BASEL CONVENTION

 

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, usually known as the Basel Convention, is an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries.

The convention entered into force on 5th of May, 1992. It was signed by Norway 22.03.1989, 02.07.1990 and 05.05.1992.

Substances covered under the Convention:

Y29 Mercury; mercury compounds
A1030: Waste having as constituents or contaminants any of the following: Mercury
D7: Releases into seas/oceans including sea-bed insertion

The Parties to this Convention:

Aware of the risk of damage to human health and the environment caused by hazardous wastes and other wastes and the transboundary movement thereof.
 

Mindful of the growing threat to human health and the environment posed by the increased generation and complexity, and transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes.
 

Mindful also that the most effective way of protecting human health and the environment from the dangers posed by such wastes is the reduction of their generation to a minimum in terms of quantity and/or hazard potential.
 

Convinced that States should take necessary measures to ensure that the management of hazardous wastes and other wastes including their transboundary movement and disposal is consistent with the protection of human health and the environment whatever the place of disposal.
 

Noting that States should ensure that the generator should carry out duties with regard to the transport and disposal of hazardous wastes and other wastes in a manner that is consistent with the protection of the environment, whatever the place of disposal.

Considering that enhanced control of transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes will act as an incentive for their environmentally sound management and for the reduction of the volume of such transboundary movement.

Convinced that States should take measures for the proper exchange of information on and control of the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes from and to those States.

 

Affirming that States are responsible for the fulfilment of their international obligations concerning the protection of human health and protection and preservation of the environment, and are liable in accordance with international law.

 

Recognizing that in the case of a material breach of the provisions of this Convention or any protocol thereto the relevant international law of treaties shall apply.

 

Aware also of the growing international concern about the need for stringent control of transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes, and of the need as far as possible to reduce such movement to a minimum.

 

Taking into account also the limited capabilities of the developing countries to manage hazardous wastes and other wastes.

 

Convinced also that the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes should be permitted only when the transport and the ultimate disposal of such wastes is environmentally sound.

 

Determined to protect, by strict control, human health and the environment against the adverse effects which may result from the generation and management of hazardous wastes and other wastes.

ROTTERDAM CONVENTION

 

The Rotterdam Convention (formally, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade) is a multilateral treaty to promote shared responsibilities in relation to importation of hazardous chemicals. The dramatic growth in chemicals production and trade during the past three decades has raised both public and official concern about the potential risks posed by hazardous chemicals and pesticides.

The convention was opened for signatures the 10th of September 1998 and entered into force on 24th of February 2004. Norway signed 11.09.1998, 25.10.2001 and 24.02.2004

Substances covered under the Convention:
Mercury compounds including inorganic and organometallic mercury compounds.

The Parties to this Convention:

Aware of the harmful impact on human health and the environment from certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade.

 

“Environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals, including prevention of illegal international traffic in toxic and dangerous products”.

 

Taking into account the circumstances and particular requirements of developing countries and countries with economies in transition, in particular the need to strengthen national capabilities and capacities for the management of chemicals, including transfer of technology, providing financial and technical assistance and promoting cooperation among the Parties.

 

Desiring to ensure that hazardous chemicals that are exported from their territory are packaged and labelled in a manner that is adequately protective of human health and the environment.

 

Determined to protect human health, including the health of consumers and workers, and the environment against potentially harmful impacts from certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade.

MINAMATA CONVENTION

 

“In 1956, two sisters, aged two and five, were diagnosed in Minamata Bay, Japan, with the crippling, untreatable and stigmatizing effects of mercury poisoning. In the decades that followed, their story would be retold many times, becoming synonymous with the tens of thousands of adults, children and unborn infants to suffer from what is now known as Minamata disease. (…) Through the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the global community remembers the many lives already lost to mercury poisoning and recognizes the industrial lessons to be learned. (…) The Minamata Convention traces the lifecycle of mercury to help all countries by adopting the better practices and safer alternatives that already exist.” – Minamata Convention

In 2003, Norway together with Switzerland, proposed to develop a legally binding instrument on mercury.  The global transport of mercury in the environment was a key reason for taking the decision that global action to address the problem of mercury pollution was required. All parties recognized that mercury is a chemical of global concern owing to its long-range atmospheric transport, its persistence in the environment once anthropogenically introduced, its ability to bio accumulate in ecosystems and its significant negative effects on human health and the environment.
 
The convention was signed by Norway the 10.10.2013 and 12.05.2017. The convention came into force August 16th, 2017.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is an international treaty designed to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds. It contains, in support of this objective, provisions that relate to the entire life cycle of mercury, including controls and reductions across a range of products, processes and industries where mercury is used, released or emitted. The treaty also addresses the direct mining of mercury, its export and import, its safe storage and its disposal once as waste. The Minamata Conventiom regulates the use and discharge of mercury and mercury compounds to air, water and soil, and it also concerns the handling of mercury-containing waste.

 

“The Mercury Club”
Norway is part of “The Mercury Club”. It was established to recognize support to the negotiating process for the legally binding instrument on mercury. The Government of Norway was awarded the gold medal*  for its financial contributions to support the work of the INC (international Negotiating Committee)

*Gold – contributions of USD 1.000.000 and more