Sunday,21 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1277, (7 - 13 January 2016)
Sunday,21 April, 2019
Issue 1277, (7 - 13 January 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Workshop on hazardous waste

BCRC-Egypt organised a regional workshop on the environmentally sound management of chemicals and hazardous waste in Sharm El-Sheikh on 7-9 December. The workshop promoted training, expertise and data collection related to the Basel Convention. Participants looked into ways of enhancing regional cooperation for better implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm conventions in Arab countries.

 Abdel-Fattah Helmi, adviser to the South Sinai governor, was among those who attended the workshop. Among the officials who spoke during the event were Mostafa Hussein Kamel, Egypt’s former minister of environment and BCRC director; Michel Seck, director of the Basel Convention Regional Centre for French-Speaking Countries in Africa; and Oladele Osibanjo is director of the Basel Convention Coordinating Centre for Africa or BCCC-Africa, based in Nigeria.

The experts from 16 Arab and African countries who took part in the discussions called for the creation of better laboratories and more comprehensive databases for hazardous materials.

They also called for the creation of an Arab network comprising government agencies and nongovernmental organisations to handle issues relating to toxic waste and its disposal.

BCRC-Egypt Director Kamel said that nations need to exchange information and expertise to ensure the safe management of hazardous waste and toxic substances.

The workshop addressed the question of electronic waste, which poses a growing threat to the region. Participants also reviewed current efforts to manage hazardous materials in Morocco, Djibouti, Mauritania and Egypt and examined prospects for technical cooperation among various countries in Africa and the Arab world.

Kamel said that the region needs an accredited regional laboratory to analyse persistent organic pollutants, or POPs. Abdel-Fattah Helmi, adviser to the South Sinai governor, said that the fact that the workshop was being held in Sharm El-Sheikh was a message to the world that Egypt is a safe country.

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