The Basel Convention

The 1989 Basel Convention was one of the first legal instruments to directly target the management of hazardous wastes at the international level. The original focus of the Convention was to control the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal.  Under the convention, any transboundary movement of waste is only permitted if the movement itself as well as the disposal of the concerned waste is environmentally sound.  Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) is a central focus of the Convention, and is addressed primarily through an integrated lifecycle approach that aims to control hazardous wastes from generation through to storage, transport, treatment, reuse, recycling, recovery and final disposal.
The Basel Convention does stipulate that all hazardous wastes should be managed in an environmentally sound manner. However, POPs are only directly influenced by the Convention through the controls on transboundary transportation, where a number of POPs are specifically identified, including the 12 that form the focus of the Stockholm Convention. The Basel Convention entered into force in 1992, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) administers the secretariat.