United Nations
Commission on Sustainable Development

Background Paper

Report to the Commission on Sustainable Development
on Chapter 20 of Agenda 21

Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous Wastes Including
Prevention of Illegal International Traffic in Hazardous Wastes


Task Manager

22 March 94





          II.A Promoting the Prevention and Minimization of
Hazardous Wastes
               II.A.1    Objectives
               II.A.2    Activities
               II.A.3    Means of Implementation

          II.B Promoting and Strengthening Institutional Capacities
in Hazardous Waste Management
               II.B.1    Objectives
               II.B.2    Activities
               II.B.3    Means of Implementation

          II.C Promoting and Strengthening International
Cooperation in the Management of Transboundary Movements of
Hazardous Wastes
               II.C.1    Objectives
               II.C.2    Activities
               II.C.3    Means of Implementation

          II.D Preventing Illegal International Traffic in
Hazardous Wastes
               II.D.1    Objectives
               II.D.2    Activities
               II.D.3    Means of Implementation


          III.A     Highlights of Recent Developments and the Role
of the UN Organizations

          III.B     Highlights of Constraints and Obstacles

          III.C     Some Elements for Orientations of Future UN


     Hazardous waste management is now at the forefront of the
environmental agenda.  There is a worldwide awareness of the issue
which has led to international, national and local initiatives,
involving both the public and the private sector.  As  a result,
progress has been made, in particular in developed countries, but
much more remains to be done and serious obstacles have to be

     .    An increasing number of countries worldwide have adopted
or are adopting regulatory frameworks for hazardous waste
management including the control of transfrontier movements. 
However, even when they exist, in particular in developing
countries these regulations are not well enforced.

     .    62 states and the European Union have ratified the Basel
Convention as of 14 February 1994, and 5 ratifications have been
received for the Bamako Convention.  However, the Caribbean,
Mediterranean, and South East Pacific regions are developing
protocols on the control of transboundary movement of hazardous
wastes in their respective regions.

     .    Even though more and more countries are establishing
hazardous waste treatment facilities, the capacities in place in
many countries is not sufficient to respond to current needs.

     .    Many dump sites of hazardous wastes, resulting from past
improper waste disposal, are threatening human health and the
environment, and soil contamination as well as the related ground
water contamination begins to appear as a new environmental issue. 
The costs associated with the clean up of these sites is enormous.

     .    Off-site recycling is widely utilized to achieve waste
minimization, but ill-defined and ill-specified exports of wastes
destined to recovery opens the door to illegal traffic.

     .    There is an increased worldwide awareness of the need to
adopt a preventive approach through Cleaner Production to achieve
waste minimization, and more broadly, pollution prevention and
efficient use of raw materials.  Environmental management tools
such as auditing, life cycle analysis, and reporting are now
available to promote such an integrated approach.  However,
progress has been made mainly in large industries while small and
medium-sized enterprises have not yet addressed Cleaner Production. 
The diffusion and wide-spread use of cleaner production is being
limited by many factors, including: inadequate government policies;
lack of capital for major investments, even though they have good
return on investment; resistance to change; lack of expertise and
skills to make the changes; insufficient dissemination of
information on commercially available cleaner technologies and
products; and, insufficient awareness of the economic benefits
associated with the use of cleaner technologies.

     .    Most of the attention has focused on hazardous wastes
coming from industrial processes.  However, the problem of
hazardous residues from agriculture, hospital wastes, and domestic
wastes has not been sufficiently addressed.

     .    Very few countries have developed the economic
instruments and set up the institutions which are necessary to
define and implement their hazardous waste policies and provide the
necessary incentives for industry and consumers to shift towards
cleaner processes and products.

     .    There is an increase in partnership building between
various stakeholders including governments, industry, NGOs and
international organizations.  However, such partnerships should be
enhanced, in particular to actively involve the private sector.

The role of UN agencies has been critical in:

     .    helping to increase understanding of the hazardous waste
issue, and its interlinkages with other problems, and more
generally in raising awareness;

     .    identifying alternative solutions to prevent waste at
source, to recycle or adequately manage waste;

The UN system has provided:

     .    a platform for discussion, debate and coordination of
hazardous waste management and cleaner production activities;

     .    information, guidance documents and training support to
enable decision makers in governments and in other parts of the
society to take environmentally sound decisions.

It is now urgent to increase the move from awareness to effective
implementation of Agenda 21 recommendations and from the assessment
above, the following critical issues need to be addressed:

-    Technology transfer:

     .    There should be an increase in the dissemination of
up-to-date information on cleaner technologies, recycling and
hazardous waste treatment technologies, and the existing
clearinghouse systems should be improved and strengthened.  UNEP,
UNIDO, UNDP, and ILO in particular should improve their cooperation
in this field.

     .    In view of the lack of capital investment, many
developing countries purchase lower capital cost equipment that
produce older versions of products and the related environmental
problems.  It is thus crucial that technology assessment activities
should be developed to avoid such transfers and UNCTAD, UNEP and
UNIDO should work closely in this.  In addition, it is crucial to
provide to the private sector easy access to funding for
investments which are eco-efficient.  Development banks and
bilateral aid programmes should also make sure that the projects
they are funding have integrated the Cleaner Production dimension.

-    Trade issues associated with hazardous waste management and
cleaner production:

     .    as trade of wastes destined for recycling activities
might open the door to illegal traffic of waste, as many recent
examples have shown, it is urgent to develop further the Basel
Conve Ntion in that area;

     .    requirements for "cleaner products" in many  countries
might be seen as trade barriers, and in order to avoid this,
internationally agreed schemes for Life Cycle Analysis and
eco-labelling should be developed;

     .    as cleaner production develops it will have an impact on
the trade of natural resources, which are often the main sources of
income in developing countries.  It is necessary to evaluate such
impact so as to develop the necessary transitory measures:  UNCTAD,
UNEP, and UNIDO have to develop a programme in this area;

-    soil and sound contamination:  this will certainly be a source
of environmental emergencies, and it is necessary to undertake
activities to better assess the dimension of the problem in
developing countries and countries in transition.  UNEP and WHO
should initiate a programme in this area;

-    capacity building:  countries in transition and developing
countries need to develop their institutions and build local
expertise to manage hazardous waste and develop cleaner production

     .    UNEP, in particular in the framework of the Basel
Convention Secretariat, and UNDP should support the strengthening
of national "hazardous waste management" units in governments.

