The Twelfth Meeting of the Waigani Convention was held earlier this month in Samoa. Representatives from member countries gathered to discuss critical issues related to hazardous and radioactive waste control within the South Pacific Region.
Established in 2001, the convention serves as a regional treaty dedicated to controlling hazadous and radioactive waste within the South Pacific Region.
This convention, born out of the principles of the Basel Convention, carries distinctive features, including the inclusion of radioactive waste management and the extension of territorial jurisdiction to encompass each Party’s Exclusive Economic Zone, spanning 200 nautical miles.
At its core, the Waigani Convention has clear and crucial primary objectives. First and foremost, it aims to reduce and eliminate transboundary movements of hazardous and radioactive waste. The convention recognises the significant environmental risks associated with such movements and strives to mitigate these dangers.
Another key objective of the convention is to minimise the production of hazardous and toxic waste within the Pacific region. By minimising the generation of hazardous waste, the convention seeks to protect the environment and the health of communities in the Pacific.
Furthermore, the Waigani Convention places a strong emphasis on environmentally sound disposal practices. It prioritises waste disposal within the convention area, demanding strict adherence to stringent environmental standards. This commitment underscores the convention’s unwavering dedication to the preservation of the environment and the sustainable management of waste in the region.
The COP convened to assess progress in implementing the provisions, such as the Work Plan for the region under the Waigani Convention. The COP also offered a platform for the Secretariat and participating parties to present reports, negotiate and discuss changes to the convention.
An extraordinary COP will be held in Palau in October this year to further discuss proposed amendments to the Convention and outstanding matters noted in the 12th COP of the Waigani Convention.