Enhancing Parties capacities for the environmentally sound management of e-wastes


Electrical and electronic wastes (e-waste) are categorized as hazardous waste under the Basel Convention due to the presence of toxic materials such as mercury, lead and brominated flame retardants. E-waste may also contain precious metals such as gold, copper and nickel and rare materials of strategic value such as indium and palladium. These precious and heavy metals can be recovered, recycled and used as valuable source of secondary materials. It has been documented that e-wastes are shipped to developing countries where they are often not managed in an environmentally sound manner, thus posing a serious threat to both human health and the environment. Through adoption of decision BC-11/1 on follow‐up to the Indonesian‐Swiss country‐led initiative to improve the effectiveness of the Basel Convention, the Conference of the Parties envisaged a cross-cutting approach be taken to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the Basel Convention. Such an approach would include, inter alia, providing guidance on the environmentally sound management (ESM) of wastes and the provision of legal clarity with respect to certain terms used in the Convention.


  • Contribute towards developing national e-waste inventories and policies for implementation of the Basel Convention;
  • Test and disseminate the e-waste technical guidelines, the guidance documents and practical manuals developed under the Basel Convention Partnership programme and the environmentally sound management (ESM) expert working group;
  • Facilitate collection and exchange of best practices with regard to ESM of e-wastes among parties, including information on new technologies and cleaner production methods to prevent and minimize the production of hazardous e-wastes;
  • Disseminate information on policy tools, certification schemes and regional initiatives to manage e-wastes in an environmentally sound manner, including success stories to turn wastes into resources, material recovery and recycling; and,
  • Organize training activities on enforcement to enhance Parties’ capacities to monitor and control e-waste transboundary shipments and enforce the Basel Convention.