Ukraine, Agricultural Plant Waste: Minister instructs to lodge complaint with Basel Convention.

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Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed the Ministry Secretary Dr. Anil Jasinghe to lodge a complaint with the Basel Convention Office regarding 28 containers containing agro-waste imported by an Ukrainian company under the pretext of importing coriander into the country.

The Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, usually known as the Basel Convention, is an international treaty that was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs).

According to the Basel Convention, the export of agricultural waste from one country to another is strictly prohibited. Sri Lanka is also a signatory to the Basel Convention.

Minister Amaraweera said that the containers were imported under the pretext of importing coriander and that the relevant authorities should pay close attention to whether the Ukrainian company has committed any fraud in this regard.

It is a matter to be investigated and resolved whether these containers containing agricultural waste were deliberately imported into the country by the private sector or they have been deceived.

The Minister has informed the Central Environmental Authority to ascertain whether the statement made by the private sector that they have been deceived is a ploy to hoodwink the local authorities.

However, agricultural waste can enter the country’s ecosystem in a variety of hazardous conditions.”Therefore, all these containers will be re-exported to the relevant company in Ukraine and a complaint will be lodged with the Basel Convention Office in this regard”, Dr. Anil Jasinghe informed the Minister.

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