     .    UNIDO and UNEP, in close association with ILO and UNDP
should further develop their joint "National Cleaner Production
Centres" (NCPC) project.  NCPCs, involving the private sector,
should in particular facilitate the dissemination of information to
the various end users and develop local expertise through training
of industry managers.

     .    More generally, UNEP, WHO, ILO, UNIDO should join efforts
to continue develop "train the trainers" activities (including
development of training materials) in the field of environmental
management in industry, involving the various local training
institutes, engineering schools, business schools.

-    monitoring progress: data needs to be collected on a
systematic basis to help develop hazardous wastes management and
cleaner production policies, and to follow up achievements.  To
this end UNEP, with other agencies, should promote approaches such
as self-reporting requirements and toxic releases inventories.  It
should also develop the use of indicators to measure progress in
efficient use of raw materials and energy.


UNCED in Agenda 21, stressed the importance of hazardous waste
management for proper health, environmental protection, and
sustainable development.

It has set up as an overall objective the prevention and
minimization of hazardous wastes and the environmentally sound
management of remaining wastes.  It has called for the ratification
of the Basel Convention and the expeditious elaboration of related
Protocols, as well as for the ratification and implementation of
the Bamako Convention, and the related elimination of export of
hazardous wastes.

Agenda 21 has identified 4 programme areas for developing the
related activities:

     A.   Promoting the prevention and minimization of hazardous

     B.   Promoting and strengthening institutional capacities in
hazardous waste management

     C.   Promoting and strengthening international cooperation in
the management of transboundary movements of hazardous waste

     D.   Preventing illegal international traffic in hazardous

Chapter II of the present report, prepared in close liaison with
the other agencies, summarizes activities undertaken within the UN
system to respond to Agenda 21.  Activities of other
intergovernmental organizations, in particular OECD and the
European Union (EU), are mentioned only when they are undertaken in
association with activities of the UN agencies.  A number of
examples of activities or achievements catalyzed by UN
organizations are highlighted in boxes.  Chapter III of the report
gives a brief evaluation of the contribution of the UN system in
helping to reach the objectives outlined in Agenda 21 and it
highlights possible orientations of future activities of the
agencies to overcome the obstacle identified.


II A.     Promoting the Prevention and Minimization of Hazardous

     II A.1    Objectives

     The objectives outlined in Agenda 21 are to reduce the
generation of hazardous wastes, as part of an integrated cleaner
production approach, to optimize the use of materials by recycling,
and to enhance knowledge and information.

     The following main observations can be made as background to
the report on UN activities:

     -    there is an increased worldwide awareness on the need to
adopt a preventative approach through cleaner production to achieve
waste minimization;

     -    an increasing number of industries have started
implementing cleaner production (pollution prevention) and
recycling, through better management practices, changes in the raw
materials used or in the production processes, and they have
discovered corresponding economic benefits;

     -    an increasing number of industry associations have
adopted codes of conduct or of practice, such as the ICC Business
Charter for Sustainable Development or the International Council of
Chemical Associations which include specific references to
pollution prevention and waste minimization;

     -    governments, mainly in developed countries, are beginning
to adopt regulatory approaches promoting cleaner production and
recycling (for example, the establishment of clean environmental
performance targets with flexibility regarding the means to meet
those requirements, and reporting requirements for pollution and
waste emissions);

     -    the UN system has clearly oriented its activities to
promote cleaner production and waste minimization as a cost
effective way to solve hazardous waste problems;

     However, many obstacles remain to reaching the objectives
outlined in Agenda 21 are still remaining

     -    countries undergoing rapid industrialization lack the
regulatory framework and the subsequent enforcement systems which
would compel industry to use cleaner production;

     -    industry in many countries, in particular small and
medium- sized enterprises, lack awareness, access to information,
and expertise to implement cleaner production;

     -    developing countries lack capital for major cleaner
production investments, even though they would have a good return
on these investments;

     -    ill-defined/ill-specified import/export of hazardous
wastes destined for recovery can open the door to the illegal
traffic of such wastes.

     II A.2    Activities

     To achieve these objectives Agenda 21 identifies 3 types of

     (a)  management related activities, for example, setting up of
regulatory frameworks, development of economic incentives,
developing research on cleaner technologies, and promoting their
transfer, promoting environmental management tools in industry
establishing centers providing training and information on cleaner
production, evaluate cost benefits of cleaner production option

          UN activities have included:

          -    development by UNEP of a comprehensive cleaner
production programme in close cooperation with all other UN
agencies, particularly UNIDO, IMO and OECD;

          -    promotion of industry management systems: waste and
emissions auditing procedures were published jointly by UNEP and
UNIDO in 1992 and are being used as an integral part of their
training activities.  Documents on other environmental management
tools, reporting and life cycle analysis will be published by UNEP
in 1994.  UNEP and ILO are jointly preparing a video on
environmental management systems with a focus on cleaner
production.  Presentations on cleaner production and corresponding
management tools have been made by various UN experts at
international seminars organized worldwide, thereby contributing to
increased awareness of the various decision-makers concerned.  UNEP
and the ICC have set up an international advisory panel composed of
top industry managers and government  officials, involving NGOs, to
review progress in ten implementations of the Business Charter for
Sustainable Development;

          -    support to countries to build their own technical
capabilities: UNEP and UNIDO have been actively organizing or
supporting national training activities focussing on cleaner
production (see box NÝ 1).  UNEP and UNIDO are also working
together on a project to establish a number of National Cleaner
production centres (NCPCs) in developing countries.  The NCPCs are
to play a coordinating and catalytic role in initiating cleaner
production activities by providing technical information and
advice, demonstrations of cleaner production techniques and
technologies and the training of industry and government
professionals in industrial environmental management.  During the
first project phase (1994-1996) up to seven NCPCs are expected to
begin operation, (funding permitting);

          -    launching of demonstration projects to assess
benefits and difficulties in implementing cleaner production: a
joint UNEP/World Bank project is being carried out in China which
includes site specific activities as well as training activities
(see box NÝ 2).  Demonstration projects are also being carried out
by UNEP with the support of ICC and the Netherlands, in Egypt,
Senegal and Zimbabwe, and by UNIDO in Egypt and India.

