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Industrial accidents

Introduction

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Industrial accidents can have severe consequences on human health and the environment, including in other affected countries. The accidents in Schweizerhalle, Switzerland, and Baia Mare, Romania, have brought this message home.  The Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents helps Parties to prevent industrial accidents that can have transboundary effects and to prepare for, and respond to, accidents if they occur.

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In focus

          2022 began with the Seminar on good practices and lessons learned in implementing the Convention (3 – 4 February 2022), which supported countries in exchanging good practices and lessons learned across 6 working areas. Its conclusions will feed into the next CoP and workplan for 2023-24. The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP-12, Geneva and online, 29 November – 1 December 2022) will include a thematic focus on DRR and Natech risk management, organized in cooperation with OECD and other partners. CoP-12 will take stock, among others, of the outcome of the EFDRR Focused thematic discussion on industrial/chemical accident risk (24 November 2021) and the summary and conclusions of the UN/OECD Seminar in the follow-up to the 2020 Beirut port explosion (14 December 2021), organized by UNECE, in cooperation with IMO, ILO, UNEP/OCHA Joint Environment Unit, UNDRR and OECD. CoP-12 will also entail the presentation of reports on risk assessment methodologies, currently under preparation.

          2022 will also see the continuation of the ongoing Projects under the Assistance and Cooperation Programme: Serbia continues to implement a National Policy Dialogue on Industrial Safety (NPD), following its launch. Central Asian countries are engaged in the Project on NPDs on Industrial Safety for CA (Phase I: Launch), and ongoing Projects to strengthen TMF safety. Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are establishing Inter-Institutional Working Groups on Tailings Safety and the Prevention of Accidental Water Pollution. In addition, Central Asian countries cooperate under the Syr Darya Project, aiming to identify and mitigate industrial accident and water-related hazards and risks.