Apia, Samoa – (7th September 2023) The 12th Conference of the Parties to the Waigani Convention met on Friday 1st September 2023 at the Taumesina Island Resort, Apia, Samoa. Representing the Solomon Islands at the meeting is the Deputy Director of Environment, Ms Debra Kereseka.
The meeting elected Solomon Islands, Ms Debra Kereseka as President, Kiribati as Vice President, and Australia as Rapporteur. The Parties in attendance were Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu. As the President, Solomon Islands will preside over the meetings of Conference of Parties (COP) for Waigani Convention. The COP is held every two years and that is when a new president will be elected.
The objective of the Convention is to reduce and eliminate transboundary movements of hazardous and radioactive waste, to minimize the production of hazardous and toxic wastes in the Pacific region, and to ensure that the disposal of wastes in the Convention area is completed in an environmentally sound manner. The Waigani Convention entered into force on the 21st of October 2001.
The Waigani Convention is modeled on the Basel Convention and constitutes the regional implementation of the international hazardous waste control regime (Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions). There are however some differences between the two conventions: the Waigani Convention also covers radioactive wastes, and its territorial coverage includes each Party’s Exclusive Economic Zone (200 nautical miles) (rather than extending only to outer boundary of each Party’s territorial sea (12 nautical miles) as under Basel).
The Convention is also strongly related to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matters, 1972 (London Convention).
The Solomon Islands is a party having ratified the Waigani Convention on 7th October 1998. The Environment and Conservation Division of the Ministry of Environment Climate Change Disaster Management and Meteorology, is the SIG focal point, thus, leading and coordinating the country’s efforts to implement the convention.
Taking the role as President of the Waigani Convention, Solomon Islands presented the report of the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Waigani Convention to the 31st SPREP meeting which was held in Apia, Samoa on the 4th-8th September 2023.