THE BASEL CONVENTION REGIONAL CENTRE-CARIBBEAN

The primary mechanism for assisting in the implementation of the Basel Convention and its obligations is a series of Basel Convention Regional Centres for Training and Technology Transfer (BCRC). Established across the world under Article 14 of the Convention, these Centres are meant to provide for the effective implementation of the Convention at the national to regional levels. The Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology for the Caribbean (BCRC-Caribbean) serves the Contracting Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions within the Caribbean region and any other country consenting to be served by the Centre.

The Cabinet of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago agreed in August 1995 to the hosting of the Basel Caribbean Sub-Regional Training and Technology Transfer Centre at the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI). The Centre then began its operations at CARIRI in 1998. However, following the adoption of Decision VI/3 by the sixth Conference of the Parties (COP) in 2002, a Framework Agreement between Trinidad and Tobago and the Secretariat for the Basel Convention (SBC) was signed at the seventh COP in 2004 to establish the BCRC-Caribbean. The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago then enacted Act Number 2 of 2008 for the legal establishment of the Centre as an autonomous institution with its own legal personality in April 2008.

The Centre operates pursuant to the provisions of the Basel Convention, the strategic framework for its implementation (currently 2012 to 2021), and other related decisions of the COP to the Convention. The activities performed by the BCRC-Caribbean in relation to its regional role shall be conducted under the general guidance and in coordination with the SBC. as well as with the work of other BCRCs. The Centre forms an important functional and operational part of the institutional framework of the Basel Convention. The BCRC-Caribbean is meant to assist the Contracting Parties, through capacity building, in their efforts to implement and achieve the objectives of the Convention. Core functions of the BCRC-Caribbean are:

  • Training,
  • Technology transfer,
  • Information dissemination,
  • Consulting, and
  • Awareness raising.

The development and implementation of the activities of the Centre relevant to its regional role is advised by a Steering Committee. The Committee consists of members nominated by the Parties who develop and endorse the Business Plan for the Centre for each biennium and oversee its implementation. Currently, the primary source of funding for the operations of the BCRC-Caribbean comes from the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

SOLUTION FOCUSED

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the most comprehensive global legal instrument on hazardous and other wastes. The Convention has been the primary international response to the issues arising from the presence of wastes hazardous to human health and the environment. With 183 Parties to the Convention as of January 2015, including 182 State parties and the European Union, the Convention seeks to address the management of these wastes across the waste management hierarchy from their generation, to transport and final disposal.

The primary objective of the Basel Convention is to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes. In order to achieve this, the Convention has two pillars. Firstly, it regulates the transboundary movements of hazardous and other wastes. Secondly, it obliges its Parties to ensure that these wastes are managed and disposed of in an environmentally sound manner (ESM).

The scope of the Convention encompasses a wide range of wastes classified as hazardous wastes based on their origin, composition and characteristics as outlined in Article I and Annexes I, II VIII and IX to the Convention. There are also two types of wastes categorised as other wastes under Article I and Annex II, namely household wastes and incineration wastes. Some of the wastes regulated by the Convention include biomedical and healthcare wastes, persistent organic pollutant (POP) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) wastes, used oils and lead acid batteries, electrical and electronic waste, asbestos waste, used fluorescent bulbs, and many more.

THE PARTIES

bcrc-countries

The countries consenting to be served by the BCRC-Caribbean include:

  • Antigua and Barbuda,
  • Commonwealth of the Bahamas,
  • Barbados,
  • Belize,
  • The Republic of Cuba,
  • The Commonwealth of Dominica,
  • The Dominican Republic,
  • The Republic of Guyana,
  • Jamaica,
  • The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,
  • Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis,
  • Saint Lucia,
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and
  • The Republic of Suriname

OUR HOST COUNTRY

The twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is the southernmost Caribbean island state situated just off the north-eastern coast of Venezuela. Trinidad, on which the Centre is located, is the larger of the two islands and is home to well over 90% of the total population. A former plantation colony of the Spanish, British, French and Dutch collectively, the country’s economy has now become primarily an industrial one since achieving independence in 1962 and becoming a republic in 1976. Economic activity is dominated by the energy and related petrochemical sector as a result of its hydrocarbon resources and its century old history in the oil industry. Tourism is the primary economic driver in Tobago.

The natural environment of Trinidad is a mixture of mountain ranges, plains and coastline, while Tobago consists of a forested mountain range surrounded by cliffs, beaches and reefs. The country is home to a variety of regionally and internationally recognised festivals and events.