          -    launching by UNEP of the Environmental Technology
Assessment (EnTA) activity in consultation with international and
national organizations including DESD, UNCTAD.  The aim of the EnTA
activity is to encourage the use of environmental technology
assessment as a tool to support the development and application of
environmentally sound technology;

                                   Box 1



     .    First meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the
Basel Convention.  Uruguay, 1992

     .    UNEP Ministerial Meeting and Senior Level Seminar on
Cleaner Production -  France, 1992

     .    Various meetings in the framework of the Basel Convention


     .    UNEP Workshop on Landfill of Hazardous Waste, Jordan,

     .    ILO/UNEP/WHO "Train the Trainer" Workshop on
Environmental Management in Industry, Mauritius, 1993  

     .    C/ECLAC Workshop on Hazardous Waste Management, Santiago,
Chile, 1993

     .    UN/ECE Workshop on Low and Non-Waste Technologies,
Warsaw, Poland, 1993

     .    UNEP/WHO Regional Workshop on Medical Waste Management -
Dubai, March 1994

     .    WHO/UNDP Workshop on Safe Management of Hazardous Waste,
Quezon City; Philippines, 1993


     .    Various Workshops involving UNEP, UNIDO, ILO, on cleaner
production (including  waste minimization) held in India (chemical
industry, textile, tanneries), Thailand (textile, metal finishing),
China (various industry sectors), Tanzania, Tunisia, Mexico, Brazil

                                 End Box 1

                                   Box 2



     *    Audit and Reduction Manual for Industrial Emissions and
Wastes (Eng. Fr, Chin. Sp.) 1993 - (UNEP/UNIDO)

     *    Training Manual on Policies and Strategies for Hazardous
Waste (Eng, Fr, Sp.) UNEP with ECLAC and ISWA (1993)

     *    Training Manual on Landfill of Hazardous Industrial Waste
(UNEP) (1993)

     *    Cleaner Production Worldwide, (UNEP) (1993)

     *    Assessment of Sources of Air, Water and Land Pollution -
2 vols (WHO), (1993)

     *    Managing Medical Waste in Developing Countries, WHO

     *    Framework Document on the Preparation of Technical
Guidelines for the Environmentally Sound Management of Wastes
Subject to the Basel Convention; and Technical Guidelines on
Hazardous Waste from the Production and Use of Organic Solvents
(Y6) ; Technical Guidelines on Hazardous Waste : Waste Oils from
Petroleum Origins and Sources (Y8) ; Technical Guidelines on Wastes
Comprising or Containing PCBs, PCTs and PBBs (Y10) ; Technical
Guidelines on Wastes Collected from Households (Y46) (Eng, Fr, Sp)
adopted provisional by the First meeting of the Conference of the
Parties to the Basel Convention.


     *    Cleaner Production newsletter, UNEP biannual

     *    EnTA Environmental Technology Assessment newsletter UNEP,
biannual (1st issue in 1993)

     *    Managing Hazardous Wastes newsletter, ISBC (2 issues in
1992, 1 issue in 1993)

     *    Nature and Resources, Vol. 4, (UNESCO), (1992) on Cleaner

     *    Industry and Environment review, vol. 3, quarterly,
(UNEP), (1993) on Managing Contaminated Land

                                 End Box 2

                                   Box 3


     -    During the first phase of the UNEP/World Bank project, 67
low and no cost options implemented in seven plants for US $ 16.500
saved US $ 350.000 and reduced pollution load by more than 50 % ;

     -    as reported in the "Cleaner Production Worldwide",
published by UNEP and the UK government :

     -    an investment of $180,000 in a metal processing factory
in Singapore brought a yearly savings of US $ 87,000, while
reducing air emissions and cyanide wastes and improving working
atmosphere ;

     -    a textile plant in India stopped using highly polluting
sodium sulphide in the dyeing process and substituted hydrol, which
was a waste stream from the maize starch industry.  This change
required no capital expenditure, but brought 3000 US $ annual
savings.  The maize starch industry also benefitted from this

                                 End Box 3

          -    development of model legislations: SBC has
disseminated a draft model on hazardous wastes which incorporates
elements of waste prevention and minimization.  Activities
undertaken to implement Chapter 19 of Agenda 21 will also
contribute to hazardous waste minimization.  Finally, the UNEP
report "From Regulations to Industrial Compliance" and subsequent
training material and activities, promotes the integration of the
cleaner production approach when building an enforcement system;

          -    incorporation of cost-benefits aspects in all of the
above activities, as well as in information documents and technical
guidelines described in next chapter.  For example, the UNEP/UNIDO
Waste Audit and reduction Manual explicitly includes a step for
calculating costs of various prevention options.  Cost-benefit
information is included in the ICPIC clearing house, which is
presented routinely in training workshops.(see box 3)

     (b)  data and information: Agenda 21 calls for establishing
and strengthening existing clearinghouses and network for
information exchange, that is easy to access and to use.  It
specifically recommends the strengthening of the UNEP International
Cleaner Production Information Clearinghouse and the widespread use
by the UN system of the information collected.  (It asks for OECD
to examine economic options).

