September 28, 2010

Central Europe and US Exchange on Environmental Compliance

Central Europe Study Tour Participants During a Workshop at the US Forest Service

INECE, in cooperation with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Czech Environmental Inspectorate, is coordinating a two-phase joint project on environmental inspections and enforcement with participants from the Visegrad Group countries of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia (V4).  In the first phase, participants from the V4 countries traveled to the United States on 20-25 September 2010. The second phase will take place on 18-21 October 2010 when U.S. experts will travel to Prague, Czech Republic, for a second workshop going into greater depth on key issues.

During the week in Washington, the participants experienced a series of seminars, workshops, and briefings to exchange information and ideas on compliance and enforcement aspects of pollution control and of natural resource management.

On the pollution side, topics included pollution-control mechanisms; compliance promotion and assistance  programs; management of hazardous waste operations; contaminated site remediation; and program performance measures, analysis, and planning. The study tour group participated in a site visit to one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in the country, as well as visiting a landfill with a waste-to-energy incinerator.

On the natural resources side, topics included an overview of national parks law enforcement and protection issues and specific law enforcement issue areas, such as wilderness and specially protected areas, officer training, timber theft, and off-road vehicle use. The V4 study tour participants were invited to a site visit at Shenandoah National Park hosted by the US Forest Service and National Park Service.

Exchange participants also had the opportunity to work through the common skills needed for environmental compliance inspections where a determination of the facility’s compliance status is required, collaborating with experts and US inspectors through the US EPA Environmental Compliance Inspections course.

September 22, 2010

UN environment agency backs action to regulate e-waste in Kenya

Filed under: Africa — Tags: , — inece @ 12:58 pm

A National E-waste Conference 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya,  was held on 7 Septemeber 2010 for stakeholders to brainstorm on the challenges of e-waste in Kenya. The workshop brought together the manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipments, consumers, international communities, and the e-waste experts to discuss the emerging challenges of e-waste and chart a way forward for sustainable management of e-waste in the country.

The Conference was organized by UNEP, NEMA, the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, and ICWE (an event management company).

According to a UN press release on the outcomes:

Kenya is set to become the first East African nation to regulate the management of electronic waste, also known as “e-waste”, following a conference run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

These regulations would minimize the impacts of the unsafe disposal of electronic products on public health and the environment, a goal that UNEP actively supports.

At present, Kenya has no specific laws relating directly to e-waste. But the Government-backed recommendations produced at yesterday’s meeting – which identified this issue as a national priority – could pave the way towards the first legislation in East Africa on e-waste management.

For the full press release, click here.

INECE previously organized a workshop in West Africa to develop policy and enforcement recommendations on e-waste. For more information, see http://www.inece.org/ewaste/.

September 21, 2010

Environmental Governance Tops Countries’ Concern for Meeting Rio Convention Commitments, International Network Is Helping Bridge Gap

Washington, DC, September 21, 2010 – Environmental governance, including implementation and compliance with national laws, is a significant challenge facing countries trying to meet their commitments under the Rio Conventions, according to a new study released last week by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The National Capacity Self-Assessments Synthesis Report called for countries to identify their priority environmental issues such as combating deforestation, promoting sustainable land management, minimizing their vulnerabilities to the impact of climate change, or controlling biodiversity loss, and their challenges in responding to these priority issues.

Countries prioritized “environmental governance” as a key concern to achieving and sustaining global environmental outcomes, in addition to the other top needs: 1) public awareness and environmental education; 2) information management and exchange; 3) strengthening organizational mandates and structures; and 4) economic instruments and sustainable financing mechanisms.

(more…)

September 20, 2010

INECE Recognizes Global Enforcement Challenges at Interpol Crime Conference

Filed under: climate, Environmental Crime, INECE Secretariat, seaports — Tags: — inece @ 3:29 pm

INECE Secretariat Managing Director Ken Markowitz delivered remarks at the 7th Interpol Environmental Crime Conference on 15 September in Lyon, France, on compliance and enforcement responses to global environmental challenges, the importance of informal communication and collaboration, and the role of enforcement cooperation for deterrence.

