Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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At COP 2, African countries reaffirmed their political commitment to implementing the Bamako Convention and achieving the sound management of chemicals and wastes, and the SDGs.

Parties agreed to establish a permanent Secretariat in Mali and to review a roadmap for this process at an Extra-Ordinary COP in Sudan, in 2019.

2 February 2018: The second Conference of the Parties (COP 2) to the Bamako Convention adopted a Ministerial Declaration reaffirming Parties’ commitment to a pollution-free Africa as the region’s contribution to achieving the SDGs and the sound management of chemicals and wastes. Parties called for urgent action and effective mechanisms at national and regional levels to implement the Convention.

African nations established the ‘Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa’ in 1991 to protect the health of Africa’s population and its environment by banning the import of all hazardous and radioactive waste. The Convention prohibits dumping or incinerating hazardous waste in inland water and oceans, promotes the control of transboundary movement of hazardous waste within Africa, and seeks to ensure that waste disposal is conducted in an environmentally sound manner. Out of 54 African countries, 25 have ratified the Convention, which came into force in 1998.

Over 35 countries, regional economic bodies and other stakeholders participated in COP 2. The meeting convened from 30 January to 1 February 2018, in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, under the theme, ‘The Bamako Convention: a platform for a pollution-free Africa.’

Parties reaffirmed their ambition to prevent Africa from becoming a dumping ground for toxic wastes.

In the Ministerial Declaration, Parties raised concerns on the limited progress made in implementing the Convention. They reaffirmed their commitment to take concrete, urgent action to implement decisions adopted at COP 1 and COP 2. Parties also reaffirmed their ambition to protect vulnerable groups from unsafe chemical use and unsound waste disposal, and to take actions to prevent Africa from becoming a dumping ground for toxic wastes.

The Declaration further reaffirms Parties’ support for the environmentally sound management of chemicals and wastes through the Convention, including through efforts to align the Bamako Convention with the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063 and the UN Environment Assembly’s (UNEA) resolutions on chemicals and pollution. Parties called for promoting coherence and synergies between the Convention and other conventions related to chemical and hazardous waste, and for conducting joint capacity building activities and research programmes. In her remarks at the meeting, Juliette Biao, UN Environment Programme, underlined that strengthening the Bamako Convention will “reinforce Africa’s role and commitment to the global chemical agenda” as well as to Agenda 2063 and the SDGs.

COP 2 decided to establish the Convention Secretariat in Mali, and requested the Government of Mali and the current Secretariat to develop a road map on the establishment of a permanent secretariat and to report on the status at an Extra-Ordinary meeting of the COP to be held in Sudan in early 2019. Parties also addressed the Convention’s work programme and budget, designation of national focal points, technical assistance and modalities for establishing the secretariat, among other issues. [COP 2 Website] [UNEP Press Release] [Draft Ministerial Declaration] [UN Press Release in Advance of Meeting]


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