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:
- 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.