INECE Seeks Participants for Seaport Environment Security Network
INECE is looking for more participants to join a new, unique, and practical initiative - the Seaport Environmental Security Network. In recent years, awareness has increased regarding the existence of illegal movements of waste. Major seaports act as an important hub for the movement of dangerous substances. If not shipped in compliance with relevant provisions and rules, these movements can have catastrophic effects on human health and the environment. As a result, the need for greater enforcement of waste shipments and international collaboration has grown. INECE has taken up this challenge.
The idea for this initiative was first discussed at the 7th INECE conference in Marrakesh, Morocco in April 2005. Suggestions and opinions were exchanged on how to improve the enforcement of waste shipment regulations and reduce the number of non-compliance cases. Specifically, the workshop participants recommended that INECE pursue the following:
- Organize simple and effective means to exchange data on transboundary movements of waste;
- Appoint focal points by INECE participants who are familiar with the enforcement of waste movements and the national structure;
- Organize joint actions and training;
- Develop a toolkit;
- Continue to work on awareness raising on this subject; and
- Identify key ports that could be sensitive to illegal movements of waste.
For more information on the outcome of the 2005 workshop, visit http://www.inece.org/conference/7/vol2/40_Wkshop3C.pdf. (PDF)
More recently, a notice was published in INECE's 15th newsletter and emailed to INECE participants requesting support for the Seaport Environmental Security Network. Since then, competent authorities on behalf of the U.S., the Netherlands, Italy, Ghana, Kenya, and Interpol have expressed their interest to join the network. More countries have been invited, as well as the Secretariat of the Basel Convention and the World Customs Organisation.
The first phase of setting up the network is to collect information on the status of participating ports and their needs to improve the enforcement structure and collaboration. After this survey, a toolkit will be proposed and developed to facilitate a joint approach and foster enforcement collaboration. For example, manuals will be created, an information exchange system will be established, and trainings will be organized for involved officials and inspectors.
At the 8th INECE conference in April 2008, an extended workshop will be dedicated to the Seaport network and to further discuss the second phase of the project - preparing and organizing joint enforcement initiatives.
Individuals, governments, and organizations are encouraged to become involved in the Seaport Environmental Security Network. It is important for participants to have knowledge of their country's import-export notification process for hazardous wastes, an understanding of the control and enforcement of such waste, familiarity with their country's port operations, and awareness of the role of other agencies (for example, coast guard ministries).
Please contact the author for more information.