At the ordinary meetings held in 2015, the respective conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) conventions adopted decisions BC-12/20, RC-7/10 and SC-7/28 on enhancing cooperation and coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, whereby they decided to review the synergies arrangements at their meetings in 2017.
Through these identical decisions, the conferences of the parties inter alia adopted terms of reference (TOR) for the review of the synergies arrangements and requested the Secretariat to submit a report on the review of the synergies arrangements by an independent assessor and to make proposals in response to the conclusions and recommendations of the review on follow-up action for consideration by the conferences of the parties at their meetings in 2017.
In addition, the COPs requested the Executive Director of UNEP to undertake, in consultation with the Director General of FAO, a review of the matrix-based management approach and organization of the Secretariat and to advise the COPs in 2017 of any follow-up action necessary.
The COPs also requested the BRS Executive Secretary to review the proposals set out in the note by the Secretariat on the organization and operation of the part of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat hosted by the FAO to enhance synergies arrangements and to submit a report thereon to the COPs in 2017.
Please click here for a PowerPoint presentation which provides an overview of the synergies process.
The review process
An independent assessor, UK consultancy company Moore Stephens, was retained in January 2016 via a competitive recruitment process to undertake the reviews. A Steering Committee comprised of the three Presidents of the Conferences of the Parties, the executive secretaries and Deputy Executive Secretary of the three conventions, the Office of Operations and Corporate Services and the Evaluation Office of UNEP oversaw the reviews.
From February to September 2016, the assessors gathered quantitative and qualitative data for the reviews from Parties to the three conventions, convention bodies, the bureaux, Basel and Stockholm conventions regional centres, partners such as UNEP and FAO and Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions Secretariat staff in Geneva and Rome. The data collection methods employed were targeted interviews and surveys sent to each stakeholder group.
A total of 100 stakeholders were interviewed from the Secretariat (Geneva and Rome), Parties, Basel and Stockholm conventions regional centres, UNEP, FAO and other partners, and approximately 150 responses were received to the online surveys from the abovementioned stakeholder groups. Eighty percent of members from the three bureaux were interviewed.
The outcome of the reviews comprises of 40 recommendations on different thematic issues and directed towards different audiences.
In September 2016, the Steering Committee agreed to the release of the review reports. The finalized review reports can be accessed via the following links: