August 31, 2010

Lusaka Agreement Task Force eNewsletter Now Available

Filed under: Africa — inece @ 5:27 pm

The Task Force to the Lusaka Agreement on Co-operative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora has released the 6th Issue of the LATF Newsletter.  [pdf]

The Task Force is an inter-governmental organization with the main function of facilitating cooperative activities in/among the Party states to the Lusaka Agreement, in carrying out investigations on violations of national laws pertaining to illegal trade in wild fauna and flora.

The Newsletter highlights the main activities carried out by the Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) and National Bureaus of member states during the period January-July 2010, recognizes the “positive trend of successful prosecutions of wildlife cases in most member states,” and welcomes Liberia as the 7th Party to the Lusaka Agreement.

The Newsletter reviews recent wildlife enforcement cases — including in Ethiopia, the Congo, and at Kenya’s port of Mombasa; describes workshops and partnership building activities, and discusses work on capacity building.

Access the 6th Edition of the Newsletter here. [pdf]

Visit http://www.lusakaagreement.org/ to learn more about the Task Force and the Agreement.

August 28, 2010

INECE, Honduras Collaborate on Environmental Compliance Performance Measures

Workshop Participants and Facilitators

The INECE Secretariat and the USEPA presented INECE’s capacity building program on performance measurement indicators, along with The Principles of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement course, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on 24-26 August 2010, in cooperation with the Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo (CCAD) and Honduras’ Secretaría de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente (SERNA).

26 participants from various national agencies in Honduras collaborated during  the three day program to design potential performance indicators for evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of programs designed to assure compliance with specific national requirements. The working groups focused on performance measures for compliance with policies related to wastewater and solid waste management.

INECE, in cooperation with the Nicaragua’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, CCAD, and US EPA, convened a two-day workshop in Nicaragua on identifying, designing,and using environmental compliance and enforcement measures.  The workshop occurred simultaneously to events in Managua commemorating the fourth anniversary of Nicaragua signing the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement.

The workshop was proceeded by a one day capacity building program on The Principles of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement.

About INECE’s Work on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Indicators

Environmental compliance and enforcement indicators are instruments that measure results achieved by environmental compliance and enforcement programs. This information helps decision-makers to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of those programs.

The Performance Measurement Guidance for Compliance and Enforcement Practitioners  (2nd Edition) developed by INECE’s Expert Working Group on Indicators is available through INECE’s indicators web forum.  Course documentation is available through INECE’s Resource Library on Environmental Compliance Training.

Work in Central America on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Indicators

The work on environmental compliance and enforcement performance measures builds on a series of workshops convened over the past few years in Central America, including in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. For further background information on indicators work in Central America, see CCAD’s web site, including the follow articles:

August 20, 2010

World Development Indicators 2010 CD-ROM Available

Filed under: Strategic Management & Indicators — inece @ 1:35 pm

The World Development Indicators CD-ROM contains time series data for more than 200 economies from 1960-2008, single-year observations, and spreadsheets on many topics. It contains more than 1,000 country tables and the text from the World Development Indicators 2010 print edition.

World Development Indicators 2010
presents the most current and accurate development data on both a national level and aggregated globally. It allows you to monitor the progress made toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals endorsed by the United Nations and its member countries, the World Bank, and a host of partner organizations. These goals, which focus on development and the elimination of poverty, serve as the agenda for international development efforts.

The Windows based CD ROM  format permits users to search for and retrieve data in spreadsheet form, create maps and charts, and fully download them into other popular software programs for study or presentation purposes. The CD ROM is available to order from the World Bank for US$50.

In addition, please note that the World Bank Group now provides free, open, and easy access to its comprehensive set of data on living standards around the globe–some 2,000 indicators, including hundreds that go back 50 years. The data is available in Arabic, French, and Spanish in addition to English and is available at http://data.worldbank.org/.

