A recent (December 2014) article written by Josh Lepawsky (Professor, Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland) poses an interesting and important question. Are we living in a “post-Basel” world?
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, aims to combat the transport of hazardous wastes from OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, the European Community, and Lichtenstein to non-OECD countries.
Lepawsky argues that the Basel Convention suggests that,
“all non-Annex VII territories are equally vulnerable to hazardous waste dumping from Annex VII territories, but not vulnerable to such dumping amongst themselves. Yet, the non-Annex VII grouping contains a hugely diverse set of countries, including the two largest non-Annex VII economies, China and India.
Drawing on textual analysis of Convention documents and trade data available for China and India, the paper engages with recent research into the growing role of ‘South-South’ trade to critically engage with the geographical imaginary of the Basel Convention. It suggests that as the global patterns of hazardous waste trade shift, the relevance of the Basel Convention’s geographical imaginary declines.”