          UN activities have included:

          -    ongoing operation and expansion of UNEP's
International Cleaner Production Information Clearinghouse (ICPIC),
a database which features cleaner production case studies
(including costs/benefits elements), abstracts of cleaner
production publications, information of events related to cleaner
production and a message center.  The information is collected by
international industry sector working groups on leather, textiles,
metal finishing, mining, pulp and paper, cleaner products and
biotechnologies, and that provided by countries themselves.  A
diskette version will soon be available to facilitate access to the
information.  This database is available for use by other UN
agencies (UNDP's sustainable development network, UNIDO, and the
Development Banks...) It also supplements other agencies' databases
(such as the UNIDO's Industrial and Technological Information Bank
- INTIB) and more specifically its Energy and Environment
Information Systems, EEIS, aimed at providing information on
environment issues to SME in developing countries;

          -    publications by the agencies of various guidelines
and reports providing information to decision-makers on cleaner
production technologies, environmental management tools, and
cleaner production policies and strategies.  Training materials are
also prepared (see box NÝ 2).  These publications support the
management related activities described above;

          -    monitoring of the hazardous waste situation,
including waste minimization initiatives, currently being carried
out through the inter-agency Global Waste Survey and database
coordinated by IMO in collaboration with UNEP SBC, WHO, UNIDO,
UNDP, FAO, World Bank, ESCAP, ECE.  Over 100 countries participated
in this survey.  The results of phase 1 of this survey are
available from IMO.  It gives an overview of the hazardous waste
management situation in countries, but does not in fact contain
detailed data or statistics on waste generation.  The survey will
be completed in late 1994 by which time the database (feasibility
phase) will be transferred to UNEP (probably SBC) for updating,
maintenance and wider inter-agency usage;

          -    reporting obligations for Parties under the Basel
Convention includes information on the development of technologies
for reduction of hazardous wastes.  To date over 30 countries have
made such reports.

     (c)  international cooperation and coordination: Agenda 21
calls for ratification of the Basel and Bamako Conventions and
their implementation, and for effective coordination of
international activities.

          UN activities have included:

          -    encouragement by the SBC and the UNEP Governing
Council for the ratification of the Basel Convention: as of 14
February 1994, 62 states and the Commission of the European Union
have ratified or acceded to the Basel Convention.  5 ratifications
have been received for the Bamako Convention;

          -    coordination of national activities through the
strategy guidelines prepared in 1993 by the SBC under the Basel

          -    coordination and monitoring of cleaner production
activities through biannual high level meetings that bring
government representatives, industry, and international
organizations together to review progress of the cleaner production
programme and network.  A ministerial and senior level meeting was
held in October 1992, and a further meeting is planned for 1994. 
Additional meetings are held on specific subjects: for example a
joint UNEP/OECD meeting dealt with policies and strategies to
promote cleaner production, and OECD is organizing in cooperation
with UNEP and UNIDO a meeting with its aid development committee;

          -    cooperation between OECD and the SBC has been
confirmed by a Memorandum of Understanding which states that OECD
will share with the SBC its available information likely to help in
the implementation of the Basel Convention (in particular: data on
hazardous waste generation and transboundary movements, on control
systems, on specific aspects of hazardous wastes management such as
environmentally sound recovery operations etc.);

          -    WHO is actively contributing to the work of the SBC.

     II A.3    Means of Implementation

     Agenda 21 identifies 4 means of implementation:

     (a)  financing and cost evaluation: Agenda 21 has estimated
the total annual cost of implementating the activities of this
programme to be US $ 750 million from the international community
on grants or concessional terms

     There is limited dispersed information on the financing of
hazardous waste minimization and budget spent by each UN
organization.  It is to be noted first that investments in cleaner
production and waste minimization are part of normal industrial
investments, second that they are made by private sector financing
or through bilateral agreements. They are thus difficult to
monitor. However some information is available on the budget of UN
agencies for catalyzing cleaner production:

     -    the UNEP cleaner production programme budget amounted to
US $ 800000 in 1993, which came from the environmental fund.  In
addition, financial total contributions of US $ 430000 were brought
by Denmark, the Netherlands, France, the European Union and USA. 
In addition, in-kind support at $ 250 000 has been brought by USA
(secondment of 1 senior level staff and support to the development
of the database), U.K. (funding of a publication), Norway and the
Netherlands (funding of consultants), Denmark (secondment of one
consultant), Australia (sponsoring of a working group and
international conferences).  This represents an increase from 1990,
even if it is still insufficient in view of the needs;

     -    the UNIDO cleaner production activities amounted in 1993
approximately to more than US $ 2 million. The Netherlands are
providing US $ 1.8 Million and Denmark is expected to provide in
1994 the same amount.

     -    the SBC total budget in 1993 was US $ 2.263 Million, of
which US $ 1,474,650 were allocated to the Trust Fund for the
implementation of the Basel Convention and US $ 88,740 were
allocated to the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund to assist
developing country members in the implementation of the Basel

     b)   Scientific and technological means: Agenda 21 calls for
an increase in research on cleaner production, including phase out
options and product design.

          UN activities have included:

          -    emphasizing during regular, ongoing meetings with
governments and industry the need for further research and
development, and publicizing some of the immediate applicable
results of such research in UN publications.  Some examples include
the UNEP technical guides and the World Bank/UNIDO/UNEP industry
guideline series being finalized for publication in 1994, to be
used by World Bank and UNIDO project managers;

          -    at least eight new technical guides will be
published by early 1994 by UNEP.  In addition new technologies in
actual use are included as updates in UNEP's ICPIC system;

          -    promoting more research and development on life
cycle assessment (LCA).  An international expert seminar on the
state of the art was held in the Netherlands in the framework of
the UNEP cleaner production programme, the results of which will be
widely disseminated;

          -    promoting by UNEP of the development and use of
environmental technology assessment (see par. II A2 (a))

     c)   Human resources development: Agenda 21 calls for
increased training programmes and awareness raising for cleaner
production, and for increased dialogue and partnership between the
various partners.

