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 by UNEP Task Manager 22 March 94 TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY I. INTRODUCTION II. REVIEW OF PROGRESS IN THE PROGRAMME AREAS 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. ASSESSMENT OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AND CONSTRAINTS 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 Activities EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 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 overcome: . 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 activities: . 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. I - INTRODUCTION 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 wastes 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 wastes. 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 - REVIEW of PROGRESS in the PROGRAMME AREAS II A. Promoting the Prevention and Minimization of Hazardous Waste 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 activities: (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 MAIN MEETINGS OR WORKSHOPS HELD BY UN AGENCIES SINCE UNCED International . 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 Regional . UNEP Workshop on Landfill of Hazardous Waste, Jordan, 1992 . 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 National . 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 UN PUBLICATIONS RELEVANT TO HAZARDOUS WASTES Reports * 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 (1994) * 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. Periodicals * 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 Production * Industry and Environment review, vol. 3, quarterly, (UNEP), (1993) on Managing Contaminated Land End Box 2 Box 3 3 EXAMPLES OF ECONOMIC BENEFITS FROM CLEANER PRODUCTION - 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 arrangement. 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 Convention; - 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 Convention. 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 insufficient; - 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 activities: (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 community. 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 wastes; . 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 industries. 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 continued. (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 Convention; - 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 Union. 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 Wastes 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 objectives: (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 - ASSESSMENT OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AND CONSTRAINTS 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 Trainers; . 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 enforced. * 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 investments. * 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 procedures. - 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.
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Date last posted: 1 December 1999 12:18:30