The Parties requested the Secretariat, subject to availability of funding, to organize implementation and enforcement training activities, in collaboration with the Basel Convention Regional Centres, the secretariats of other multilateral environmental agreements, in particular the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and other international organizations, agencies or programmes, to assist Parties, particularly developing countries and countries with economies in transition, to develop national legislation and other measures to implement and enforce the Conventions and to prevent illegal traffic. 

In response, the Secretariat has facilitated the development of an implementation and enforcement programme, to be implemented by the Basel Convention Regional Centres and the Stockholm Convention Regional Centres in their respective regions, to enhance the capacity of countries to monitor and control transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and chemicals.

In Africa, the enforcement activities were initially undertaken in the context of the programme of activities developed to assist Côte d’Ivoire in the aftermath of the dumping of hazardous waste from the Probo Koala vessel in Abidjan in 2006 (Decision VIII/1).  The pilot project in Cote d’Ivoire aimed at strengthening capacity of Côte d’Ivoire to monitor and control transboundary movements of hazardous chemicals and wastes and to enhance the implementation and enforcement of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions.  The Basel Convention Regional Centre for French-speaking countries in Africa, based in Senegal assumed the role of implementing agency for the pilot project, with support from the Basel Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariats. The programme in Africa is a joint activity of the three Secretariats.

The pilot project is being implemented in three phases. In the first phase, legal and technical experts were retained to undertake a “gaps and needs” analysis to assess the implementation and enforcement of the Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions, the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).  In the second phase, on the basis of the analysis and its associated recommendations, norms and regulations for the coordinated implementation of the three chemicals and waste conventions were developed and validated in a national consultation workshop in July 2010.  During the third and final phase of the project which was completed in October 2011, a series of training seminars for enforcement agencies such as customs and port authorities, environmental authorities (convention focal points) and the judiciary took place in Abidjan. The training focused on enhancing the implementation of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, prevention of illegal traffic of hazardous wastes and chemicals and the environmentally sound management of MARPOL wastes.  The Secretariat is liaising with the Rotterdam and Stockholm Secretariats, IMO and WHO to deliver the training. The project was funded by the Quick Start Programme Trust Fund of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management.

The pilot project is being replicated in three French-speaking countries, Gabon, Madagascar and Morocco, funded through the UNEP Trust fund for Côte d’Ivoire, which was established by the UNEP Executive Director following decision VIII/1 of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention. Currently the programme is also being implemented in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Mozambique with funding from the SAICM Quick Start Programme Trust Fund and in Kenya and Tanzania with funding received from the Government of Norway, the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) as well as the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ). The Basel Convention Regional Centre based in Dakar, Senegal is the implementing agency in French-speaking countries while the Africa Institute, based in Pretoria, South Africa, implements the programme in English-speaking countries.  These activities are adapted to country priorities and are at varying stages of implementation in the abovementioned countries and are scheduled for completion by 2013-2014.

For more information, please contact Francesca Cenni, Programme Officer, Secretariat of the Basel Convention, tel: +41 22 917 8364, email: francesca.cenni@unep.org.