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International Collaboration and Leadership

International collaboration and leadership

Australia became one of the earliest countries in the world to enact a complete ban on the use, import and export of asbestos.

We use our experience in a positive way to reduce asbestos-related disease, particularly in our region, and assist the campaign to ban the production and trade of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) worldwide.

Priority four: International Collaboration and Leadership of the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management 2019–2023 (NSP) sets out strategic actions we will take to influence and progress bans on asbestos in South-East Asia and the Pacific.

These strategic actions will allow us to present the Australian Government’s position on banning asbestos and using our history and experience to share best practice approaches to awareness, management and eradication of legacy asbestos in our community.

The strategic actions will also assist us in identifying and managing the risks of importation of asbestos into Australia, including educating import supply chains to prevent ACMs entering Australia illegally. 

Who we collaborate with

The agency collaborates with a range of local and international organisations to progress the strategic actions of the National Strategic Plan, particularly influencing and progressing national bans on asbestos in South-East Asia and the Pacific.

What we collaborate on

Our current international projects include:

  • working with Union Aid Abroad–APHEDA to advance and support national bans on the production, use and importation of asbestos in our region as follows:
    • Vietnam: ensuring the Government of Vietnam adheres to its decision to introduce a national ban by 2023 and find alternative products for corrugated roof sheeting to speed up the process
    • Lao PDR: support the implementation of the Lao National Plan to Eliminate Asbestos-Related Diseases launched in 2018 and move towards a national ban as soon as possible
    • Cambodia: supporting the Government of Cambodia in developing their National Asbestos Profile, launched in 2019, as well as funding the installation of laboratory testing equipment and training of technicians to use the new equipment
    • Indonesia: supporting the Bandung City Council in Java to introduce a ban on the use of asbestos in future commercial building projects and private dwelling construction.
  • supporting the Asbestos Disease Research Institute in delivering high level educational workshops and materials to improve medical surveillance and reduce asbestos-related diseases in South East Asia and the Pacific region (funded by the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm Convention Secretariat and the World Health Organisation)
  • supporting international ban asbestos network groups like IBAS, A-Ban, SEA-Ban and others in their important work in countering the efforts of the pro-asbestos lobby
  • supporting local and international partners in the campaign to list chrysotile asbestos on Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention, therefore further restricting the trade in asbestos materials
  • collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to introduce national bans on asbestos in line with a resolution adopted in 2017 by all Pacific Island Country members
  • assisting the national ban asbestos group in Colombia, Fundclas, in developing publications to help raise awareness about the risks posed by exposure to asbestos. This follows the June 2019 decision by the Colombian Parliament to introduce a national ban on the production and use of ACMs.

This work will grow throughout the life of the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management 2019–2023.

Countries with asbestos bans

The International Ban Asbestos Secretariat has the most comprehensive list of countries that have introduced bans or restrictions on the trade, production and use of asbestos.