From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Basel Ban
Mains level : Global mechanisms against desertification
- The 1995 Basel Ban Amendment, a global waste dumping prohibition, has become an international law after Croatia ratified it on September 6, 2019.
Basel Convention against global waste dumping
- Basel Convention in 1995, to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes, according to Basel Action Network (BAN).
- BAN is a Unites States-based charity organisation and is one among the organisations and countries, which created the Basel Ban Amendment — hailed as a landmark agreement for global environmental justice.
- The Ban Amendment was originally adopted as a decision of the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties in March 1994.
- The Ban Amendment prohibits all export of hazardous wastes, including electronic wastes and obsolete ships from 29 wealthiest countries of the OECD to non-OECD countries.
- The Ban Amendment had been stalled for all these years due to uncertainty over how to interpret the Convention.
Giants are yet to ratify
- Most countries like the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, India, Brazil, and Mexico are yet to ratify the ban.
- The US produces the most waste per-capita but has failed to ratify the Basel Convention and has actively opposed the Ban Amendment.
- Non-adherence to international waste trade rules has allowed unscrupulous US ‘recyclers’ to export hazardous electronic waste to developing countries for so-called recycling.
- Nearly, 40 per cent of e-waste delivered to US recyclers is exported to Asian and African countries.