Description/achievement of initiative
The Convention to Ban the Importation into Forum Island Countries of Hazardous and Radioactive Wastes and to Control the Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within the South Pacific Region opened for signature in Waigani, Papua New Guinea in 1995 and entered into force in 2001. SPREP serves as the Convention’s Secretariat while the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat serves as Depositary.
The Convention is designed to:
· reduce or eliminate transboundary movements of hazardous
and radioactive wastes into and within the Pacific Forum region;
· minimize the production of hazardous and toxic wastes in the Pacific Forum region;
· ensure that disposal of wastes is done in an environmentally
sound manner and as close to the source as possible; and
· assist Pacific island countries that are Parties to the Convention in the environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes they generate.
There are many reasons why the Waigani Convention is important for the region:
· It provides an effective protective mechanism to stop waste traders from making the South Pacific an international
· It will prevent ships from using the Pacific as a highway for hazardous waste; and
· It will create a regional mechanism to facilitate the clean up of hazardous and radioactive wastes in the region.
The major benefit of the Convention is the establishment of a system to prevent hazardous and radioactive waste entering the region or being dumped in your country. A significant but less tangible direct benefit is the reduced risk from a potential hazardous or nuclear waste disaster. Parties are able to feel more secure in the knowledge that the risk of a shipping disaster is far less likely.
The Convention describes various forms of information that should be transmitted between countries and to the Secretariat. These include:
· Export notifications;
· Written consent or disapproval for import applications;
· Movement documentation;
· Accident Notification; and
· Information on the sound management of wastes
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
(Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu)