Canadian and International environmental groups challenge Prime Minister Trudeau to support Basel Convention

Thu, Feb 14, 2019

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Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Trudeau on February 11, 2019, Canadian and international environmental, health and human rights organisations call on Prime Minister Trudeau to:

  • Ensure the expeditious return to Canada of 2,500 tons of wastes illegally exported from Canada and dumped in the Philippines, as required by the Basel Convention.
  • Ratify the Basel Ban amendment, which  would prohibit the export of hazardous waste for any reason from more developed countries to less developed countries. The amendment was put in place by an initiative of the developing and European countries and needs the support of only two more countries to come into effect. Canada is one of only 24 eligible countries that have not supported the amendment.

In their letter, RightOnCanada, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Basel Action Network, IPEN, Occupational Knowledge International, Greenpeace Canada, Citizens’ Network on Waste Management, European Society for Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Health and Environmental Justice Support International and the Toronto Environment Alliance, together with health and environmental experts, state:

“We applauded your earlier statements that Canada is back as a responsible global citizen and intends to provide strong, positive leadership at the United Nations, particularly on environmental issues.

The Basel Convention is an important UN Convention to uphold environmental responsibility and environmental justice. We call on you to demonstrate commitment to the Convention and fulfill the actions requested by the EcoWaste Coalition of the Philippines.”

In a press release the EcoWaste Coalition of the Philippines thanked the groups and scientists, describing their support as “important for advancing the rule of law and environmental justice.”

Media coverage

The issue has received significant media coverage. Let us hope this attention puts pressure on governments to take strong action to stop the dumping of hazardous wastes when they meet in Geneva from April 29 to May 9, 2019 for the UN Basel Convention Conference of the Parties.

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