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Basel parties urge more action on alternative ship recycling

Global – Parties to the Basel Convention have requested the secretariat to develop implementation programmes for sustainable ship recycling, where possible in collaboration with other organisations such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The request follows recent agreement on the terms of a study to identify cost-effective, environmentally sound alternatives to the traditional beaching method of ship recycling.

The study will include a field mission to facilities employing alternative methods of ship recycling to establish their operational and infrastructural parameters. It will focus on the development of hazardous waste inventory systems in Bangladesh and Pakistan, where much beaching currently takes place. Business cases will be developed to help government and industry in the two countries to establish the required infrastructure to implement these systems.

These will be replicable in other countries and regions. The EC-funded project, designed to complement capacity-building activities that the IMO and the UN Industrial Development Organization are undertaking in South Asia, will be completed by the end of 2013. The Basel Convention aims to protect human health and the environment by controlling the export, import and disposal of hazardous wastes.

 To this end, its secretariat developed the Global Programme for Sustainable Ship Recycling in 2007 to encourage collaboration between the IMO, ILO and other appropriate organisations to facilitate improvements in worker health and safety and environmental conditions in ship recycling countries.

In 2009, the secretariat developed a concept for a Ship Recycling Technology & Knowledge Transfer Workshop to strengthen the regulatory, institutional, procedural and infrastructural capacity of Pakistans government and industry to fulfil the relevant aspects of the Basel Convention in relation to ship recycling, particularly those dealing with the downstream management of hazardous and other wastes, and the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.


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