January 25, 2012

Asian Port Officials Conclude Workshop with Commitments to Collaborate More Effectively

Filed under: Asia, INECE Secretariat, seaports — inece @ 5:42 pm

The International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) Seaport Environmental Security Network (SESN) hosted its Third Workshop on Combating the Illegal Trade in Hazardous Wastes Through Seaports with co-sponsorship from the United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. The workshop was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 19-20 January 2012.

Photo credit Nancy Isarin

Participants at the INECE Workshop (credit N. Isarin)

The INECE SESN Workshop was attended by 38 participants from customs and environmental authorities from 10 countries in the Asia region, as well as from several international organizations. Representatives from countries in North America, Europe and Africa also attended.  The complete list of participating country representatives includes: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. Additionally, officials from the Basel Convention Regional Center, AECEN, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, IMPEL and the World Customs Organization attended the workshop.

The workshop consisted of plenary presentations and small group break-out sessions for training. The workshop was conducted in an interactive setting with opportunities for questions, discussion and networking. Participants also went on a site visit to Laem Chabang Port where officials from the Port Authority who provided an overview of port characteristics and activities, and Customs, who explained their process for targeting and inspecting shipments for hazardous waste. Customs officials also presented several case study examples of seized shipments of illegal hazardous waste. At the port, participants had the opportunity to observe the port’s x-ray technology and to interact with customs officials to learn more about their targeting criteria and screening techniques. Following the visit to the port, participants enjoyed lunch together and wrap-up discussion.

The workshop produced several important outcomes, including a call for greater communication and more intense collaboration among the various national agencies responsible for environmental enforcement at seaports. It was noted that extending this communication and collaboration within the Asian region, as well as internationally, would be beneficial. Capacity building activities, especially in the areas of waste takeback, inspection methods, safety  and risk/threat assessments, were identified as needs for the Asian region. Issues of particular interest included the export/import of electronic waste, the various definitions of hazardous waste and the need for effective regulations. Regular meetings within an active network were identified as necessary to improve communication, collaboration, and capacity building among Asian nations.  It was noted that synergistic alliances between the BCRCs, UNEP ROAP, IMPEL, INECE SESN, AECEN, WCO and other organizations working in the region should be an important component of network development. INECE SESN and WCO will cooperate in the sharing of tools, such as the new INECE SESN Waste Takeback Guidance Manual.

The workshop was an important training opportunity for officials from countries that are participating in the Second INECE SESN International Hazardous Waste Inspection Project at Seaports. As with the first project, each participating country prepares and carries out focused hazardous waste inspections in its own seaports and shares the results with INECE. The Project will provide a means for competent authorities to better evaluate their own capacity for detecting and deterring illegal transboundary movements of hazardous wastes through seaports with the support or tools developed by INECE and international experts. The primary purpose is to build enhanced capacity at ports for more effective inspections of waste shipments through improved multidisciplinary cooperation of officials from environment and customs ministries, police and port officials.


January 13, 2012

9th Conference Proceedings Now Available

Filed under: 9th Conference, INECE Secretariat — inece @ 3:17 pm

INECE is pleased to announce the online publication of the Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement. The theme of the conference was “Enforcement Cooperation: Strengthening Environmental Governance” and the conference was held in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, from 20-24 June 2011.

The Proceedings provide a robust overview of the breadth of issues discussed at the Conference. Among other things, they present summaries of the plenary sessions, the many workshop discussions, and include sixty-one papers, all submitted by members of the INECE community, that support the themes of the Conference: Enforcement Challenges Across Borders, Promoting Compliance with Climate-related Requirements, Proven Compliance and Enforcement Strategies, Improving Implementation of Environmental Legislation, Non-Traditional Approaches, Strengthening Compliance Institutions, and ‘Developing Effective Enforcement Networks.

As a whole, these Proceedings capture the calls to action, recommendations, and outcomes that emerged during INECE’s 9th International Conference. The Proceedings serve to promote dialogue at both the national and international level on the broad themes of the Conference.  The Proceedings capture the awareness and excitement that was displayed at the Conference and serve to demonstrate that environmental compliance and enforcement programs create value across all areas of society.

The INECE Secretariat hopes that the Proceedings will serve as a helpful reference and encourages this information to be shared. The publications may be downloaded through the INECE Conference website at http://inece.org/conference/9/confproceedings/.

Workshop on Combating Illegal Hazardous Waste Trade to Convene in Bangkok

Filed under: seaports — inece @ 4:32 am
Laem Chabang Port

Laem Chabang Port

The INECE Seaport Environmental Security Network (SESN) will host its Third Workshop on Combating Illegal Hazardous Waste Trade Through Seaports, on 19-20 January 2012, in Bangkok, Thailand.

The workshop will bring together experts to collaboratively identify, promote, and refine best practices for detecting and deterring illegal shipments of hazardous waste. On the second day of the workshop participants will visit to observe inspection activities, partake in training exercises and discuss enforcement tools and techniques with Thai officials.

