January 27, 2023

Toxic waste/ Pixabay photo

With the commencement of the second segment of the BRS Conventions’ Triple Conference of Parties, an environmental justice advocate group urges the Philippine government to fast-track the ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment or risk becoming the world’s dumping ground.
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Quezon City, Philippines

With the commencement of the second segment of the BRS Conventions’ Triple Conference of Parties, an environmental justice advocacy group urges the Philippine government to fast-track the ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment or risk becoming the world’s dumping ground.

The Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm (BRS) conventions’ Triple Conference of Parties (COP) will convene for its second, in-person, segment from June 6 to 17, 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland. The BRS conventions are multinational environmental treaties with the goal of safeguarding human health and the environment against hazardous chemicals and wastes. 

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was established to protect both human health and the environment from the harmful effects of improper hazardous waste management around the world.

Despite being a Signatory to the Basel Convention since 1989, the Philippines has yet to ratify the Basel Ban Amendment which prohibits member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the European Union (EU), and Liechtenstein from exporting hazardous wastes to developing countries, whether for recycling or not. The Ban Amendment aims to protect both human health and the environment from the harmful effects of improper hazardous garbage management around the world. 

As of 2022, 101 countries have already protected their borders from illegal waste importation by ratifying the Ban Amendment. 

In January 2014, 103 shipping container vans with more than 2,400 tons of waste materials from Canada were discovered at the Manila International Container Port, making it the most well-known case of foreign waste dumping in the Philippines. This was followed by similar events of toxic waste dumping in the Philippines from South Korea, Hong Kong, and Australia in recent years.

Since 2006, BAN Toxics has been advocating for environmental justice through the promotion of sound chemicals and wastes management. Together with allied environmental groups, the organizations campaigned for the immediate repatriation of the Canadian waste and the ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment. 

“With more and more countries ratifying the Ban Amendment, the Philippine administration should follow their footsteps and stop the flow of hazardous wastes on our shores,” says Reynaldo San Juan Jr., executive director of BAN Toxics. 

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The group called the attention of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to protect the Philippines from becoming the world’s hazardous waste dump site again.”

“Let’s not wait for a repeat incident of the infamous Canada Waste issue. The government should take a stronger stance against illegal importation of hazardous wastes by ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment. We cannot leave our gates open and at the mercy of richer countries.” BAN Toxics said. (amm/ BAN Toxics Press Release)

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