          -    UN training activities have been ongoing, as already
described in part II A2 (a) - (see also boxes NÝ 1 and 2).  The
training component in the China demonstration project by UNEP/World
Bank is particularly significant as a model also for other
countries, as is the recent UNEP/WHO/ILO workshop in October 1993
(Mauritius) to train trainers in African institutions on improved
environmental management in industry.  This workshop will be
repeated in other regions in 1994.  Training of national personnel
will be a responsibility also of the UNEP/UNIDO National Cleaner
Production Centres discussed earlier.  UNIDO has developed training
programmes and materials aimed specifically at its own
headquarters, staff and their national counterparts in the field of
industry.  Part of this "A Training Course on Ecologically
Sustainable Development" has been made available to other agencies. 
The ILO is carrying out environmental management training and
support activities for employers' and workers' organizations;

          -    awareness raising activities have also been numerous
as described above, involving industry: leading international
industry associations are taking part in annual UNEP consultative
meetings where the cleaner production programme is discussed. 
Industry is also involved in the specific meetings organized by the
SBC or in the framework of the UNEP cleaner production programme
and of UNIDO's activities.  The ILO is also conducting a number of
awareness raising workshops for employers and workers organizations
in developing countries.

     d)   Capacity building: Agenda 21 calls for the development of
national inventories, integrated policies and planning, waste
reduction campaigns, strengthening procedures for impact assessment
including the cradle to grave approach, monitoring the application
of management methods and increased funding of technology transfer.

          UN activities have included, in addition to the human
resource development:

          -    Launching of the National Cleaner Production Centres
project jointly by UNIDO and UNEP, as already described in par. II
A2 (a) above;

          -    the preparation by UNEP, jointly with OECD,
guidelines for policies and strategies for cleaner production;

          -    support to countries for the development of national
inventories, as a result of the Global Waste Survey described in
Chapter II A2;

          -    inclusion of sector specific advice for cleaner
production in UNEP guidelines and in the joint World
Bank/UNIDO/UNEP guidelines;

          -    preparation of guidelines and report on
environmental management tools (see box NÝ 2)

II B.     Promoting and Strengthening Institutional Capacities in
Hazardous Waste Management

     II B.1    Objective

     The objective of this programme area is to establish
appropriate national measures and programmes in hazardous waste
management and to develop corresponding skills.

     The inter-agency Global Waste Survey, coordinated by IMO with
UNEP, SBC, UNIDO and other agencies has begun to give some ideas on
the measures and programmes in hazardous waste management:

     -    there is worldwide awareness, catalyzed by UNEP and the
SBC in cooperation with agencies, on hazardous waste issues and
policies to address them;

     -    regulations, mainly in developed countries, have been
adopted to secure adequate treatment;

     -    treatment facilities, either on site or collective are
starting in developing countries.

     However, the situation is far from being satisfactory:

     -    there is a lack of health surveys and epidemiological
studies of the health impacts of hazardous waste mismanagement, and
a lack of health impact assessments of hazardous waste treatment or
disposal facilities;

     -    enforcement of regulations, when they exist, is often

     -    there is a lack of institutional capabilities in
government to address this issue, and small and medium size
enterprises do not have the awareness nor the possibility to
develop their own treatment facilities;

     -    the capacity of adequate treatment facilities is
insufficient to respond to current needs.  As a result uncontrolled
disposal of wastes on land increasingly leads to soil
contamination, which threatens surface and underground waters.

     II B.2    Activities

     To achieve these objectives, Agenda 21 identifies 3 types of

     (a)  Management related activities, i.e. establishment of
hazardous waste inventories as well as treatment facilities, the
identification and clean-up of dump sites, and the encouragement of
collective disposal facilities.

          UN activities have included:

          -    completion of the inter-agency Global Waste Survey
led and coordinated by IMO in cooperation with UNEP and SBC (see
above) to provide national waste inventories.  The data collection
protocols provide a basis for ongoing surveys within and by
countries themselves.  Model waste inventory questionnaire forms to
assist national investigations are available.

          -    training on waste management organized in particular
by UNEP and SBC, in cooperation with other international
organizations.   In 1993, workshops were held for Latin America and
Caribbean region, and Asia and the Pacific.  Under an agreement
with the EU, finance will become available for further workshops. 
WHO has held workshops on hospital waste disposal in West Asia. 
UNEP has published further training manuals on waste policies and
strategies and on landfill disposal.  Assistance has been given to
international training courses at national centres in Germany,
Sweden, and Thailand.  Sectorial training by UNEP in Southern
Africa has included site rehabilitation of mines.  WHO's GETNET
training activities have focused on occupational health assessments
and control procedures.  UNESCO is preparing model teaching
curricula for pollution control.  ILO and UNEP have continued
support to training activities for Latin America employers through
seminars in Costa Rica and Brazil.  The inter-agency UNEP/WHO/ILO
Train the Trainers programme mentioned earlier was specifically
aimed at building endogenous training capacity in Africa and
elsewhere through workshops and publications.  The WHO Global
Environmental Technology Network (GETNET) was used as an
infrastructure for this collaboration.  Preparations for further
workshops in Ethiopia for African trainers, and Germany for
European institutes are at an advanced stage;

          -    setting up regulatory frameworks; the ILO adopted in
1992 a Convention (NÝ 170) and Recommendation (NÝ 174) concerning
Safety in the Use of Chemicals at Work which also refers to the
disposal and treatment of waste chemicals and hazardous waste
products with a view to ensuring the safety of workers;

          -    dissemination of technical guidelines for the
environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes: SBC has
prepared documents as well as guidelines on specific waste types
subject to the Basel Convention (solvents, oils, PCBs, household
waste), and disposal methods (landfill, incineration, oil
recovery).  Further guidelines are under preparation, including for
wastes destined for recovery operations.  WHO is preparing
guidelines on hospital waste, and on disposal of medical waste in
developing countries. A technical guide on identification and
remediation of contaminated sites , including dumpsites, is being
prepared by UNEP;

          -    collection of information on military sites to
determine problems, needs for action, and the contribution of the
military sector to hazardous waste policies is being undertaken (as
per UNEP Governing Council Decision 17/5).

     (b)  Data and information: Agenda 21 calls for the
dissemination of health information, establishment of national
health databases, and information on disposal operators.

          UN activities include:

          -    collection and dissemination by UNEP as well as WHO
and ILO together through the IPCS, of information of health aspects
of chemicals and wastes.  UNEP's technical publication on hazard
identification in a local community is also applicable to waste
disposal facilities (see also Chapter 19);

          -    collection by SBC of information provided by Parties
on human health effects and disposal operations.  As well, a
current list of national authorities and focal points designated by
governments is maintained;

          -    publication by UNEP of a directory of information
sources on hazardous waste, listing relevant national institutions
nominated by national focal points, and including a bibliography of
important references available to countries;

          -    the Global Waste Survey referred to above, contains
elements to inventory disposal facilities.

