Muscat – The Environment Authority (EA), in collaboration with Oman Environmental Services Holding Company – be’ah, launched a workshop on Monday aimed at shedding light on transboundary waste movement.
The two-day workshop focuses on training environmental inspectors and customs officials in effectively managing hazardous waste at border crossings, thus advancing sound waste management practices.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Dr Mohammad Majid al Kasbi, Director of EA’s Department of Chemical Materials, highlighted the workshop’s objectives. “It seeks to enhance the skills and knowledge of the authority’s employees stationed at border crossings and customs specialists, enabling them to identify hazardous waste, comprehend its impact on health and the environment, and ensure its proper management during transboundary movement.”
The workshop will provide valuable insights into local legislation and international agreements pertaining to waste export, while emphasising the urgency of finding effective solutions to combat the illegal circulation of hazardous waste and underscoring the importance of adhering to import and export protocols.
“During the workshop, representatives of various participating entities presented working papers, including one on a mechanism for controlling export of hazardous and non-hazardous waste, implementation of international agreements, and improvement of data quality concerning transit waste,” Kasbi explained. “Moreover, international examples, standards and experiences in handling waste movement across borders were shared.”
In collaboration with relevant authorities, EA aims to organise multiple workshops to achieve comprehensive waste management, facilitate the growth of the recycling sector, and foster environmental consciousness regarding consumption and production practices, aligning with international efforts towards sound waste management, Kasbi added.
The first day of the workshop resulted in a series of recommendations and outcomes. These include the development of an electronic waste management plan through coordination between the authority and the Cleanliness and Improvement Fund of Hadramout, Yemen.
The recommendations also recognised the need for compliance with national regulations and globally accepted standards for packaging hazardous materials and waste, utilising specially designed tanks and containers for safe transportation.
Additionally, the workshop highlighted the need of formulating a national strategy for waste management and treatment, particularly in the medical waste sector, while promoting comprehensive and integrated solutions with active involvement of national entities.
EA aims to engage all stakeholders, including the private sector, in realising the strategic goals of integrated hazardous waste management to safeguard the nation from its adverse impacts. The authority also emphasises collaboration with neighbouring countries to ensure the implementation of the Basel Convention, a crucial framework for the disposal of hazardous waste.