December 9, 2004
Ministry of the Environment held the Workshop on Prevention of Illegal Transboundary Movement of Wastes on December 7 - 8, 2004 in Tokyo. Environment Minister Koike made the opening address. In the workshop, the terms of reference of an Asian Network for Prevention of Illegal Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes (hereinafter referred as the "Network") was adopted. Twenty-six participants including officials from the competent authorities of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (hereinafter referred as the "Basel Convention") in 9 Asian countries and representatives from Basel Convention Regional Centers in China and Indonesia attended the workshop.
Development of appropriate mechanism for compliance with and monitoring of effective implementation of the Convention are called for in the 10 year strategic plan adopted at the Sixth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention in December 2002. In view of gaining appropriate control on such illegal shipments, the Government of Japan proposed the establishment of the Network. A project including preparatory work for establishing the Network has been reported to and acknowledged by Parties at the First Session of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention in April 2003.
In North-east and South-east Asian countries, there is an increasing concern about international trade of hazardous wastes and other wastes disguised as second-hand commodities; however, it is pointed out that some of them are in fact exported for recovery of precious metals while the useless parts are disposed of in environmentally-unfriendly manners that would eventually cause environmental problems. In the workshop, active involvement and coordination by all concerned stakeholders is seen as essential for achieving the effective implementation of the Basel Convention. Capacity building in developing countries and promotion of information exchange among relevant parties were also presented as pressing needs.