     (c)  International and regional cooperation: Agenda 21 calls
for strengthening risk assessment and management, research and
building self-sufficiency in treatment and disposal:

          -    international meetings and workshops organized by
the agencies present opportunities for government personnel to
discuss cooperation activities;

          -    activities of the UN system reported under Chapter
19 are also relevant.

     II B.3    Means of implementation

     Agenda 21 highlights 4 means of implementation:

     (a)  Financing: the conference secretariat has estimated the
annual cost at $ 18.5 billion including about 3.5 billion for
developing countries, and 500 million from the international

     There are no new elements available enabling to come to a more
detailed estimate.  The cost of proper global management of
hazardous waste depends initially on:

          .    common definition and classification of hazardous

          .    knowing the generation of this hazardous wastes as
well as the amount recovered, reused, recycled and finally disposed
in each country;

          .    amount of hazardous waste imported or exported;

          .    an understanding of the word "proper";

     Other cost items to determine for each country would be:

          .    costs associated with disposal, recovery, reuse,
recycling of hazardous waste;

          .    costs of implementing cleaner production in industry
in order to prevent hazardous waste;

          .    costs for the establishment of a governmental
organisation to effectively set and enforce hazardous waste policy;

     It has however been possible to gather sparse elements on some
spending by UN agencies:

          .    the SBC budget for 1993 was US $ 2,263,390, of which
$ 1,474,650 were allocated to the Trust Fund for the implementation
of the Basel Convention and $ 788,740 were allocated to the
Technical Cooperation Trust Fund to assist developing countries'
members in the implementation of the Basel Convention;

          .    during 1992/93 WHO spent around US $ 100,000 from
its regular budget and US $ 100,000 from extra-budgetary funds in
activities related to hazardous waste, especially medical waste,
including inter-regional and regional meetings, documents
preparation and consultantships in Member countries (the equivalent
2 men/year is to be added);

          .    GEF has funded US $ 45 million for 3 projects
dealing with treatment of ship wastes in China, the Mediterranean
and the Caribbean.

     (b)  Scientific and technological means: Agenda 21 calls for
additional research on technologies for hazardous waste handling,
storage, and disposal, on health impacts and the needs of small

          UN activities include:

          -    information on hazardous waste treatment
technologies are already identified in various UN publications such
as the World Bank/UNEP/WHO manual.  UNEP and the SBC have prepared
technical guidelines on waste treatment and disposal techniques, as
mentioned earlier.  This work is continuing.  The UNEP training
manuals include technical descriptions of relevant disposal
techniques.  The forthcoming guidelines by the World
Bank/UNEP/UNIDO will include hazardous waste treatment and disposal
facilities.  The IRPTC data base includes disposal methods for
waste chemicals.

          -    UNESCO has continued its work to promote marine
monitoring for chemical parameters commonly found in some
industrial wastes through the GIPME programme.  Sponsorship by
UNESCO of symposia and training in aspects of geochemical aspects
of waste disposal, and on groundwater protection has also

     (c)  Human resource development: Agenda 21 calls for among
others increased awareness, information dissemination, and training
programmes for government, industry and labour.

          UN activities include:

          -    regional training workshops by UNEP on hazardous
waste management policies, treatment, disposal and minimization. 
A total of 280 national personnel from 85 countries attended 9
workshops in all regions between 1987 and 1993.  WHO and IMO
participated in some of these workshops.  SBC sponsored a regional
training workshop in Latin America in collaboration with UNEP and
ECLAC on the implementation of the Basel Convention.  UNEP's
training programmes include both direct training of national
personnel through workshops, and the building up of endogenous
capacity through training meetings and through publication of
guidance and resource material.  Together with UNEP, WHO through
GETNET coordinated the Train the Trainers programme described
earlier, in which ILO also participated;

          -    WHO regional or national workshops on the management
of infectious and chemical hazardous wastes;

          -    publication by UNEP, in English and Spanish, of
training manuals and resource material on hazardous waste
management policies, and on landfill disposal, to enable regional
and national institutions to organize their own workshops;

          -    UNEP technical guides (incl. tanning, metal
finishing, textiles, mining, nickel production) and SBC public
information frequently includes advice on hazardous waste issues. 
Much of this can be used both by specialists and at community
level.  UNESCO's engineering curriculum programme includes mention
of hazardous waste and pollution treatment.  WHO has published a
monograph on site selection which emphasizes public participation;

          -    SBC has initiated an assessment of the feasibility
of establishing national centres for training and technology
transfer in various regions.

     (d)  Capacity building: Agenda 21 calls for a greater
responsibility of multinationals in promoting waste management
solutions, for strengthening centres of excellence, for
international networking among professionals working in that area,
and for increased training.

          UN activities relevant to the above have been described
earlier, and include the provision of training support and training
materials to national institutions.  UNEP, WHO, ILO and UNESCO in
particular are pursuing such activities.  UNEP has been working
with the International Chamber of Commerce to encourage companies
to adopt uniform environmental standards in their operations.  The
ICC Business Charter for Sustainable Development as well as other
voluntary codes of conduct, such as Responsible Care, contain
elements on hazardous waste management.

II C.     Promoting and Strengthening International Cooperation in
the Management of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste

     II C.1    Objective

     The objective set forward by Agenda 21 is to harmonize the
procedures and criteria used for identifying waste, and for
controlling transfrontier movements.

     Since UNCED, a number of steps have been taken by the
international community:

     -    adoption in 1992, of the waste nomenclature of the Basel

     -    adoption in 1992 by OECD countries of a decision
concerning the control of transfrontier movements of wastes
destined for recovery operations (including to non OECD countries),
which should shortly be effectively implemented by the European

     II C.2    Activities

     Agenda 21 recommends management related activities, i.e.
strengthening and harmonizing criteria and regulations on waste and
implementing existing agreements.

