Pan-African Forum on E-Waste Issues Call to Action

UNEP16 March 2012: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention), with support from private sector partners, convened the Pan-African Forum on E-Waste. The Forum focused on long-term solutions to the increasing amounts of e-waste in Africa and issued a Call to Action outlining eight priority areas to address this challenge.

The Forum, which took place from 12-16 March 2012, at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, was attended by representatives from 18 African States. Participants discussed the need to reduce the environmental and health impacts of growing levels of e-waste, as well as ways to promote the sector's potential for green jobs and economic development.

The resulting Call to Action outlines the following eight priority areas for e-waste in Africa: implementing and enforcing the Basel Convention and the Bamako Convention on the Ban on the Import into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa; developing national systems to improve the collection, recycling, transport, storage and disposal of e-waste; developing national e-waste assessments; increasing recognition that safe and sustainable recycling of e-waste provides an opportunity for green jobs; and raising awareness on environmental and health hazards linked to the unsound management of e-waste. The Forum also agreed that Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a key component of the environmentally sound management of e-waste. [UN Press Release] [UNEP Press Release]