Hazardous waste is poisoning the global environment on which our lives depend. It is essential that use of hazardous materials and their ultimate release to the environment are very significantly reduced.
Waste is by definition a waste of money. Waste is poor management of resources and its reduction can provide for enormous economic benefits to industry and therefore to the public and at the same time taking pressure of our life support systems.
The growing concern about the increasing problems associated with hazardous wastes was first addressed globally in the early 1980s and in 1985 Guidelines and Principles for the Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous Wastes were adopted, leading to the establishment, under the auspices of UNEP, of the Basel Convention in 1989. The overall goal of the Convention is to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects which may result from the generation, transboundary movement and management of hazardous wastes. The Convention rests on two main pillars:
- Reducing the transboundary movement of wastes
- The sound management of wastes , aiming at societies in which products are designed for minimum waste, re-uses, re-conditioning, re-cycling and that ultimate waste residues are minimized
Successive Conferences of Parties to the Convention have expressed the hope that significant assistance will be provided to less developed countries and countries with economies in transition. Article 14 of the Basel Convention also requires the establishment of Regional Centers for Training and Technology Transfer (BCRC). In their efforts to ensure compliance to the Convention, discussions were held on the establishment of Basel Convention Regional Center, to lead in this work. The government of Indonesia expressed interest in hosting such a regional centre for the Southeast Asia region and ultimately made resources available for such a centre. The Centre - Basel Convention Regional Centre for South-East Asia (BCRC-SEA) is now fully operational. The First Center's Steering Committee Meeting, comprised of representatives of Southeast Asian Parties to the Convention was conducted on 27 February 2006.