Asia-Pacific Officials Discuss Control of Illegal Hazardous Chemicals, Waste Trade
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Environmental, customs and police officials from 26 Asia-Pacific countries met with experts from UNEP, World Customs Organization (WCO), INTERPOL and enforcement cooperation networks to discuss on current initiatives, best practices and approaches for detecting and deterring illegal transboundary movements of e-waste, ozone depleting substances and persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

23 November 2012: Asia-Pacific officials met to exchange information on enforcement measures that can be taken to prevent and control illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes. The discussion took place from 20-23 November 2012 in Cebu, Philippines in the context of a combined meeting of the Asian Network for the Prevention of Illegal Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste and the First Workshop of the Regional Enforcement Network for Chemicals and Waste (“Project REN”).

The meeting brought together environmental, customs and police agency representatives from 26 Asia-Pacific countries with experts from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), World Customs Organization (WCO), INTERPOL, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) to discuss current initiatives, best practices and approaches for detecting and deterring illegal movements of chemicals and wastes, with a focus on e-waste, ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). For example, INECE discussed its Seaport Environmental Security Network (SESN) and WCO discussed the Green Customs Initiative.

The Asian Network, funded and coordinated by Japan’s Environment Ministry, brings together 11 Asian countries, Hong Kong and two Basel Convention Regional Centers (BCRCs) to share information and technical materials, build capacity and promote cooperation regarding transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and select used/secondhand equipment (primarily e-waste).

Project REN, coordinated by UNEP’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) along with in-kind contributions from the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, brings together 25 Asian and Pacific countries to share intelligence, tools and best practice, build capacity and develop operational and legislative responses regarding transboundary movements of ODS, POPs and chemical waste covered by the Montreal Protocol and the Basel and Stockholm Conventions. [UNEP Press Release]

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