Basel Convention (1992)

The primary objective of the Basel Convention is to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes. The Convention’s range of applications cover a wide variety of wastes defined as either “hazardous wastes” or “other wastes”. “Hazardous wastes” are defined by their origin, characteristics and/or composition, whereas “other wastes” consist of two different types of wastes: household wastes and incinerator ash. 


  • The reduction of hazardous waste generation, and the promotion of environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes including proper disposal facilities;
  • The restriction of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes, except for where it is perceived to be in accordance with the principles of environmentally sound management; and
  • The development of a regulatory system that applies to cases where transboundary movements are permissible.

The Basel Convention on the “Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal” was adopted on 22 March, 1989 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Basel, Switzerland. This movement occurred in response to a public outcry following the discovery of toxic waste deposits that were originally imported from abroad that were showing up among African countries and other parts of the developing world within the 1980’s.

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