CWIT & COP en Ginebra (1/2)

FP7-CWIT organized a side event on 9 May 2015 in Geneva – during the COP to Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions –meetings.

This week´s blog is (again) in two parts. In this first part I share a brief overview of the FP7-CWIT project and the Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COP) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, held in Geneva during May 2015. This is followed by a brief summary of the key points presented in Geneva by CWIT-project colleagues from UNICRI and INTERPOL. In the second part of this blog (later this week), I will explain about my presentation on the main CWIT-recommendations – still very much work-in-progress – as well as about the first set of verbal and written feedback we received during the Saturday 9 May session, from our 80 person global expert audience. CWIT-consortium was present in Geneva with Ms. Vittoria Luda di Cortemiglia of UNICRI and Ms. Ioana Botezatu, Ms. Emily Nash, Ms. Denitsa Dimitrova and Mr. Bogdan Ghenciu from the INTERPOL.

The Countering WEEE Illegal Trade (CWIT) project provides a set of recommendations to the European Commission, law enforcement authorities, electronics manufacturing and WEEE treatment industries that will assist them in countering the illegal trade, logistics and processing of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), also known as ‘e-waste’, within and from Europe. Funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the EU, this two-year security research project brings together a group of experts skilled in the fields of e-waste analysis, crime analysis, supply chain security and database management. The project finishes on 31 August 2015. You can find more information on FP7-CWIT project at: http://www.cwitproject.eu/

The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (BC COP-12) is held from 4 to 15 May 2015 back-to-back with the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (RC COP-7) and the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP-7). The meetings will include joint sessions among two or three of the conferences of the parties on joint issues. The theme for the meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions is ‘From science to action, working for a safer tomorrow’. You can find more information on the overall event here.

Ms. Ioana Botezatu, the coordinator of the CWIT-project from INTERPOL´s environmental crime unit, welcomed participants and provided a general overview of the CWIT-project and implementing partners. Next, Ms. Vittoria Luda di Cortemiglia of UNICRI – United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute– explained the four main project objectives: (i) To estimate the volumes of WEEE in Europe; (ii) To analyze criminal behaviors associated with WEEE trade; (iii) To develop a detailed understanding of the destinations and routes with illicit WEEE; and (iv) To provide a set of recommendations to tackle WEEE illegal trade. Active stakeholder involvement and intelligence-based approach for law enforcement agencies were emphasized by her as important success factors for the whole project. She provided an overview of the market assessment, WEEE flow analysis results, and the perceived gaps between WEEE generated versus collected across European Union – highlighting some major differences between the EU Member States when it comes e.g. to the reported collection rates (from appr. 15% in Romania and Bulgaria to appr. 65% in Scandinavia).

Then, Mr. Bogdan Ghenciu of INTERPOL shared some of the outcomes of the criminal intelligence analysis within the CWIT-project. When it comes to the legal violations in the “WEEE universe”, false declaration of load has been the most common violation type – followed by fraud, smuggling, tax evasion and theft crimes. Mr. Ghenciu explained next about the involvement of different WEEE actors – collection, consolidation, brokering, treatment and transport – in the “dark side of WEEE”. And lastly, striking CWIT statistics presented by Mr. Ghenciu: out of the estimated 232 ktons of estimated WEEE export violations annually (from the EU plus Switzerland and Norway), only 2 ktons (= less than 1%) are seized by the authorities (these calculations start from the total estimation of 9046 kton WEEE generated per year).

All these presentations will be made available soon for download in the Internet (and I aim to provide a web-link already in the second part of this blog, later this week, when I share some interesting details about CWIT recommendations – 16 in total at the moment – and some first reactions by the COP audience to them).

Have a great week everyone, Juha

PS. Please join the FP7-CWIT Final Conference at INTERPOL, Lyon, France, on 25-26.6.2015. Registration is open at: http://www.cwitproject.eu/cwit-final-conference/

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