REMA provides training on the implementation of the Basel and Rotterdam conventions and on National environmental law and policy
In view of advocating for conservation of biodiversity and safe human health, from October 11 to November 5, 2021, REMA conducted a series of training sessions aiming to strengthen implementation of the Basel Convention and Rotterdam Convention as well as national laws and policy on environment.
Were present at the training the members of the Agrochemical Advisory Council, 30 District Community Liaison Officers from Rwanda National Police, 30 Crime investigators from Rwanda Investigation Bureau and 15 Prosecutors working with National Public Prosecution Authority .
During these trainings, a team from the secretariat of Basel and Rotterdam Conventions explained more about these conventions, Rwanda’s obligations towards them and how they must be implemented .
In this occasion, REMA presented to different groups:the status of implementation of the Basel and Rotterdam Conventions in Rwanda; procedures of banning chemicals in Rwanda: Banned chemicals in Rwanda; crimes against environment; transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes: Control procedure under Basel Convention; law prohibiting the use of single use plastics and plastic carry bags; and impact of chemicals and wastes on biodiversity .
Umuhoza Patrick, Multilateral Cooperation Officer at REMA , said:
“In various inspections conducted by REMA, we realised that, for long, Rwanda has been receiving medicines, plastic bags and other items from outside which can destroy environmental. Moreover, these items were illegally coming in, violating Basel and Rotterdam Conventions. That is why we have taken steps to provide training on implementation of the Basel and Rotterdam Conventions as well as on national laws and policy on environment.”
REMA Deputy Director General, Faustin Munyazikwiye, who attended the training session of 30 Crime investigators from Rwanda Investigation Bureau called on them to cooperate in environment protection so as to achieve sustainable development.
Closing the training session of District Community Liaison Officers, The Commissioner for Community Policing CP Bruce Munyambo reiterated Rwanda National Police’s commitment to partner with REMA to protect our environment. He thanked REMA for gathering District Community Liaison Officers to discuss the Basel Convention and Rotterdam Convention as well as the national laws and policy on environment.
At the session with prosecutors, participants shared their experience with regard to Basel and Rotterdam Conventions, national laws and policy on environment with the aim of getting to a consistent approach of prosecuting environmental crimes.
Senior lawyer in one Environment Agency, Mr. Howard McCann shared with them his experience in prosecuting environmental crimes and how to efficiently and effectively prosecute and combat environmental crimes.
After the training, participants expressed their gratitude and their commitment to enforce the implementation of the Basel and Rotterdam conventions and the National environmental law and policy.
The Basel and Rotterdam conventions are multilateral environmental agreements which share the common objective of protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes.
Basel Convention focuses on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal while Rotterdam Convention focuses on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.