     UN activities include:

     -    a manual to facilitate implementation of the Basel
Convention has been finalized by SBC.  Several technical guidelines
have been finalized, and others commenced;

     -    the Notification and Movement Document prepared by SBC
and adopted provisionally by the First Meeting of the Conference of
the Parties is being used by a number of Parties.  SBC is
cooperating with IMO, OECD and the EU in a joint effort to work
towards the harmonization of the format of the forms used (i.e.
IMO, EU) or being prepared (i.e. OECD draft form) and those adopted
provisionally by the Parties;

     -    OECD has undertaken a review of testing procedures to
determine hazardous characteristics of waste in OECD Member
countries.  In the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding,
this information is made available to the SBC;

     -    a draft protocol on liability and compensation is under
negotiation within the Basel Convention framework;

     -    Caribbean, Mediterranean, South East Pacific regions are
developing protocols on control of transboundary movements of
hazardous wastes in their respective regions;

     -    OECD collects data on transfrontier movements of
hazardous waste, and has developed a control system for
transfrontier movements of wastes destined for recovery operations. 
Data on transfrontier movements to non-OECD countries are also
collected and are of interest to the SBC;

     -    the SBC is cooperating closely with OECD on the
development of criteria for the definition of the hazardous
characteristics of the wastes covered by the Basel Convention, on
the inclusion of a number of wastes subject to the Basel Convention
in the Harmonized System of the Customs Cooperation Council and on
the issue of harmonization of the formats of the Notification and
Movement Document of the Basel Convention with the draft
notification and tracking forms used and prepared by OECD;

     -    the SBC is assisting developing countries in the
implementation of the Basel Convention by providing them with the
necessary technical and legal assistance in order to promulgate the
necessary laws and regulations as well as advise them on management
of hazardous wastes and the prevention of cases of illegal traffic.

     II C.3    Means of Implementation

     (a)  Agenda 21 regards cost evaluation as not being practical
at this stage but requested the SBC to study cost estimates.

     -    SBC has undertaken work in this area and will report to
the next meeting of the parties.

     (b)  Agenda 21 highlights capacity building to deal with
transfrontier movement of wastes:

     -    model national legislation including institutional
frameworks has been prepared by SBC and provided to countries;

     -    training activities undertaken by UNEP and SBC contain an
element dealing with transfrontier movement of wastes.

II D.     Preventing Illegal International Traffic in Hazardous

     II D.1    Objectives

     The objectives of this programme area are to reinforce
national capacities to halt illegal attempts to introduce hazardous
waste in any State in contravention to national and international
legislation, and to obtain information on illegal traffic.

     II D.2    Activities

     Agenda 21 identifies 3 types of activities to achieve these

     (a)  management related activities, i.e. develop and implement
regulatory frameworks.

     UN activities include:

     -    guidance documents published by the SBC and UNEP on
hazardous waste legislation and enforcement, including simulation
exercises in UNEP training manuals, as well as country specific
assistance on environmental law by UNEP.  Model legislation
prepared by SBC includes penalties for illegal traffic;

     -    a joint UNEP/ESCAP project report to assess illegal
traffic in the ESCAP region.

     (b)  data and information, i.e. developing information
networks to detect illegal traffic

     UN and other activities relevant to the above include:

     -    establishment of a reporting system on illegal traffic as
required by the Basel Convention is being implemented.  Informal
exchange of information occurs at technical meetings;

     -    the setting up of reporting systems on legal traffic as
developed by OECD countries should also contribute to better
monitoring of illegal traffic.

     (c)  international cooperation, i.e. regional commissions
together with UNEP and SBC reporting on illegal traffic and its
health implications

     Agency activities relevant to the above are especially related
to the UNEP/ESCAP project on illegal traffic, involving also SBC. 
Funding is being sought for similar projects in other regions. 
UNEP is continuing to work with countries to strengthen their
legislation to prevent illegal traffic.


III A.    Highlights of Recent Developments and of the Role of the
UN Organizations

     *    A priority focus on prevention

     The rapid evolution in environmental thinking in recent times
has brought waste management and waste prevention closer together
in public thinking.  Waste minimization through a broader cleaner
production approach, aimed at preventing emissions and waste
waters, and efficient use of energy and other natural resources, is
now more and more understood as fundamental part of a waste
management strategy.  In view of the strong priority given to
cleaner production and preventive approaches throughout Agenda 21,
and the fact that a specific UNEP programme on this issue is
already well advanced, UNEP has taken the approach that waste
minimization mentioned in the Basel Convention should be achieved
through strengthening the existing cleaner production programme.

     Other agencies are increasingly emphasizing the prevention
approach in their respective meeting agendas and training
programmes, in addition to increasing their activities with the
UNEP programme: UNIDO has developed an important set of activities
aimed at Environmental Sustainable Industrial Development (ESID),
in particular through the joint UNIDO/UNEP Cleaner Production
Centres project, and an increased number of activities.  WHO, ILO,
UNESCO are gradually integrating the preventive approach in their
publications, conferences and technical assistance activities.  In
banning ocean dumping of hazardous waste, effective 1 January 1996,
IMO and the Contracting Parties to the London Convention of 1972
have also called for increased emphasis on minimization and
recycling of all waste.  Both UNIDO and UNEP have joined with the
World Bank in order to incorporate cleaner production concepts into
the forthcoming industrial guideline series that will cover over 80
industrial sectors.  These guidelines will help project managers in
their decision-making.

     Nevertheless, not all agencies, nor all agency staff, are
totally familiar with how to integrate this approach in their
programme cycle.  In this respect the collaborative pilot
programmes in China, the creation of the National Centres, and the
joint training of national trainers are expected to have a major
influence in increasing agency confidence (and particularly UNDP)
in the cleaner production approach.  In particular, the programmes
are expected to demonstrate how cleaner production concepts can be
translated into strategic organizational decisions.

     *    Greater efforts are being made to promote environmentally
sound recycling of hazardous waste.

