In the spotlight

Science Fair will accompany the COPs, Geneva, 7-9th May, 2015
The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce it will stage a Science Fair, reflecting the COP Theme of “From Science to Action: Working for a Safer Tomorrow, from 7-9th May, 2015.

Science Fair will accompany the COPs, Geneva, 7-9th May, 2015

Science Fair will accompany the COPs, Geneva, 7-9th May, 2015
The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce it will stage a Science Fair, reflecting the COP Theme of “From Science to Action: Working for a Safer Tomorrow, from  7-9th May, 2015.
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Announcements

Call for applications by 31 December 2014.

Download the communication and application form

Consultancy announcement: illegal traffic and trade

Call for applications by 31 December 2014.
Sign up now to take advantage of opportunities to learn more about these key subjects.

Webinars to focus on 2015 COPs, Endosulfan, E-waste, National Reporting, and NIP updating

Webinars to focus on 2015 COPs, Endosulfan, E-waste, National Reporting, and NIP updating
 

The Secretariat is pleased to announce the launch of a new online tool for finding its many joint technical and scientific publications. The use of an integrated search engine combines publications from the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Convention processes for the first time, and enables interested browsers to search by keyword, life cycle phase, or chemical/waste name under the Conventions.

The tool aims to better facilitate the sharing of key information about sustainable chemicals management amongst stakeholders, ease the work of Parties and Observers to the three Conventions, is the latest in the ongoing process of harmonisation and improvement of knowledge management within the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions.

New Tool Goes Live for Finding Technical and Scientific Publications

The Secretariat is pleased to announce the launch of a new online tool for finding its many joint technical and scientific publications. The use of an integrated search engine combines publications from the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Convention processes for the first time, and enables interested browsers to search by keyword, life cycle phase, or chemical/waste name under the Conventions.

The tool aims to better facilitate the sharing of key information about sustainable chemicals management amongst stakeholders, ease the work of Parties and Observers to the three Conventions, is the latest in the ongoing process of harmonisation and improvement of knowledge management within the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions.

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce that the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, has recently appointed Dr. Rolph Payet, Minister for Environment and Energy, Seychelles, as its new Executive Secretary.

Dr. Payet has a Doctorate in Environmental Science, degrees at master level in Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Business Administration (MBA) and Applied Environmental Economics, and an honours degree in Biochemistry.

Appointment of the new Executive Secretary

Appointment of the new Executive Secretary

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce that the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, has recently appointed Dr. Rolph Payet, Minister for Environment and Energy, Seychelles, as its new Executive Secretary.

Dr. Payet has a Doctorate in Environmental Science, degrees at master level in Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Business Administration (MBA) and Applied Environmental Economics, and an honours degree in Biochemistry.

In addition to having been the Seychelles’ Chief Negotiator for the Basel Convention, the Montreal Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Dr. Payet also established important multi-stakeholder platforms, such as the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) and and co-chaired the International Coral Reef Initiative. He was Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third and Fourth Assessments and was elected as Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) in 2007, in recognition of his contributions to marine research. He established the first university in Seychelles in 2009, and is its present ProChancellor. He also holds an associate professorship at the University of Linnaeus in Sweden.

Dr. Payet will take up his new duties in Geneva on 6 October 2014.

Invitations sent for 2015 triple COPs

Invitations sent for 2015 triple COPs

Provisional agendas, information for delegates, registration information, and Science Fair details now available on the Secretariat website.

Invitations sent for 2015 triple COPs

Invitations sent for 2015 triple COPs
Provisional agendas, information for delegates, registration information, and Science Fair details now available on the Secretariat website.
Take part in the first ever “International Geneva” mass tweet campaign

Take part in the first ever “International Geneva” mass tweet campaign

The UNOG Director General, Mr Michael Moeller, launches the mass tweet campaign on Wednesday 17 December at 1100am, with the BRS Secretariat participating under the banner of “Geneva Means..... Sustainable Chemicals and Waste&rdq...

Take part in the first ever “International Geneva” mass tweet campaign

Take part in the first ever “International Geneva” mass tweet campaign
The UNOG Director General, Mr Michael Moeller, launches the mass tweet campaign on Wednesday 17 December at 1100am, with the BRS Secretariat participating under the banner of “Geneva Means..... Sustainable Chemicals and Waste”.
Webinars to focus on 2015 COPs, Endosulfan, E-waste, National Reporting, and NIP updating

Webinars to focus on 2015 COPs, Endosulfan, E-waste, National Reporting, and NIP updating

Sign up now to take advantage of opportunities to learn more about these key subjects.

Webinars to focus on 2015 COPs, Endosulfan, E-waste, National Reporting, and NIP updating

Webinars to focus on 2015 COPs, Endosulfan, E-waste, National Reporting, and NIP updating
 
Executive Secretary addresses SAICM Open-Ended Working Group

Executive Secretary addresses SAICM Open-Ended Working Group

The 2nd meeting of the Strategic Approach to Integrated Chemicals Management, OEWG, takes place in Geneva 15 to 17 December 2014. The Executive Secretary's speech is now available.