The illegal transportation and trade of hazardous waste is an issue of international concern. Countries of origin and countries of destination both look for effective ways to counteract the shipment of such waste streams. Strategic approaches to inspection and enforcement of domestic and international legislation are critical in this respect. Without those, the detrimental effects of such shipments to the environment, to the health of workers and the general public, and to economies will be persistent and growing. The INECE SESN provides a platform for compliance and enforcement professionals working to stop illicit international shipment of waste.

The workshop is an important training opportunity for officials from countries that are participating in the Second INECE SESN International Hazardous Waste Inspection Project at Seaports. As with the first project, each participating country prepares and carries out focused hazardous waste inspections in its own seaports and shares the results with INECE. The Project will provide a means for competent authorities to better evaluate their own capacity for detecting and deterring illegal transboundary movements of hazardous wastes through seaports with the support or tools developed by INECE and international experts. The primary purpose is to build enhanced capacity at ports for more effective inspections of waste shipments through improved multidisciplinary cooperation of officials from environment and customs ministries, police and port officials.

January 11, 2012

German News Covers Illegal Electronic Waste Shipment Issues

Filed under: seaports — inece @ 2:58 am

A recent article in “Financial Times Deutschland” looks at efforts to combat illegal shipments of electronic waste that being sent from Western Europe to countries like Ghana and explores the concern that the electronic scrap contains valuable raw materials such as gold which could be more efficiently  extracted.

The full article, in German, is available at http://www.ftd.de/unternehmen/handel-dienstleister/:rohstoffland-deutschland-das-grosse-geschaeft-mit-dem-elektroschrott/60151755.html.

January 9, 2012

Flexible and Robust International Environment Treaties Can Help Solve Global Environmental Problems

Filed under: climate, INECE Secretariat — inece @ 5:12 pm

Washington, DC, January 2012 – With the adverse impacts of climate change and threats of other serious environmental impacts growing ever nearer, there has never been a greater demand for international environmental governance, including through multilateral environmental agreements.

But in difficult economic times, it is important to understand how to provide more environmental governance without more government, including through trans-governmental networks such as INECE, and other networked regime complexes, according to Dr. Oran Young of the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara.

In a paper published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Dr. Young explains that often “regime complexes” can provide the most effective governance:

“Many issue areas (e.g., climate, biodiversity, and marine pollution) feature networks of distinct regimes …that grow up over time in the absence of an overall blueprint. … Regime complexes offer the advantage of being more flexible across issues and adaptable over time than more tightly coupled governance systems. They may be easier to create than fully integrated systems and more resilient to the sorts of stresses occurring at the international or global level today.”

Dr. Young notes that the Montreal Protocol as an example of an effective regime.  The Montreal Protocol is a dynamic treaty that continues to evolve, to improve, and to grow stronger, phasing out almost 100 ozone-depleting substances and placing the ozone layer on a path to recovery later this century.  It also has provided a net of 135 billion tones of CO2-eq since 1990, more than ten times the mitigation of Kyoto in its first commitment period.  Other successful regimes Dr. Young mentions are the governance system for the Antarctica, and the multilateral system to clean up the Rhine River.

In addition to formal compliance systems, Dr. Young notes that “Other factors, such as the extent to which subjects have engaged actively in the process of regime creation and the extent to which they feel that a regime constitutes a fair deal, can make a big difference in inducing actors to comply….”

The abstract is available here: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/11/30/1111690108.abstract

December 19, 2011

In Memorium Günter Heine

Filed under: INECE Secretariat — inece @ 2:25 pm

We sadly report that a great academic who did some pioneering work in the domain of environmental compliance and enforcement passed away on 25 June 2011 at the age of 59.  Prof. Dr. Günter Heine was one of the icons of environmental compliance and enforcement; he managed in the 1980s and 90s a major comparative project on the question whether the environment should be protected through the criminal law within the framework of the Max-Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg-im-Breisgau (Germany).

Günter Heine had an impressive academic career. He studied both law and political and social sciences at the University of Tübingen and graduated in both disciplines. He was assistant to prof. Dr. Albin Eser when he taught at the University of Tübingen and later followed prof. Eser when the latter became director of the Max Planck Institute for Criminal Law in Freiburg. From 1982 until 1994, he worked at this Max Planck Institute where he was coordinator of the prestigious project on environmental criminal law. This was a pioneering study since at that moment the question whether the criminal law should be used to protect the environment was hardly studied at all. Many scholars worked with him at the Max Planck Institute, were inspired by his thoughts and later also became leading experts in their own country, pursuing the idea that the criminal law has a task in protecting the environment.


December 8, 2011

Defining the Shape of Compliance at the Durban Climate Talks

Filed under: climate — inece @ 11:46 pm

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are meeting in Durban, South Africa, from November 28 to December 9, 2011, to discuss the future of collective action by the nations of the world to curb climate change.  Most relevant to environmental compliance and enforcement practitioners are negotiations concerning (1) national reporting, (2) rules for accounting for emissions offsets from forestry practices, and (3) accountability mechanisms relating to the provision of support for developing countries.

