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Sonak-HazardousWasteShipping - Int Environ Agreements(2008...

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ORIGINAL PAPER Shipping hazardous waste: implications for economically developing countries Sangeeta Sonak Æ Mahesh Sonak Æ Asha Giriyan Accepted: 13 March 2008 / Published online: 4 April 2008 Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008 Abstract Trade in hazardous waste has given rise to great concerns. One source of transboundary trade in hazardous waste is the ship-breaking industry. Though end-of-life vessels provide incentives to developing countries in the form of raw materials, these same developing countries are not only ill equipped to manage hazardous waste in an environmentally sound manner, but they also lack the resources to mitigate health impacts arising out of the handling of hazardous waste. These concerns of weaker economies have been addressed by the Basel Convention on the Control of Trans- boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. However, the shipping of vessels with hazardous waste for final disposal in developing countries continues. To illustrate the inequity involved in such negotiations, we present a case study of the French aircraft carrier ‘‘ Le Clemenceau ’’, which was sent to a shipyard in Alang, India, for disposal. This vessel became the focus of attention given its transport of an unknown amount of toxic waste, including asbestos. Similarly, there are reports that large quan- tities of toxic waste are still being imported by India from countries that ban the use of this waste. The use, import, and export of these chemicals raise serious environmental and health concerns. This paper assesses the implications of shipping such hazardous waste to developing countries and emphasizes the need for promoting research to plug the gaps and for implementing stringent measures to check the trade in environmental pollutants. Keywords Basel Convention Á Developing countries Á Equity Á Hazardous waste S. Sonak ( & ) Á A. Giriyan The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Western Regional Centre, 233/GH-2, Vasudha Housing Colony, Alto-St. Cruz, Bambolim, Goa 403202, India e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected] M. Sonak A/G-26, Kamat Arcade, Caranzalem, Goa 403002, India 123 Int Environ Agreements (2008) 8:143–159 DOI 10.1007/s10784-008-9069-3
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1 Introduction It is routine practice in the shipping industry to send ships to developing countries for scrapping. Indeed, several industrialized countries export end-of-life vessels to developing countries for disposal or recycling. This practice is based primarily on economics. The ship-breaking industry plays a major role in the economy of many developing countries. Ship-breaking was a common industrial activity in both the USA and Europe until the 1970s when increasing labor costs and more stringent regulations resulted in this industry being relocated to Taiwan and South Korea (Nes ¸er et al. 2008 ). In the 1980s, Taiwan and South Korea also lost interest in ship-breaking and focused on ship-building. At the present time, the major ship-breaking yards are located in Bangladesh, China, India, and Pakistan.
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Sonak-HazardousWasteShipping - Int Environ Agreements(2008...

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