August 17, 2010

Administrator Jackson Announces EPA’s International Priorities at CEC Meeting

Filed under: North America — inece @ 8:26 pm

WASHINGTON – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has announced the agency’s international priorities at a meeting of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation she is attending in Guanajuato, Mexico. The international priorities echo Administrator Jackson’s priorities for EPA, which she announced earlier this year, and aim to promote citizen engagement, improve public health and increase government accountability on environmental enforcement.

“Pollution doesn’t stop at international borders, and neither can our environmental and health protections. The local and national environmental issues of the past are now global challenges,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This document sends a strong message to our partners in the international community that our challenges are shared challenges, and that we are eager to work together on solutions. Along with the seven EPA priorities I issued earlier this year, these six international priorities will guide our work during the months and years ahead.”

The full press release is available from the epa.gov press room.

INECE Mid-Year Update on Priority Projects

Filed under: INECE Secretariat — inece @ 12:59 pm

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to provide an update on INECE priority projects during the spring and summer of 2010.

These include the Seaport Environmental Security Network Inspection Month; the Strategic Dialogue on Climate Compliance; ongoing capacity building activities under the International Network for Environmental Compliance Training Professionals (“ECT Professionals”); and the development of and support for regional environmental compliance and enforcement networks.

(more…)

August 12, 2010

IMPEL Publishes Report on Better Regulation in Practice across Member States

Filed under: Europe — Tags: — inece @ 6:23 pm

IMPEL LogoIMPEL – the EU network of Environmental regulators – has published a report which shares good practice and provides practical solutions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of regulatory activities such as permitting and inspection.

Applying Better Regulation to Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Environmental Inspection Authorities showcases 50 examples of better regulation initiatives from 14 countries. The wide range of approaches reported reflects the different regulatory and legal structures and contexts in the Member States, such as the different relationships between permitting and inspection bodies.

A number of trends in better regulation approaches were identified:

  • More evidence of sector-based approaches
  • Streamlining or integrating approaches for companies which are carrying out similar activities across multiple sites.
  • Bringing different types of inspection activity together in a single or harmonized process which increases coherence and reduces costs to business and authorities.
  • Identifying opportunities for other inspectorates, or even commercial organisations, to undertake areas of inspection activity where it is more effective to do so.
  • Relatively few of the initiatives included an assessment of the intended benefits regarding environmental outcomes, or cost savings to business and regulatory bodies.

The project makes a number of recommendations for EU and national law makers including the need to ensure sufficient flexibility to:

  • enable IMPEL members to adopt better regulation approaches to setting conditions/permits, and that these can be integrated into national delivery frameworks.
  • ensure that new or revised legislation takes account of the variety of better regulation approaches to inspection being developed by regulators.

August 6, 2010

South Africa to Introduce Carbon Tax on New Passenger Vehicles

Filed under: Africa, climate — Tags: , — inece @ 3:10 pm

Engineering News (South Africa) reports that South Africa plans to introduce a carbon tax on passenger cars and pick-up trucks beginning on 1 September 2010.  The main aim of the tax is to influence the composition of South Africa’s vehicle fleet so that it becomes more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

by flickr user Michale Thorne

The article quotes Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan who:

“announced in his maiden Budget speech in February that only new passenger vehicles would be taxed, based on their certified CO2 emissions at R75 per g/km for each gram per kilometre above 120 g/km.”

The article notes that “[v]ery few vehicles available in the South African market meet the 120-g threshold.”

Critics of the carbon tax include the automotive industry, as well as international organizations.

The article notes that:

“the Organisation for Economic Cooper-ation and Development (OECD), in its inaugural OECD Economic Survey of South Africa, released in Pretoria late last month, argues that the country’s CO2 tax is “a positive step”, but notes that fuel taxes to curb CO2 would have been preferable.”

In a separate article, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa asserts that:

“The Treasury’s announcement failed the test of predictability and certainty for manufacturers and buyers since, at this stage, there was no clarity or information available to industry regarding the basis of determination of CO2 values for purposes of calculating the CO2 tax on light commercial vehicles.

