Overview of international commitments on waste
International agreements play a key role in responding to environmental issues in Canada and abroad. Environment Canada (EC) for its part has long been a contributor to the Government of Canada’s international environmental agenda by advancing and sharing science and knowledge, as well as through stakeholder negotiations and policy dialogue.
Canada implements the terms of international agreements to which it is party through domestic regulations, under authority of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999). Implementing the terms of these agreements demonstrates the intention to protect Canada's environment and the health of Canadians from risks posed by unregulated traffic in hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials. Canada is party to three international agreements on the movement of hazardous wastes:
The United Nations Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, 1989 (ratified by Canada in 1992);
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Decision of Council on the Control of Transfrontier Movements of Wastes Destined for Recovery Operations, C(92)39/Final, March 1992, Revised C(2001)107 Version harmonized with the Basel Convention; and
The Can-USA Agreement on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes, 1986 (as amended in 1992).
In signing these international agreements, Canada made a commitment to develop national legislation to promote the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials. These international agreements and related domestic regulations represent significant steps taken to manage hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials on a global scale.
Canada’s work related to hazardous waste management also includes cooperation with several other organizations, forums, and initiatives such as the:
- North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation;
- Stockholm Convention on Persistant Organic Pollutants;
- Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade;
- Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer;
- Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management;
- International Maritime Organization (IMO), etc.
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