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BAN TOXICS TO DUTERTE: SHOULD RETURN TRASH TO CANADA

BAN TOXICS TO DUTERTE: SHOULD RETURN TRASH TO CANADA
Image Source: www.getrealphilippines.com

DAVAO CITY — Environment watchdog Ban Toxics calls the attention of the incoming Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to ensure that the immediate return of Canada’s waste to that country and the ratification of two international treaties on hazardous materials—Basel Amendment and Minamata Convention.

Shalimar Vitan, Ban Toxics chief operating officer said that “This is a golden opportunity for President-elect Duterte to prove his mettle when it comes to the environment,”. and “As President, it is within his power to finally resolve the Canada waste crisis,”.

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“He can also prevent future waste dumping by any country by ensuring the ratification of the Basel Amendment,” Vitan said.

Expressing strong outrage over the dumping of Canada’s waste in Manila last year, Duterte urged the Aquino administration to file a diplomatic protest against the Canadian government for a 1,300-ton shipment of trash that landed in Manila from 2013 to 2014.
Duterte called it a “derogation of our national dignity.”

Ban Toxics said a formal protest filed at the Basel Convention Secretariat would compel Canada to repatriate the waste. The group also called for the ratification of the Basel Amendment and Minamata Convention, treaties that control waste trade and mercury pollution, saying these treaties should be among the priority environmental agenda of the incoming President.

In a statement signed by Lea Guerrero, Ban Toxics program manager for communications and campaigns stated that “The return of Canada’s waste shipments, most of which are still rotting in Manila’s ports, should also be top on his list,”.

The Basel Amendment is an amendment to the Basel Convention that prohibits the export of hazardous wastes from developed to developing countries and which the Philippines ratified in 1993.

The Philippines has not ratified the amendment which addresses a loophole in the convention by additionally prohibiting the movement of all wastes, even those meant for recycling.

The environment group pointed out that mercury, even in low doses, is extremely harmful to humans. Ban Toxics is also calling on Duterte to push the ratification of the Minamata Convention to protect human health and the environment from mercury pollution.

Although the Philippines signed the Minamata Convention, it has yet to ratify it. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has been revising regulations on mercury use to enforce stricter measures.

Vitan also added that “Mercury pollution is widespread in the Philippines,”. Mercury is widely used in small scale gold mining and dentistry, Vitan said.

Source: Inquirer.net


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