August 5, 2010

Newsletter Highlights Environment, Health, and Safety Enforcement in Africa

Filed under: Africa, Compliance Inspections — Tags: , , — inece @ 12:40 pm

Enhesa, Inc.’s July 2010 Newsletter, The Enhesa Flash, highlights Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) enforcement efforts throughout Africa.  Copies of The July Enhesa Flash are available for complimentary download as a large PDF file.

Particular articles that may be of interest include:

  • Getting Stronger:  EHS laws expanding across Africa [pg 1]
    Since the beginning of the 1990s, several African countries have begun to expand their legislative framework by addressing environmental and occupational health and safety issues. Deregulation and privatisation, the shift to a market-based economy and growing efforts to enhance political stability favoured the promotion and the development of the private sector, including foreign direct investments. By the end of the 1990s, most countries had made environmental impact assessment (EIA) mandatory for regulated business operations. Today, while these regulations are still being improved, their enforcement has gotten into its stride.”
  • Toughening up:  crack-down on facilities ignoring EHS requirements (Nigeria)  [pg. 3]
    “Effective enforcement is critical to promoting compliance with EHS laws and regulations and is a logical next step in a maturing EHS regulatory system after having adopted a functional framework…In order to encourage effective compliance with EHS laws and regulations, Nigerian authorities have recently shut down several facilities for failing to comply with EHS laws and regulations.”
  • Striving for a modern and effective environmental legal framework (South Africa) [pg. 4]
    While the South African environmental law framework has improved in substance, enforcement has not been left behind. The National Environmental Laws Amendment Act, 2009, along with other recent changes, introduces harsher judicial and administrative penalties for environmental offences.

This post was submitted by Jonathan Nwagbaraocha, Esq., Consultant, Enhesa.

August 4, 2010

Work Still Needed on Europe’s Efforts to Control Electronic Waste Exports

Filed under: Europe, seaports — Tags: — inece @ 2:47 pm

BBC News reports that old televisions and computers containing hazardous substances are still being exported from Europe despite a ban aimed at stopping the trade.

In Europe, some countries have a better record than others in applying the directive and trying to stop illegal exports, with southern EU states lagging behind.

But even where officials try to enforce the rules, there are challenges. These include distinguishing between second-hand goods – which are legal to export – and e-waste, and the fact that collection and recycling targets are out of line with the growing amount of electronics generated.

“We have 27 European member states but there are more than 100 collection systems and every system has another weak spot,” says Mr Huijbregts.

There are plenty of opportunities for the brokers involved in illegal e-waste trafficking to siphon off e-waste.

…..

Beyond tightening controls within the EU, campaigners point to the need to ensure second-hand electronics sent to developing countries for charity are disposed of correctly.

And they flag up broader challenges – getting electronics companies to design greener products and weaning consumers off their electronics habit.

“You have to do everything you can to enforce the laws you have in place and make people pay the costs of what they’re doing,” says Mr Puckett. “And that ultimately is a really good thing as it drives greener production.”

German Newspaper Profiles Activities to Control Illegal Waste Trafficking at Bremen Port

Filed under: Europe, seaports — Tags: — inece @ 1:17 pm

A German Newspaper, Nordsee-Zeitung Bremerhaven, developed an article on activities at Bremen port under INECE’s Seaport Environmental Security Network’s International Hazardous Waste at Seaports Inspection Month, which took place during June 2010. The article, which is available in German only, describes the role of Bremen’s police in detecting and deterring illegal waste shipments.

An excerpt of the article is below and the full article, Auf der Jagd nach den Müllschiebern, is available on the website of Nordsee-Zeitung Bremerhaven.

Überseehäfen. Schaukelnd und schnaufend kommt der Containertruck am Zolltor zum Stehen. „Moin, Polizeikontrolle.“ Hans-Jürgen Gordner blickt etwas skeptisch von seinem „Bock“ herunter. Nach dem weiten Weg von Schkopau in Sachsen-Anhalt stellt sich ihm kurz vor dem Ziel – dem Containerterminal Bremerhaven – die Polizei in den Weg.

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