Parties to the UNFCCC recognize that the international community cannot monitor compliance with commitments without trustworthy information on countries’ mitigation and support activities.  Much of what needs to be accomplished in Durban focuses on rules relating to the content, accuracy, transparency, completeness, and comparability of information that countries will be required to report.

COP17 negotiations will cover two types of topics that are critical to the integrity of information on emissions, mitigation actions, and provisions of support.  The first concerns the form and content of nationally provided data, consisting of annual greenhouse gas inventories, national communications, and biennial reports.  The second area of concern focuses on a framework for ensuring that countries are up to the task of reliably providing this information.  These procedures consist of international assessment and review (IAR) for developed countries and international consultation and analysis (ICA) for developing countries.  Together, these measures comprise the framework for measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) that is the central mechanism for ensuring compliance.


November 28, 2011

EANECE Concludes Successful Principles Training Course

Filed under: Africa, INECE Secretariat — inece @ 1:18 pm

On 14-18 November, 2011, the East African Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (EANECE) in partnership with the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) conducted a regional training on the Principles of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Course and the Facilitators Course for the Principles of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement.

The training was held in Mombasa, Kenya, and brought together 24 participants from various government agencies in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Among the participants were environmental inspectors, attorneys, planners, police officers and managers of compliance and enforcement programs. The courses were facilitated by a team of highly qualified and experienced trainers from the USA, Netherlands, Tanzania and Kenya.

The Principles of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement training course, which ran from 14-16 November, is designed to enable participants to develop their own management approach to an environmental problem, to draft enforceable requirements where appropriate, to design a unique compliance strategy and enforcement program, and to role-play in a negotiation session to resolve a specific enforcement case.  At the end of the course, all the participants were optimistic that they will be able to apply the common principles to their specific environmental challenges and design efficient strategies to use their national laws to their most effective outcomes.

The Principles course was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), in cooperation with the Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment in response to requests from new enforcement programs and has been taught to thousands of participants in different countries and environmental programs worldwide.  It presents a compilation of international experience on the fundamental principles for designing and implementing environmental compliance and enforcement programs and is designed for delivery in a wide variety of cultural settings.

On 17-18 November, 12 participants out of the 24 who had successfully completed thePrinciples course proceeded to undertake the Facilitators Course for the Principles of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Training. The aim of the Facilitators course was to build capacity for future delivery of the Principles courses and other related courses in East Africa. It is expected that with some additional mentoring, this team of facilitators will be able to replicate the Principles course in many organizations across East Africa.

 “I am extremely excited because EANECE’s goal for joint capacity building for environmental compliance and enforcement in East Africa has finally materialized through this training. We also achieved our other goals of networking and information sharing. I thank the USEPA and INECE for sponsoring this event. It is my dream that we will in the near future be able to have other similar training in East Africa and, that each EANECE member country will one day be able to replicate these courses nationally and within their member organizations.”  — Dr. Robert Ntakamulenga, EANECE Executive Committee Member, at the official closing of the Principles Course.

Illegal Waste Shipments: Authorities Meet with Shipping Industry to Join Forces

Filed under: INECE Secretariat, seaports — inece @ 12:38 pm

credit Uli HarderINECE (together with IMPEL) co-facilitated an international workshop in which authorities and organizations met with stakeholders from the shipping industry to find common ground for effective approaches to fight illegal transnational hazardous waste shipments. Such shipments are in conflict with the provisions of the Basel Convention and cause serious risks for public health, safety and the environment. Apart from this, upon detection, illegal shipments may cause reputational damage and economic costs for the industry. The workshop was hosted by Dutch Customs and the Environmental Inspectorate of the Netherlands.

Participants mutually learned from views, practical examples and discussions. Illegal waste shipments are generally perceived as a serious problem that needs to be addressed by appropriate measures. In doing so, however, the legitimate trade and transport should not fear unnecessary interventions. It was concluded that ways forward may be found through improved exchange of information, both within and between stakeholders’ communities. Further work will be initiated along those lines, also in anticipation of a potential follow-up workshop in 2012.

November 10, 2011

Reducing the Risks of Illegal HCFC Trade

Filed under: climate, Environmental Crime — inece @ 2:12 am

The most recent UNEP OzonAction Newsletter, Tipping the Balance Towards Climate Protection through the HCFC Phase-Out, presents a selection of articles controlling HCFCs.

Of particular interest to compliance and enforcement practitioners is the article Reducing the Risks of Illegal HCFC Tradeon page 16. The article, written by Tapio Reinikainen of the Finnish Environment Institute and by Heli Lampela of the Finnish National Board of Customs,  looks at the conditions that can be conducive for illegal trading in HCFCs and at the potential solutions, with a focus on capacity building among customs officers.

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