Of interest to INECE’s Seaport Environmental Security Network, Mr. Hui Fu of the WCO delivered remarks on “Moving Toward New Era of Combating Environmental Crime.” The keynote remarks of Environment Agency Chairman Lord Chris Smith focused on the challenge of electronic waste and possible responses from the global environmental enforcement community.

Speakers also discussed the issue of non-compliance in the carbon markets, including Mr. Mark Schapiro (Senior Correspondent, Center for Investigative Reporting) and Michelle Chan (Friends of the Earth). Roz Reeve’s (Global Witness) remarks focused on the challenges and risks of REDD+.

Interpol is updating the Environmental Crime Programme webpage to provide access to presentations, conference guest lists, and other related topics. See http://www.interpol.int/Public/EnvironmentalCrime/Meetings/7thConference/Default.asp.

September 17, 2010

Three New OECD Papers on Emissions Trading and Voluntary Markets

Filed under: climate — inece @ 8:54 am

OECD has released three papers exploring new issues in carbon markets, including linking emission trading systems and voluntary markets:

Towards Global Carbon Pricing: Direct and Indirect Linking to Carbon Markets (July 2010)
By R.B. Dellink, S. Jamet, J. Chateau and R. Duval
Emissions trading systems (ETS) can play a major role in a cost-effective climate policy framework. Both direct linking of ETSs and indirect linking through a common crediting mechanism can reduce costs of action. This paper analyses the impact of linking emission trading schemes directly and through the use of offsets. Using a global recursive-dynamic computable general equilibrium model, the effects of direct and indirect linking of ETS systems across world regions are assessed. The analysis in this paper shows, however, that the potential gains to be reaped are so large, that substantial efforts in this domain are warranted.

Voluntary Carbon Markets: How can they serve climate policies?
By Pierre Guigon, BlueNext
This paper aims to examine how voluntary carbon markets can provide a valuable contribution to strengthening domestic and international climate policies. The research shows that the several carbon project certification schemes that have emerged in the voluntary carbon market have developed potential innovative solutions to deal with some of the issues faced by compliance markets.

Buying and Cancelling Allowances as an Alternative to Offsets for the Voluntary Market: A Preliminary Review of Issues and Options
By Anja Kollmuss and Michael Lazarus, Stockholm Environment Institute
In recent years, businesses, local governments and individuals have set goals for reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases. In addition to directly reducing their own emissions, many of these entities have purchased carbon offsets to help achieve their mitigation goals. Yet establishing offset quality can be difficult, due to issues such as additionality, measurement, leakage, permanence, and verification. This paper explores scenarios under which, as an alternative to offsets, voluntary buyers could instead buy and cancel allowances from compliance markets.

September 16, 2010

Celebrate the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

Filed under: climate, UN System — Tags: , — inece @ 12:25 pm

September 16 is recognized by the UN as International Ozone Day, and the 2010 celebrations mark the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the ozone hole. Under the theme Ozone Layer Protection: Governance and Compliance at their Best, UNEP is celebrating encouraging Parties to  promote, at the national level, activities in accordance with the Montreal Protocol.

From Ban Ki-moon’s Statement:

This year, the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer highlights the central role of good governance in pursuit of environmental goals. In general, successful environmental agreements require a broad framework, clear targets and a gradual approach to implementation. Then, as governments gain confidence, they build on initial steps and set more ambitious goals. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer – which last year achieved universal ratification – is an excellent example of this process.   Read the full statement here.

Throughout the week, UNEP is hosting a daily expert who will answer questions about the ozone layer — today’s expert is Marco Gonzalez, Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, who will answer questions on the topic of “why the Montreal Protocol is the single most successful multilateral environmental agreement.” Visit the UNEP Ask-An-Expert Page.

UNEP OzonAction is providing new services and products for Article 5 developing countries to celebrate this important day. Through a new web site, countries can access resources, view image galleries, and discover what other countries have done in the past.

