International Management of Hazardous Wastes: The Basel Convention and Related Legal Rules

By Katharina Kummer | Go to book overview

5
The Basel Convention Regime and Sectoral Pollution Control Treaties

INTRODUCTION

As mentioned in Chapter I above, there are numerous global and regional treaties dealing with various forms of release of noxious substances into the environment. In accordance with the sectoral approach to environmental protection, they aim to protect a particular sphere of the environment against such discharges: the oceans, the air, or international lakes and rivers (see Chapter 1(J) above). Since the disposal of hazardous wastes usually means the discharge of the wastes or residues derived from their treatment into the environment, there is a connection between the two issues. The relationship between the Basel Convention regime and the sectoral pollution control treaties is therefore worth an examination.

Of the spheres affected by discharge of noxious substances, the most extensively regulated is the marine environment. 1 Part XII of the 1982 UNCLOS attempts to establish a general framework for the protection of the oceans against pollution. In addition, a substantive number of treaties of global as well as regional scope address the different sources of marine pollution.2 In 1974, UNEP launched the Regional Seas Programme which now covers eleven regions, most of which are in the developing world. The regions covered are the Mediterranean'Lerranean, the West and Central African region (WACAF), the East African region, the East and South Asian regions; the Gulf, the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden region, the South and South-East Pacific regions, the Caribbean, and -- most recently - the Black Sea. The development of an Action Plan is also underway in the NorthWest Pacific region. Under this programme, regional conventions for the protection of the marine environment and related protocols have been adopted, and additional ones are under preparation.3 Several regional con

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1
See generally Churchill and Lowe, ( 1988); Birnie and Boyle, ( 1992), ch. 8; Boyle, ( 1985), p. 347 et seq.; Teclaff and Teclaff, ( 1991), p. 187 et seq.; Hohmann, ( 1990), p. 49 et seq.; idem, ( 1989), p. 518 et seq.; Schneider, ( 1981), p. 243 et seq. For an analysis of the pertinent treaty regimes see Boyle, Freestone, Kummer, and Ong, in Sand, ( 1992) pp. 149-255.
2
Birnie and Boyle, ( 1992), ch. 8; Johnston, in Carroll, ( 1988), p. 200 et seq.; Edwards, ibid, ch. 15. On UNCLOS see Caflisch, ( 1983), pp. 39-104; Boyle, ( 1985), p. 350; Schneider, ( 1981), p. 243 et seq.
3
UNEP, ( 1989b), and IMO Doc. LDC 14/7/5 ( 24 October 1991); UNEP, ( 1988); UNEP, ( 1991).

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