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.

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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

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