About the Basel Convention

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposalwas adopted in Basel, Switzerland on 22 March 1989. The Convention was initiated in response to numerous international scandals regarding hazardous waste trafficking that began to occur in the late 1980s. The Convention entered into force on 5 May 1992 and today has its Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. For an up-to-date list of Basel Convention Parties see the Country Status Table.

The Convention was at first condemned by environmentalists and developing countries as it failed to ban hazardous waste exports to any location other than Antarctica. Since that time however, developing countries and environmentalists have succeeded within the Convention in achieving a decision to ban (see About the Basel Ban) hazardous waste exports from the wealthiest to less wealthy countries.