     *    A shift of the role of the UN organization from policy
development to capacity building, with a greater inter-agency
cooperation.  With an increased worldwide awareness on the
hazardous waste issue, with the Basel Convention in force and with
the subsequent current publications of policy and technical
guidelines for hazardous waste management, UNEP and the SBC have
now begun to concentrate on providing support to countries to
implement such guidelines and the machinery provisions of the Basel
Convention.  Main capacity building activities have included:

     .    dissemination of technical publications to assist
countries to take action;

     .    development of coherent training activities, jointly
performed by UN organizations, with an increased focus on Train the

     .    increase of information exchange through the UNEP
International Cleaner Production Information Clearinghouse and the
related network of information collection and dissemination in
other agencies (in particular UNIDO);

     .    enhancing of national institutional capabilities through
the support to the development of legislation through SBC and the
establishment of technical centers, such as the UNIDO/UNEP National
Cleaner Production Centers (NCPCs)

     *    A greater partnership between the various stakeholders:
governments, industry, NGOs and international organizations.  The
various UN organizations, and particularly UNEP and the SBC are
providing a neutral forum to discuss solutions to handle the
hazardous waste issue, as well as other environmental management
issues in industry, to improve technology transfer and to
periodically review progresses as well as problems yet to be
solved.  The UNEP/ICC high level panel to review progress of the
implementation of the Business Charter for Sustainable Development
gives a good example of such a partnership.

III B.    Highlights of Constraints and Obstacles

     Even though progress has undoubtedly been achieved, much
remains to be done to achieve Agenda 21 objectives.  The following
points highlight some of the main constraints and obstacles which
have to be overcome.  They are:

     -    institutional

          *    Regulations (when they exist) are often not well

          *    The private sector is not closely associated with
the development and implementation of hazardous waste management
policies.  Small and medium size enterprise do not have the
necessary environmental awareness not the expertise and financial
resources to deal with the hazardous waste issue.

          *    Ill-defined or ill-specified recycling activities
might open the door to the illegal traffic of waste.

          *    Data and statistics on waste production necessary
for hazardous waste management strategies, activities, and for
monitoring achievements and overall hazardous waste management, are
still missing or not yet reliable. The UN system with the IMO GWS
led in cooperation with the SBC, UNEP and other agencies, has
started work in this area.  However, given the first results of the
GWS, it is clear that waste generation surveys will always be
difficult and costly to conduct because of the complexity of waste
composition and testing procedures.

          On the other hand, the quality of waste import/export
data collected and published by the OECD is being improved from
year to year, since data are based on the common nomenclature for
hazardous wastes.

     -    technical

          *    Much of the work focuses on industrial waste from
production processes and not on other potential sources of
hazardous wastes.  Hazardous residues from agriculture, hospital
wastes, domestic wastes and other discarded products contain
hazardous substances.

          *    There are insufficient "Cleaner Technologies" being
developed to meet the cleaner production challenge, and knowledge
of technologies available is not yet sufficiently spread.

          *    The full dimension of soil contamination (due to
improper disposal of hazardous wastes as well as improper use of
pesticides and fertilizers or air pollutants) is not well known,
particularly in developing countries.  In some case, it might
become "environmental emergencies".

     -    economic

          *    Even though cleaner production is cost-effective and
often has a short pay-back period end-of-pipe treatment investments
always generate operating costs), there is a need for capital

          *    Very few countries have developed economics
instruments to complement their hazardous waste legislation and
provide the necessary incentive for industry and consumers to shift
towards cleaner processes and products.

     -    attitudinal

          *    A general and global resistance to change and to new
ways of operating are one of the key obstacles.

III C.    Some Elements for Orientations of Future UN Activities

     From the above assessment, it is clear that there is now a
worldwide awareness of the hazardous waste issue, of its linkages
with other issues such as toxic chemicals, air emissions and water
pollution, and of the need to adopt a broader integrated approach. 
Although progress have been made on both implementing hazardous
waste management schemes and developing cleaner production and
pollution prevention strategies, there is a need for a greater
shift from awareness to action.  To support countries in this
change, and to help overcome the obstacles listed above, UN
activities should focus on:

     -    Continuous efforts should be made to bring additional
ratifications to the Basel Convention in order to reduce the
possibility of international traffic of waste, an international
agreement should be worked out to deal with wastes destined for
recovery operations.  The SBC should also continue its work to
develop the corresponding international forms for transfrontier
movements of waste to cooperate with UN and other international
organizations in the development of international testing

     -    The capabilities of developing countries to deal with
hazardous wastes issues should be strengthen. This might include:

          *    The strengthening of national "hazardous waste
management" units in governments, in charge of developing and
implementing the corresponding policies and strategies, including
development of legislation and regulations ensuring their
enforcement, developing hazardous waste treatment schemes,
monitoring import/export of hazardous wastes.

          *    The establishment of National Cleaner Production
Centres, following the model jointly developed by UNIDO and UNEP. 
Such centres should involve the private sector, and aim
specifically at providing the necessary information to the various
decision-makers, facilitating effective technology transfer, and
the development of local expertise through training.

          *    Increased training activities to promote
environmental management in industry, with a focus on train the
trainers in local training institutes, so as to better leverage and
catalyze human resource development.

     -    There should be continuous dissemination of up-to-date
information on cleaner technologies, recycling and hazardous waste
treatment technologies, by improving and networking the existing
database and information exchange system, and in particular the
International Cleaner Production Information Clearinghouse.  This
system should be improved to be rendered more user friendly, and to
be operated through regional modes.  UN information should be
coordinated and disseminated to better reach end users.

     -    Development banks should make sure that the projects they
are funding have integrated the Cleaner Production dimension and
the private sector should have easy access to funding for
investments which are eco-efficient

     -    There should be an increased effort to continue
developing tools which help countries implement cleaner production
and hazardous waste policies, including auditing technology
assessment, life cycle analysis.  in particular, there is an urgent
need to develop environmental accounting and economic tools to
better understand the real cost of improper hazardous waste
management, and to orient industry and consumers towards cleaner
processes and products.

     -    To help develop policies in hazardous waste minimization
and treatment, and to monitor the corresponding progress, the UN
should promote approaches such as self-reporting requirements and
toxic release inventories, which are easier and less costly to
conduct than regular hazardous wastes surveys.



This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 1 December 1999 12:18:30
Comments and suggestions: DESA/DSD