Downsizing Basel Convention into daily activities

Indonesia, once again became host of an important international environmental event. Starting from 23 June to 27 June, UNEP and Ministry of Environment of Indonesia conducted the Ninth Conference of Parties of Basel Convention in Bali. As international conference, normally, the conference only dealing with strategic issues. It is hard to expect that delegates from around the world come up with doable action programs.

It is understood that Indonesia as host, has a huge needs to ensure the conference is succesfull to deliver the execution of the conference and at the same time to conclude programs and action to prevent illegal transboundary movement of hazardous wastes. Afer more than a decade, Basel Convention is adopted, but there are still a lot of problems and constraints hindering the implementation. Meanwhile, quantity and quality of harazardous wastes are increasing. And unfortunately, poor countries, “developing countries” including Indonesia become dumping sites of the hazardous wastes.

Bali conference sends clear messages to the world that hazardous wastes movement has to be managed and regulated. It is too risky if some countries do not care about dangerous impacts of the problems. However, since most of the “source” or “producers” of hazardous wastes are developed countries who have strong “power” to influence “management” of hazardous wastes, it is not easy to conclude a strong committment from those countries. So, Bali conference has to be a strong milestone for managing hazardous wastes movement. Indonesia and UNEP have to work hard to ensure that all parties take clear actions and programs to eliminate impacts of hazardous wastes.

As observer, I could not get all information of the conference. There are many sub-events undertaken at parallel time , so, it is very difficult to follow detailed dicussions. Findings and conclusions at the plenary sessions are mostly general issuses which for observers are not enough to be digested. Materials of the conference are mostly general information. Specific materials are only available for delegates. Observer could not get all information, particularly specific issues and strategic information.

The conference raises issues and plans, however, most of them are general programs. The Basel Convention committment should be elaborated and downsized into detailed actions. So, it will be clear who doing what. It seems that it will be a long way to go for Indonesia, to elaborate the Basel Convention into detailed actions.  Infrastructures for implementation of basel Convention in Indonesia is in early stages. Capacity of the related agencies to take care of Basel Convention  is still very poor. So, it is a very huge “home work” for Indonesia to ensure Basel Convention to be undertaken in a real and doable actions.


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