The GreenCustoms initiative Raising awareness of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and other...

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  • The GreenCustoms initiative Raising awareness of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and other relevant treaties Etienne GONIN, UNEP DTIE / OzonAction Office Workshop on Illegal Traffic Basel Convention Bratislava, Slovak Republic, 3-5 October 2006
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  • Background Most environmental problems are transboundary and global in impact, and they can only be addressed effectively through international co-operation and shared responsibility Customs and border-protection officers responsible for controlling trade across borders have an important role in protecting the national and global environment
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  • Background A Customs officer might encounter various chemicals such as ozone-depleting substances, hazardous wastes and pesticides, and animal and plant specimens Not only raw materials and live animals and plants pass through Customs control, but also products that include certain chemicals or wildlife parts and derivatives It is a complex task and large responsibility to verify shipments and their documentation, and to verify compliance with national laws and to take action when violations occur
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  • Background Any progress achieved in addressing the goals of poverty and hunger eradication, improved health, and environmental protection is unlikely to be sustained if most of the ecosystem services on which humanity relies continue to be degraded Millennium Eco-System Assessment, March 2005 Assessment
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  • Why care? Unchecked trade leads to environmental degradation and Natural Resource Depletion thereby cutting our lifeline
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  • Background A number of international agreements regulate the trade in environmentally sensitive items and products, and the requirements of these agreements are usually incorporated in national legislation
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  • Customs : Guards of human and environmental security Reduction/elimination of illegal trade in environmentally-sensitive items covered by specific international agreements, such as ozone depleting substances, toxic chemicals, hazardous wastes and endangered species while protecting and facilitating legal trade.
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  • Background Of particular relevance to Customs are: The Basel Convention (Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal) The Montreal Protocol (The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer) The Rotterdam Convention (Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade The Stockholm Convention (Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants) CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) The Chemical Weapons Convention (Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction) The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
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  • Key Treaties Related to Trade CITES Endangered species Montreal Protocol Ozone-depleting substances Basel Convention Hazardous wastes Stockholm Convention Rotterdam Convention Chemicals Cartagena Protocol Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) Trade and Customs are key tools to implement these treaties Chemical Weapons Convention Chemicals
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  • Partners CITES The Montreal Protocol The Basel Convention The Stockholm Convention The Rotterdam Convention The Organisation for prohibition of Chemical Weapons The Cartagena Protocol The United Nations Environment Programme (DTIE DEC) The World Customs Organization Interpol
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  • Cooperation of UNEP with WCO Mutual Consultation Information Exchange Reciprocal Representation Technical Cooperation Specific cooperation in the regions
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  • The GreenCustoms Initiative The GreenCustoms Initiative is a series of collaborative activities carried out by its partner organizations, aimed at raising the awareness of Customs and border control officers to several trade- related MEAs and relevant treaties Activities to date include awareness-raising workshops and the Guide to Multilateral Environmental Agreements and other related treaties
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  • Progress under Progress under GreenCustoms 1980s Customs training under CITES Customs training under Montreal Protocol GCI 1991 2001 First Planning Meeting 2002 Concept Testing Workshop MOU WCO/UNEP 2004 Funding secured 2003 Pilot workshops, training guide, website 2005
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  • The GreenCustoms Initiative Recent GreenCustoms training workshops GreenCustoms Workshop, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 2006 GreenCustoms Workshop, Arusha, Tanzania, 2005 GreenCustoms Workshop, Bhutan, South Asia, 2005 GreenCustoms Workshop, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2005 GreenCustoms Workshop, Trinidad and Tobago, 2005 Participation in partner activities (examples) Forth Joint Customs-Ozone Officers Cooperation Workshop in the Asia- Pacific Region, Bangkok, Thailand, 2006 11th WCO Regional Heads of Administration Conference for Asia and the Pacific, Beijing, China, 2006 17th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP-17), Dakar, Senegal, 2005
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  • The GreenCustoms Initiative The GreenCustoms Guide to Multilateral Environmental Agreements and other relevant treaties Chapter 1 explains MEAs and the role of Customs in their national implementation Chapter 2 provides an overview of the main international trade-related MEAs and relevant treaties Chapter 3 explores practical aspects of implementing controls for these agreements In preparation for 2007
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  • The GreenCustoms Initiative GreenCustoms Guide t opics for each MEA or treaty Definitions Provisions for regulating trade The specific role of Customs in implementing the MEA/treaty Official documents to be aware of Practical considerations Health and safety Identification Seizures and disposal Derogations
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  • The GreenCustoms Initiative The GreenCustoms Guide will also provide details on where additional information can be obtained, and what additional training resources are available The Guide will contain a chart that will provide an easy-to-interpret reference to the provisions of the MEAs and related treaties and what is required for processing by Customs
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  • The GreenCustoms Initiative The GreenCustoms Guide is an awareness-raising tool, aimed at reducing confusion about the agreements, and promoting a greater understanding of the relevant agreements and treaties, and the role of Customs in implementing them
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  • The GreenCustoms Initiative The GreenCustoms Guide does not replace in-depth technical training provided by GC partners The GreenCustoms Guide does not provide country-specific guidance on the implementation of MEAs and relevant treaties The GreenCustoms Guide does not provide country-specific information on legislation, penalties or disposal The GreenCustoms Guide does not provide HS Codes, lists of manufacturers, or guidance to importers/exporters of controlled items, products and substances
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  • The GreenCustoms Initiative Future GreenCustoms activities: Publication and distribution of the GreenCustoms Guide GreenCustoms awareness-raising workshops Train-the-trainer workshops for Customs On-line training, e-learning Specialized skills training by GreenCustoms partners One-stop source for reference materials for Customs on the GreenCustoms website
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  • Specific Effort on Illegal Traffic Highlighting specific products from Partner organisations Promoting tools such as the CEN or Eco- Messages Enhancing cooperation between like-minded institutions Case studies demonstrating common lessons learnt Practical / Interactive exercizes for training
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  • Regional Initiative on curbing illegal trade: Project Sky Hole Patching Project to curb illegal trade in ozone depleting substances (ODS) and dangerous waste in Asia Pacific Monitor the movement of suspicious shipments Adopted at 11 th WCO Meeting of Heads of Customs in Asia Pacific 18 Customs administrations UNEP, RILO AP as facilitators 1 st phase (ODS) launched on 1 st September
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  • GreenCustoms: Assistance and support The implementation of MEA provisions in national legislation can demand a great deal of effort and commitment, but Customs officers are not expected to do this alone At the national level, there are agencies and institutions that are responsible for MEA implementation and that can assist you in your work, and they also rely on your efforts to ensure national compliance with the MEAs International support, such as through the GreenCustoms Initiative on training, is also a source of information and advice Through your efforts, you are helping deliver a better environment and a sustainable future for your country and for all nations
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  • Thank you for your attention Etienne Gonin United Nations Environment Programme DTIE - OzonAction [email protected]