Colombia Reports – Cartagena to host toxic waste convention

(Written by Adriaan Alsema)

16 September 2011 – Representatives of countries that signed the 1992 Basel Convention to stop the illegal dumping of toxic waste and ships in third-world countries will meet in Colombia’s coastal city Cartagena in October.

During the October 17-21 summit, the countries will evaluate the convention and put an extra focus on the dumping of electronic waste, Delphine Reuter of NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a coalition of human rights, labor rights and environmental organizations, told Colombia Reports.

According to Reuter, one of the most controversial points on the agenda is that “the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which has authority over the proper handling of waste onboard end-of-life ships sent for breaking in South Asia and elsewhere, could be replaced with the 2009 Hong Kong Convention on ship recycling as far as end-of-life ships are concerned.”

The NGO claims that the Hong Kong convention “does not provide enough control on the shipbreaking operations so as to ensure that neither the environment nor the workers are suffering from them.”

The Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention is the tenth of its sort.