The 15 projects designed to promote practical progress on hazardous waste management are the first step to implement the new 10-year strategic plan of the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, administered by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP),The projects were agreed to by States parties at the first session of the Convention’s Open-ended Working Group over the past week. A total of $880,000 will be allocated to five projects in Africa, five in Latin America, three in Asia and two in Europe. “These important projects open up a new era in the global campaign to ensure that hazardous wastes are minimized and safely managed,” Sachiko Kuwabara-Yamamoto, Executive Secretary of the Convention, said. “We need to generate greater momentum and more funding for launching many more projects that will tackle the risks that such wastes pose to human health and the environment.”Some of the projects address the challenge of detecting and preventing illegal shipments of hazardous wastes. Several provide training. Still others focus on improving the design and operation of waste landfills, developing inventories and databases, and assessing management options for priority waste streams such as used oil.There are currently 156 parties to the Convention.