Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Basel Convention Aims to Stop Toxic Waste Transfers

I recently learned about an organization called BAN concerned with a really important issue you might not have thought much about: the transfer of toxic waste products from rich countries to poor ones. The Seattle-based group is named after a 1994 multinational agreement called the Basel Convention which aims at curtailing this practice.
There is an ugly underbelly of economic globalisation that few wish to talk about. Under the guise of simply utilizing the “competitive advantage” of cheap labour markets in poorer areas of the world, a disproportionate burden of toxic waste, dangerous products and polluting technologies are currently being exported from rich industrialised countries to poorer developing countries. In effect, rather than being helped to leap-frog over dirty development cycles directly toward clean production methods, developing countries are instead being asked to perpetuate some of the world's most toxic industries and products and are even asked to become the global dumping ground for much of the world's toxic wastes.
There's more information about the toxic waste crisis at BAN's website.

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