Report of regional workshop on successful case studies of recycling, reuse and resource recovery methods towards the environmentally sound management (esm)

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The workshop had participants from government institutions, industries and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) from 12 twelve African countries and United Nations agencies. The twelve countries were Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia. It was declared open by the Honourable Minister of Environment Col Bala Mande (Rtd) who was ably represented by the Director Department of Pollution Control and Environmental Health, of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Prof O.A. Afolabi. The name and details of the participants are included in the list of participants of the Annex 1.

The welcome address at the opening ceremony on 9th August 2004, was given by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan Prof. Ayodele O. Falase ably represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellors Academic- Prof J.A Akinwunmi and Administration Prof Olusoji Ofi who delivered the address. He heartily welcomed the participants to the University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s premier university and averred that the Secretariat of Basel Convention deserves commendation for its vision in establishing Basel Convention Coordinating Centres (BCRCs) as Centres of Excellence for improved capacity building and service delivery at the regional level on hazardous waste issues. He also noted with satisfaction that the Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Centre at Ibadan would coordinate the three Basel Convention Regional Centres for training and technology transfer hosted in Egypt, Senegal and South Africa respectively. This is important as the successful implementation of the Basel Convention in Africa by the governments hinges on the availability of competent and well- trained experts, which therefore underscores the importance of this workshop.
The Vice Chancellor further declared that the center would provide adequate facilities for visiting scientists in the region to attend training workshops and partake in research programs and technology development projects that will benefit the entire African Region. The Centre was established he noted, as an aftermath of the successful collaboration between the University of Ibadan and the Federal government in respect of the scientific investigation of the toxic wastes from overseas illegally dumped at Koko port in 1988. It is also instructive he remarked that Professor Oladele Osibanjo who carried out the chemical identification of the toxic wastes in 1988 on behalf of the University for the Federal government is the Director of the Federal Ministry of Environment-University of Ibadan Linkage Centre on Cleaner Production Technology and Hazardous Waste Management and the Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Centre for Africa for Training and Technology Transfer on hazardous waste management. He expects that the knowledge to be gained by the participants at the present workshop would go a long way in achieving the objectives of the Basel' Convention in the region, and assist the different levels of governments to develop and implement strategies that would counter the export of toxic and hazardous waste and technologies to Africa.

The Vice Chancellor used the occasion wish to seek additional funding from the Ministry of Environment to equip the building and make it functional. He also called on the Secretariat of Basel Convention, UNIDO, NEPAD Secretariat and other donor countries/ agencies to increase technical and financial assistance to the Centre to enable it fulfill its mandate soonest for the benefit of present and future generations of Africans. Finally he gave assurance that the University administration would provide the enabling environment for the Centre to perform optimally and fulfill its mandate.

The keynote address was read by Mr. Nelson Sabogal, Senior Programme Officer Capacity Building/Training on behalf of Ms. Sachiko Kuwubara-Yamamoto, Executive Secretary, Secretariat of Basel Convention, Geneva. The addressed highlighted the aim of the Regional Workshop which is to analyse with the aid of lectures, slides/video clips and case studies, best practices and proven technologies that work in hazardous waste management elsewhere both in developed and developing countries that are appropriate, readily adaptable in Africa and not entailing excessive cost (Best Available Technology Not Entailing Excessive Cost (BATNEC)). Guidelines on how to develop environmental sound management project proposals for successful grant support and implementation will be presented and a discussion on the legal, technical, financial conditions of the development and transfer of technologies in the region shall be covered in detail to make the programme holistic. As a result of this Workshop, Project Development Documents shall be prepared for the projects identified to be environmentally and economically sound and sustainable in the region.

