ITU, SBC sign agreement on e-waste

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Secretariat of the Basel Convention (SBC) have signed an agreement aimed at protecting the environment from the adverse effects of e-waste.

The pact is expected to strengthen international collaboration to promote environmentally sound management of e-waste.

“…with the signing of the ITU-SBC Administrative Agreement, efforts between both UN mechanisms will be leveraged, maximizing value at the global level and strengthening collaboration between telecommunication/ICT and environmental policy makers for the global good,” the ITU said in a statement March 15, 2012.

At the level of global environmental policy, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which came into force in 1992, is the most comprehensive environmental agreement on the management of hazardous and other waste. But many countries have not yet successfully translated its provisions into their national legislation.

The ITU’s Secretary-General Mr Hamadoun Touré commented on the agreement and said “The collaboration with the Secretariat of the Basel Convention will allow the global community to address this ever-increasing problem through a holistic approach, involving the recycling industry as well as environmental policy makers.”

Adding his voice, Mr Jim Willis, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions said “Collaboration between ITU and SBC will further our shared objectives in support of sustainable development that essentially includes environmentally sound management of waste.”

Both have also agreed to cooperate through “regular dialogues and meetings; exchange of information, practices, experiences and materials; coordination of activities in areas of mutual interest, including development of green ICT standards, international cooperation and capacity building; and execution of supplementary activities, projects and programmes.”

According to experts, developing countries are expecting a surge in e-waste, with mobile phone waste expected to grow exponentially.

Sharp increases of e-waste have until now not been matched with policy and regulatory mechanisms nor with infrastructure to cope with the influx in developing countries. Currently, only 13% of e-waste is reported to be recycled with or without safety procedures, the ITU indicates.

By Ekow Quandzie

1 Comment
  1. Basel Hotels says

    Environmental pollution due to poor disposal of e-waste is a global concern that cannot be ignored. The signing of the ITU and SBC agreement to protect the environment from e-waste pollution is just one of the many efforts being made to build the momentum of incorporating proper e-waste management laws. This may however take a lot of time before it is accomplished since countries have different policies.

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