as possible to the source of generation, and
o to assist LDCs in environmentally sound management of the hazardous and other wastes they generate
• It does not address the movement of radioactive waste.
• The United States have signed the Convention but not ratified it
Section : Environment & Ecology