Some major stakeholders gave goodwill messages. Dr David Tommy, the UNIDO Country Representative in Nigeria in his goodwill message read by Mr. Adegboyega Ajani acknowledged the timeliness of the workshop as international concern and efforts are now focused on providing industry and economic perspectives in developing Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in view of the threat of improper management of hazardous wastes. In this regard UNIDO as the United Nations specialized agency charged with promoting sustainable industrial development, in cooperation with the Food & Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes, has been assisting Nigeria in its efforts to implement the various conventions on hazardous wastes through awareness raising and capacity building programmes/activities.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), Chief Mrs. Chinyere Asika ably represented by Dr. Lawrence Anukam declared that the main objective of the Action Plan of the Environmental Initiative of NEPAD is to assist African countries to integrate environmental considerations into poverty reduction policies and strategies. On the other hand one of the specific objectives of the action plan is to assist African countries to implement their commitments under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Bamako Convention of 1991, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent, and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, for which they are contracting Parties and to address other related environmental problems. Finally he indicated that the presence of NEPAD Nigeria at the workshop is a clear demonstration of its support for the programmes of the Basel Convention Regional Coordinating Centre for Africa located in Ibadan, Nigeria. He was emphatic that NEPAD Nigeria will work closely with the Basel Convention Coordinating Centre in Ibadan, to facilitate the implementation of the action plan of the Environment Initiative of NEPAD particularly in the area of hazardous waste management.
Honourable Commissioner of Environment and Water Resources, Oyo State Alhaji Adelani A. Ashiru expressed in his goodwill message the satisfaction of the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Senator Rasheed A Ladoja that this important regional workshop is taking place in Ibadan, the largest indigenous city in Africa. He wished the participants successful deliberations.
Dr Evans O. Aina, the first Director General of the defunct Federal Environmental Protection Agency ( FEPA ) , which metamorphosed into the Federal Ministry of Environment in June 1999 at the onset of the return of environmental governance to the country, also gave a goodwill message. He recalled that Nigeria as one of the victims of the illegal trade in toxic wastes through the dumping of toxic and hazardous wastes at the port of Koko in the then Bendel state now Delta state, took an active part at the preparatory meetings leading to the 1989 Basel Convention. After a number of meetings, the final draft of the global convention, now known as Basel Convention was drawn up. He remembered with nostalgia that the Nigerian delegation led by him made very useful impact and influenced 19 out of the 29 articles that made up the convention, and because of the importance the Nigerian government attached to the Convention, a diplomatic offensive was mounted to ensure that African governments participated fully in the adoption of the Convention. To underscore the importance, over 116 nations attended the final session at Basel, out of which 41 were from Africa. Nigeria was the first African Country to sign the Convention and he had the honour and privilege to sign on behalf of the country.
Professor O. A. Afolabi, Director Department of Pollution Control and Environmental Health in the Federal Ministry of Environment gave the opening address on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Environment, Nigeria , Colonel (Rtd) Bala Mande . The Minister indicated that Nigeria in its efforts to manage hazardous wastes in an environmentally sound manner, has ratified the following Multilateral Environmental Conventions (MEAs): Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, including its Ban Amendment; Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure (PIC) for Certain Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade; Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs Convention) and Vienna Convention on the protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on substances that Deplete the Ozone layer.
The Minister also declared that the Government of Nigeria has commissioned projects which are at various stages of completion for hazardous and other wastes management and resource recovery namely: Integrated waste management facilities studies in fifteen Nigerian industrial and commercial cities; Nyanya community- based Municipal Waste Management Pilot Project; Conversion of Agricultural Wastes to Briquettes – a Pilot Briquetting Plant in Makurdi; Studies on Effluent Treatment Facilities for four major Industrial Cities; and not the least the Provision of Incinerating Facilities at the three National Orthopaedic Hospitals, and the National Institute for Medical Research respectively. The Government is also implementing a number of programmes aimed at sound hazardous waste management which includes chemical tracking/toxic waste dump watch, registration of chemicals/pesticides, pest control and fumigation, hazardous wastes/toxic chemicals awareness – raising, and industrial/hazardous chemicals assessment and database.
The Honourable Minister also commended in a special way the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on its efforts in reducing and minimizing hazardous waste generation and transshipment and also assisting developing countries especially African countries with the environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes they generate. The selection and establishment of Basel Convention Coordinating Centre for the African Region in Nigeria is the most eloquent testimony of the Secretariat of Basel Convention’s interest and determination to ensure that the African continent is saved from the dangers of generation, transshipment and disposal of hazardous wastes.. He also commended the authorities of the University of Ibadan for ensuring that the Centre starts operation and fully prepared to take the challenges of coordinating the three Basel Convention Regional Centres for Training and Technology Transfer hosted in South Africa, Senegal and Egypt.
Finally the Minister assured the Secretariat of Basel Convention and all stakeholders that the government of Nigeria is fully committed to supporting the activities of the Basel Convention Coordinating Centre in Ibadan, Nigeria. He remarked that the opening ceremony of the workshop would be closely followed by the official commissioning of BCCC Building, which is an indication of the seriousness and commitment of the Nigerian government and hoped that the Centre will in no distant time organize trainings in the building.

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