Executive Secretary addresses SAICM Open-Ended Working Group

Executive Secretary addresses SAICM Open-Ended Working Group

Speaking notes for Rolph Payet on the Basel and Stockholm Regional Centres 15 December 2014

Dear participants,

The Basel Convention provides in Article 14 for the establishment of Regional Centres for Training and Technology Transfer (BCRCs) regarding the management of hazardous wastes and other wastes and the minimization of their generation, and the Stockholm Convention provides in Article 12 for the establishment of regional and subregional centres for capacity-building and transfer of technology (SCRCs) to assist developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition to fulfil their obligations under the Convention.

The 14 Basel Convention Regional Centres and 16 Stockholm Convention Regional Centres, where 7 serve as joint regional or sub-regional centres, are established and operating pursuant to the relevant provisions of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions and decisions of the Conference of Parties. Their primary purpose is to provide services, mainly technical assistance, capacity building and in many cases project implementation and coordination for the implementation of the Conventions to the Parties served by the Centres.

At our last regional centres meeting three weeks ago, heads of those centres called for a more integrated approach to chemicals management and they are ready to implement not only the decisions of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, but also decisions within the chemicals area provided financing is available, such as from the GEF, UNEP SAICM QSP, and voluntary contributions to the BRS Secretariat among others.

All Centres are indeed catalysts for the promotion and implementation of policies aimed at life-cycle of chemicals and integrated waste management. They are suitable forum where programmes’ synergies could be established or where their potential could be exploited.

The network of the Basel and the Stockholm Conventions Regional Centres is also working with the regional offices of UNEP and FAO. The Regional Centres are conducting training programmes, workshops, seminars and pilot projects in the field of the environmentally sound management (ESM) of hazardous wastes and the elimination of POPs, transfer of environmentally sound technology and minimization of the generation of hazardous wastes, with specific emphasis on training of trainers, disseminating information, including promotion of public awareness, identifying, developing and strengthening mechanisms for the transfer of technology.

The Regional Centres are also organizing meetings, symposiums, missions in the field and carrying out joint projects in cooperation with UNEP, UNDP, UNIDO, FAO, UNITAR, WHO and industry and non-governmental organizations. In doing so, the centres work closely with SAICM.

We fully endorse and support the request by the SAICM regional meetings that the Basel and Stockholm Conventions regional centres continue to act as regional delivery centres for SAICM and that our regional centres are key actors in the implementation of various projects at the regional level. We wish to recognize and support the contribution of the SAICM Quick Start Programme to several of the projects carried out by the regional centres.

We are working together to support countries to enhance their capacity to achieve the sound management of chemicals and wastes for a better living and contributing to the three dimensions of sustainable development. We thank you for your support and efforts.

We invite countries that are willing to enhance their capacity for the sound management of chemicals and wastes, including the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions, to continue to submit their needs for capacity building of human resources and strengthening of the institutions to the BRS Secretariat or the Basel and Stockholm Regional Centres.

I take the opportunity to bring to your attention information document SAICM/OEWG.2/INF/8 and especially the table which summarizes the main areas of cooperation.

Finally, I like to highlight that the United Nations Environment Assembly of UNEP in its Resolution 1/5 on chemicals and waste acknowledged the role of the regional centres of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions to support the implementation of those conventions and all relevant activities, as well as the role that they play in contributing to other chemicals –and waste-related instruments and in mainstreaming the sound management of chemicals and waste.

Thank you for your attention!

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Activities

Syndicate
Bureaux approve the schedule of work for the 2015 COPs
At their joint meeting on 11-12 November, the bureaux successfully laid foundations for the forthcoming COPs. An advance version of the schedule is now available.

Bureaux approve the schedule of work for the 2015 COPs

Bureaux approve the schedule of work for the 2015 COPs
At their joint meeting on 11-12 November, the bureaux successfully laid foundations for the forthcoming COPs. An advance version of the schedule is now available.
Briefing on Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions COPs in 2015

The online briefings aim at providing parties, observers and other stakeholders with an overview of the issues that will be discussed during the meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, to be held in Geneva, from 4-15 May 2015.

Briefing on Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions COPs in 2015

Briefing on Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions COPs in 2015
 
Growing Coffee without Endosulfan: experiences with cultural controls for Coffee Berry Borer (CBB)

This is the first of three webinars looking at Integrated Pest Management practices to control the important Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) pest, as an alternative to using the highly hazardous pesticide Endosulfan. This webinar aims to share practical experiences of coffee farmers, in managing CBB with field hygiene measures (often called cultural controls).