A recent article [pdf] by INECE Secretariat Director Durwood Zaelke acknowledges the great success of the Montreal Protocol, and urges further action to strengthen the Montreal Protocol to protect climate systems:

In 2007, the Parties agreed to accelerate the phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in a decision that explicitly recognized the climate benefits of their actions. At the same time it was acknowledged that these climate benefits would only accrue if technologies and substances that replace HCFCs are as climate friendly as possible. To capture the full climate benefits of the HCFC accelerated phase-out, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with a high global warming potential  must be controlled now and in a manner that is consistent with HCFC regulation under the Montreal Protocol.

Europe urged to share intelligence on WEEE exports

Filed under: Environmental Crime, Europe, seaports — Tags: — inece @ 8:55 am

Environment Agency chair, Chris Smith, called for a European alliance to tackle the illegal export of WEEE waste to Africa, in a speech to international police force Interpol in Lyon.

For a report on Lord Smith’s remarks, access the article  Europe urged to share intelligence on WEEE exports.

September 14, 2010

UNITAR to Host E-learning Course on Climate Change Diplomacy

Filed under: climate, Compliance Training — inece @ 3:57 pm

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) will host a web-based course on Climate Change Diplomacy from October 4th until 26th November 2010. The course aims to provide the training necessary for participation in multilateral negotiations, public sector work, and diplomatic engagement in relation to climate change through an enhanced understanding of its science, international policy framework, and the key negotiation issues pertinent to a post-2012 agreement.

The course targets mid to senior-level government officers in line ministries preparing for and/or taking part in conferences as well as staff of intergovernmental / nongovernmental organizations. It also targets entry-level and mid-career diplomats working in a multilateral setting. Private sector specialists and students whose work or studies are related to this subject are also encouraged to apply.

For more information, including course fees and the course brochure, visit http://www.unitar.org/event/climate-change-diplomacy.

September 13, 2010

INECE to Deliever Remarks at Interpol Environmental Crimes Conference

Filed under: Environmental Crime, INECE Secretariat, seaports — inece @ 4:13 pm

Ken Markowitz will represent the INECE Secretariat at Interpol’s 7th International Environmental Crime Conference, delivering a keynote address on 15 September on the role of transboundary environmental compliance and enforcement networks in controlling environmental crime.

The Conference will bring together many of the world’s responsible law enforcement agencies and stakeholders, and will highlight the theme of Past, Present and Future.

Other press releases and notifications related to the Interpol Conference include:

  • Government computers illegally exported as waste — The Telegraph (UK) explores the national security and environmental concerns associated with dumping computers in developing countries, quoting Environment Agency Chairman Lord Smith in recognizing that “[i]t is clear that there is still not enough being done to prevent electronic waste being exported illegally.”
  • Markets for Wildlife Products in Asia Continue to Threaten Wildlife Resources in Africa — The Institute for Security Studies (Africa)  recognizes that “the growing trade of wildlife products such as ivory and rhino horns means there is demand for the products in some parts/regions of the world, which therefore provide reliable and competitive markets” and the role for “coordinating environmental law enforcement agencies, institutions and stakeholders in curbing cross-border environmental crime.”

September 8, 2010

Major Seizure of E-waste in India

Filed under: Asia, seaports — Tags: , — inece @ 3:14 pm

foto credit: flickr user photohome_uk

The Hindu reports that

Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Chennai, have seized 127 tonnes of e-waste imported from four foreign countries from a container terminal here.

C. Rajan, Additional Director General, DRI, Chennai, said they had received a tip-off that electrical and electronic waste was being imported on the pretext being used computers, through the Chennai port.

Five consignments from eight containers were taken up for scrutiny. While one each was imported from Australia, Brunei and Canada, two were from Korea.

Examination of goods in the containers revealed the presence of computer monitors, CPUs and processors, which were found to be very old, used and appeared to be in unusable condition.

For the full article, visit The Hindu online.

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