TEAM

Ahmad A. Khan, PhD

DIRECTOR

Dr. Khan joined the BCRC-Caribbean as its Director in September 2011 after a period of more than 17 years in the local environmental consultancy private sector where he specialized in waste management, environmental and social impact assessment and environmental monitoring. His research interests continue to be on pollutant pathways in the marine environment with further interest in the modelling of the dispersion and dilution of effluent plumes in the receiving marine environment.

Jewel Batchasingh

SENIOR TECHNICAL OFFICER

Ms. Batchasingh joined the BCRC-Caribbean in March 2016 as the organization’s policy, research and planning specialist. Ms. Batchasingh is a career environmental management practitioner and has over fifteen years of diverse experience in environmental assessment, policy and planning in both the private and public sectors within the Caribbean region. Ms. Batchasingh’s past experiences range from global climate change negotiations to marine resource conservation.

Jenning Mc Comie

SENIOR PROJECT ACCOUNTANT

Mr. Mc Comie joined the BCRC-Caribbean in March 2016 as a financial management and accounting professional with over 15 years of solid and diverse experience in public and private sector projects, including financial administration of regional development projects and programmes. Apart from his ACCA Level 11 accreditation, he holds an MBA with specialization in Strategic Planning and has worked nationally and regionally on activities spanning 18 countries.

Rachel Boodoo

PROJECT EXECUTION OFFICER

Ms. Boodoo joined the BCRC-Caribbean in April 2016 as a part of the Project Management Unit. Ms. Boodoo is an environmental and sustainable development professional with over eight years’ experience in environmental management and project management throughout the Caribbean region.  Ms. Boodoo’s project experience includes environmental impact assessments for onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration, infrastructure development and coastal protection works. Ms. Boodoo is driven by the desire to contribute to sustainable living and biodiversity conservation in the Caribbean.

Maurissa Charles

PROJECT EXECUTION OFFICER

Ms. Charles joined the Project Management Unit of the BCRC-Caribbean in April 2016. She has over 5 years’ experience in research and laboratory settings and is a published researcher. Ms. Charles has an MSc.E in Civil, Sustainable and Environmental Engineering from Arizona State University, as well as a MSc. in Biotechnology from Claflin University, USA.

Analissa Rasheed

PROJECT EXECUTION OFFICER

Ms. Rasheed joined the Project Management Unit of the BCRC-Caribbean in April 2016. Ms. Rasheed is a Chartered Scientist® and Project Management Professional® and has over eight years of experience in coastal/marine effects assessment, science and management. She has worked nationally and in the United Kingdom and has extensive experience in the areas of offshore energy, renewable energy, coastal development and planning, marine conservation and environmental regulatory compliance.

Tahlia Ali Shah

PROJECT EXECUTION OFFICER

Ms. Ali Shah began working at the BCRC-Caribbean in January 2016 under the Associate Professional Programme of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and has since continued on at the Centre for the development of projects including those on the implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. Ms. Ali Shah has a BSc. (HONS) Environmental Science from Plymouth University, U.K. and is focused on waste management and remediation of contaminated land.

Karen P. Persad

EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Ms. Persad has been appointed to the BCRC-Caribbean since June 2011. Ms. Persad had 20 years of experience in the medical arena as both a medical administrator and an office manager at a laboratory and medical clinic in Trinidad & Tobago and Ontario, Canada respectively. She has training in the areas of medical administration and computer programming as well as experience in the development of quality management systems for ISO 9002 accreditation for laboratories.

Kerwyn Fletcher

LOGISTICS COORDINATOR

Mr. Fletcher began working at the BCRC-Caribbean as the Logistics Coordinator in December 2014. Mr. Fletcher is dedicated to fulfilling his roles and responsibilities within the organization in order to ensure efficient operations.

Leselle Vincent

RESEARCH ASSISTANT

Ms. Vincent joined the BCRC-Caribbean in October 2017 under the Associate Professional Programme of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Ms. Vincent recently completed her BSc. Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia  where she also worked full-time for a year doing water infrastructure research.

Laura Teixeira

RESEARCH ASSISTANT

Ms. Teixeira joined the BCRC-Caribbean in September 2017 under the Associate Professional Programme of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Ms. Teixeira graduated from the Loyola University New Orleans, USA with a BSc. Environmental Sciences in 2016. She is passionate about environmental conservation, renewable energy and promoting sustainability in the Caribbean.