On March 22, 1989, after 18 months of intense negotiations, leaders from 105 nations unanimously adopted a treaty restricting shipments and dumpings of hazardous wastes across national borders. The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal, conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), is the first international convention to control the export of hazardous industrial wastes. A driving force behind the convention is the steady increase in international trade of hazardous waste over the past decade. Since the Convention celebrated its 10th anniversary in December 1999, it is an appropriate time for an appraisal of how the Basel Convention has affected international trade of hazardous waste. To fully understand the Basel Convention and its ramifications it is first critical to comprehend the damage caused by hazardous waste. Next, an analysis of the Basel Convention and its criticisms are provided. Then, an examination of the Basel Ban and its significance are presented. Finally, three important lessons to take from the convention are presented: the perception gap, the importance of funds, and the negative ramifications for the United States from their lack of ratification.
Katrina Pielli, ’00 Post Falls, ID
Majors: Politics and Environmental Studies
Sponsor: David Loebsack