INDIA SETS THE TONE AT COP MEETINGS OF BASEL
GS 3: IR – Events
Why in News?
Conference of the Parties (COP) to Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (COP 14) was held.
- The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, usually known as the Basel Convention, is an international treaty.
- The treaty was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs).
- It does not, however, address the movement of radioactive waste.
- The Convention is also intended to
✓ Minimize the amount and toxicity of wastes generated,
✓ To ensure their environmentally sound management as closely as possible to the source of generation, and
✓ To assist LDCs in environmentally sound management of the hazardous and other wastes they generate.
Outcome of the (COP 14):
- In Basel Convention, two important issues were discussed and decided, i.e. technical guidelines on e-waste and inclusion of plastic waste in the PIC procedure.
- The draft technical guidelines stipulated the conditions when used electrical and electronic equipment destined for direct reuse, repair, refurbishment or failure analysis should be considered as non-waste.
- India had major reservations regarding these provisions as in the name of re-use, repair, refurbishment and failure analysis there was a possibility of dumping from the developed world to the developing countries including India.
- The Indian delegation strongly objected the proposed decision on these guidelines during plenary and did not allow it to be passed by the conference of the parties.
- Under the Basel Convention, another major achievement of COP 14 was:
- The decision to amend the convention to include unsorted, mixed and contaminated plastic waste under PIC (Prior Informed Consent) procedure
- Improve the regulation of its transboundary movement.
- Further, Basel Convention has also adopted partnership on plastic which was welcomed by the Indian delegation. These steps will help prevent the illegal dumping of plastic wastes in developing countries.
- India has already imposed a complete prohibition of import of solid plastic waste into the country. India has also made an international commitment to phase-out single-use plastic.