Image of a World Map Home - WSIS Forum 2010


Action Line IFM
C7: E-Environment


Organised by UNEP

Tuesday 11 May 2010, 11:15-13:00
Room K

image: squares decoration Description

Electronic waste is the fastest growing portion of the municipal solid waste stream. It is estimated that the volume of obsolete PCs generated in developing regions will exceed that of developed regions by 2016 2018. Uncontrolled dumping of obsolete e-products and material recovery processes without protective measures in the informal sector have resulted in environmental pollution while exposing millions of people to toxins, such as dioxins and brominated flame retardants in plastics. The technology for environmentally sound dismantling and disposal of e-waste exists, but it has to be linked to the product life-cycle to become economically viable. Efforts to bridge the digital divide need to follow the life-cycle approach to avoid problems for the health of workers and the general public as well as for the environment.

In the Nairobi Declaration on the environmentally sound management of electrical and electronic waste, adopted in 2006, ministers and other heads of delegation from states declared that the Basel Convention is the main global instrument for guiding the environmentally sound management of hazardous e-waste.

Since than, the Secretariat of the Basel Convention coordinated pilot projects and partnerships in cooperation with countries, Basel Convention Regional Centres and other partners.

In 2003 the Mobile Phone Partnership Initiative (MPPI) was established for the environmentally sound management of used and end-of-life mobile telephones. In 2008 the Conference of Parties to the Basel Convention adopted the guidelines on collection and refurbishment of used mobile phones and material recovery and recycling of end-of-life mobile phones developed under The MPPI.

A Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE) was launched in Bali, Indonesia in 2008. PACE is a multi-stakeholder partnership that provides a forum for governments, inter-governmental organizations, industry leaders, non-governmental organizations and academia to tackle the environmentally sound management, refurbishment, recycling and disposal of used and end-of-life computing equipment. Currently guidelines on refurbishment of used computers and recycling of end-of-life computing equipment are under development.

At the same time, PACE is launching pilot projects on collection and environmentally sound management of e-waste in the informal sector. Already 35 countries from developing countries and countries with economies in transition signalled interest to work with PACE.

Under the chairmanship of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Secretariat of the Basel Convention the Interactive Facilitation Meeting will discuss the political background, programmes and activities on e-waste. The following introductory statements are planned:

  • International context: Basel Convention Regional Centre, El Salvador

  • Inter-governmental organization: International Labour Organization (ILO)

  • Country perspective: Department of Pollution Control and Environmental Health, Nigeria

  • View of recycling industry: PC Rebuilders and Recyclers (PCRR)

  • Public interest NGOs view: Basel Action Network (BAN)

The meeting aims at stimulating the discussion among participants on developing new partnerships and cooperation for tackling the e-waste problem in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.


*English & French interpretation will be made available.

image: squares decoration Programme







image: squares decorationMore Information

For more information, please contact:
Mr. Matthias Kern, Senior Programme Officer, UNEP (




WSIS logo ITU logo  UNESCO logo  UNCTAD logo  UNDP logo