Basel Convention delegates convene in Nairobi to address the adverse effects of hazardous wastes

The face-to-face segment of the twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (OEWG-12) took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 4 to 6 April 2022, as a prelude to the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15), to be held in Geneva on 6-17 June 2022.

The OEWG-12 meeting was held on the heels of the Fifth United Nations Environment Assembly, where a historic agreement was reached to begin negotiations for a global legally binding treaty on plastic pollution. Currently, the Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments is the only global treaty that legally binds 189 countries to address the negative impacts of plastic wastes on human health and the environment.

Apart from plastic wastes, the OEWG-12 agenda included issues pertaining to persistent organic pollutants (POPs), lead-acid batteries, and wastes containing mercury compounds. All items were discussed on the basis of four areas: strategic; scientific and technical; legal, governance and enforcement; and international cooperation and coordination.

Specific outcomes included:

  • The adoption of the revised terms of reference and programme of work for the biennium 2020-2021 for the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE). This decision was combined with a recommendation to the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (Basel Convention COP-15) to adopt the proposed work programme for the biennium 2022-2023.
  • Agreement on recommending that Basel Convention COP-15 updates the technical guidelines for the environmentally sound management of waste lead-acid batteries.
  • Agreement on recommending for adoption by Basel COP-15:
    • Two guidance documents developed by the Implementation and Compliance Committee to improve implementation of the Basel Convention procedure to control transboundary movements of wastes (guidance on insurance, bond and guarantee, and guidance on transit transboundary movements);
    • The technical guidelines on the environmentally sound incineration of hazardous wastes and other wastes as covered by disposal operations D10 and R1;
    • The technical guidelines on the environmentally sound management of wastes consisting of, containing or contaminated with mercury or mercury compounds in order to develop robust guidance that will support the environmentally sound management of mercury waste; and
    • The practical manual for stakeholders to ensure that notifications of transboundary movements meet environmentally sound management requirements.

In addition, the OEWG-12:

  • Fostered discussions on potential actions to be taken under the Basel Convention on plastic waste. In the coming months, experts will be collecting comments on the draft practical guidance about the development of inventories for plastic waste, obsolete pesticides and pesticide-container waste, and waste batteries containing lithium.
  • Made progress towards considering the Switzerland-Ghana amendment proposal of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure for all e-waste. The proposal aims to improve the legal clarity of e-waste covered by the Basel Convention.
  • Exchanged views on the possible development of a future strategic framework and/or effectiveness evaluation of the Basel Convention.
  • Progressed towards finalizing the technical guidelines on the environmentally sound management of POPs, taking into account the POPs listed under the Stockholm Convention at its ninth meeting, which was held in 2019; and the technical guidelines on environmentally sound disposal of hazardous wastes and other wastes in specially engineered landfill (D5).

Packed with seven hours of plenary meetings, nearly 20 hours of contact group meetings, and five side events, the OEWG-12 was successfully concluded within the allocated three days, providing a solid foundation for the Basel COP-15, which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 6 to 17 June 2022.


The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, or BRS Secretariat, supports Parties implement the three leading multilateral environment agreements governing chemicals and waste management, in order to protect human health and the environment. See for more information and follow the @brsmeas Twitter feed for daily news.

For more information, please contact:

For technical questions on the OEWG-12, please contact: Susan Wingfield, BRS Programme Management Officer

For media inquiries please, contact: Marisofi Giannouli, BRS Associate Public Information officer,