The BRS network of 23 Regional Centres (RCs) for the Basel and Stockholm Conventions facilitates the provision of technical assistance and the transfer of technologies in order to assist developing country parties and parties with economies in transition to implement their obligations under the two conventions.
In its decision BC-III/19, the Conference of the Parties of the Basel Convention selected China as a site to establish a BCRC for Asia Pacific region in 1997. Soon after the adoption of the decision the Centre was established within the School of Environment of the Tsinghua University in Beijing. However only in May 2011 a framework agreement between the Government of China and the Secretariat of Basel Convention was signed for its establishment. In November 2007 the Centre was nominated to serve also as a Stockholm Convention centre and was later endorsed in 2009 by the Stockholm Convention COP4 as a regional centre for capacity building and technology transfer under the Stockholm Convention for four years. Recently, the Stockholm Convention COP7 endorsed it again for another term of four years. The Centre covers not just China but also a very wide and diverse number of countries including Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Cook Islands, DPR Korea, India, Lao PDR, Maldives, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Niue, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The China RC runs a large number of projects, in particular focussing on the sound management of POPs and on electronic waste, or E-waste. Highlights include the development and launch of an interactive “E-waste Information Platform” and the annual organisation of the International Conference on Waste Management and Technology (ICWMT), together with a host of other important national and regional fora, symposia, workshops, and training events. By August 2015 the BCRC/SCRC Centre had successfully completed more than 150 regional and international workshops featuring more than 4,000 representatives, for more than 60 countries. The RC implements these events, alongside information-sharing, communications, training and internships, and the provision of communities of practice on key issues, in order to overcome the identified problems and constraints in the region, which include lack of capacity, inadequate communication and cooperation between parties, to name a few. The Centre scored full marks on the performance evaluation undertaken by the conferences of the parties to the Basel and Stockholm Conventions in 2015.
A monthly newsletter is published detailing key policy developments from the region and globally, best practices and latest advances in scientific methods and research on chemicals and wastes, and updates on RC activities. The excellent website contains international and regional news, meetings highlights, technical assistance platforms and a wealth of information on the parties served in the region.
In addition, and crucially, the RC is the implementation agency for a number of high-profile initiatives including on the phase out of POPs, a sub-regional action plan for PBDEs management and reduction, and the feasibility of eliminating BDEs and PFOS in developing countries.
Led by Professor Li Jinhiu as Executive Director for BCRC for SCRC, the RC has institutional experience of more than 20 years on hazardous chemicals and wastes, and participates and leads very activiely across the global, regional, and national Chinese policy and research landscapes.
For more information on the RC, please go to the Regional Centres homepages.