Growing Coffee without Endosulfan: experiences with cultural controls for Coffee Berry Borer (CBB)

Growing Coffee without Endosulfan: experiences with cultural controls for Coffee Berry Borer (CBB)
 
Detoxifying  Development: How strengthened sound management of chemicals and wastes contributes to sustainable development
A summary of the United Nations Environment Assembly panel discussion held on 24 June 2014 in Nairobi.

Detoxifying Development: How strengthened sound management of chemicals and wastes contributes to sustainable development

Detoxifying  Development: How strengthened sound management of chemicals and wastes contributes to sustainable development

Detoxifying Development

FOCUS / BRIEF DESCRIPTION / MAJOR ISSUES DISCUSSED:

While chemicals contribute significantly to our well‐being, they can also pose a threat to human health and the environment if they are not managed well. Their potentially adverse impacts, combined with the limited capacity in many countries to deal with these impacts, make the sound management of chemicals and waste a key issue that cuts across many areas of our lives. In Johannesburg in 2002 governments agreed that, by 2020, chemicals should be used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment. The 2020 target was further recognized in the Rio+20 outcome “The Future We Want”. The 2006 Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) also reaffirmed the Johannesburg 2020 goal.

Chemicals and waste management is traditionally considered an environmental issue. However, it also has significant benefits for the economic and social objectives of sustainable development. These benefits are demonstrated by a number of efforts and initiatives, e. g. the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paints, sound management of electrical and electronic waste, promotion of alternatives to highly hazardous pesticides, to name just a few.

Sound management of chemicals and wastes has the potential of supporting progress in a wide range of thematic areas: poverty eradication, health, agriculture, water, industrial growth, and employment. It therefore has a catalyzing potential to support relevant sustainable development goals (SDGs) currently under development.

This can be done through the full and effective implementation of the existing agreed frameworks in the chemicals and waste cluster, including legally binding and voluntary instruments, efforts and initiatives, such as the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the Minamata Convention on Mercury and SAICM – all contributing to sustainable development and the protection of human health and the environment. SDGs need to reflect the importance of international commitments, including those made in multilateral environmental agreements and to stress the need of the Post‐2015 framework to be consistent with and build on these commitments.

In order to positively contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, it is important to enable and require the effective coordination of local, national, regional and global environmental policy and legal frameworks for effective implementation and enforcement of their provisions. These coordinating efforts are expected to strengthen institutional frameworks and policy coherence. At the national level, implementation can be strengthened by enhanced cooperation and coordination among relevant stakeholders. For example, Nigeria established a national committee on chemicals management which engages relevant ministries and key NGOs. Mainstreaming of chemicals and wastes into the national development agenda is another opportunity for linking it to the sustainable development process.

In addition to actions taking place at the international and national levels, regional efforts have a catalyzing role to play for implementation of existing MEAs and promotion of coherent chemicals and waste management.

OUTCOME / WAY FORWARD:

  • Recognize that the sound management of chemicals and waste contributes to the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development.
  • Promote efforts for the coordinated implementation of the existing global policy and legal regimes in the chemicals and waste management cluster.
  • Ensure that chemicals and waste management is properly reflected in the SDGs, including as targets under the SDGs on health, sustainable agriculture, poverty reduction, sustainable production and consumption, industrialization, water and sustainable cities.

CONCLUSIONS / RECOMMENDATIONS:

Effective implementation of the existing international, regional and national legal and policy regimes addressing chemicals and wastes supports sustainable development, and help realize the future sustainable development goals. By striving for policy coherence and efficiency at the national level, and through improved use of resources and greater coordination among the key stakeholders for the implementation of the national legal framework, we can make strides towards achieving sustainable development.

UNEA should send a signal to the decision‐makers engaged in New York in the negotiations of the SDGs about the crucial potential that can be brought by the sound management of chemicals and wastes for the achievement of SDGs. At the moment, the integration of sound management of chemicals and waste into SDGs is an opportunity for the international community which should not be missed.

Resource mobilization for the 2014-15 biennium takes off with concept notes for voluntary financial contributions

A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2014/15 is now available.

 

Resource mobilization for the 2014-15 biennium takes off with concept notes for voluntary financial contributions

Resource mobilization for the 2014-15 biennium takes off with concept notes for voluntary financial contributions

A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2014/15 is now available.

 

Agencies and partners join forces to promote the implementation of environmental law through enhanced knowledge sharing and new tools
The Multilateral Environment Agreements and Knowledge Management Initiative seeks to develop harmonised information systems among 18 MEAs.

Agencies and partners join forces to promote the implementation of environmental law through enhanced knowledge sharing and new tools

Agencies and partners join forces to promote the implementation of environmental law through enhanced knowledge sharing and new tools
The Multilateral Environment Agreements and Knowledge Management Initiative seeks to develop harmonised information systems among 18 MEAs.
The October  issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The Technical Assistance Newsletter provides information on the past, current and upcoming technical assistance activities.

The October issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The October  issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The Technical Assistance Newsletter provides information on the past, current and upcoming technical assistance activities.

DD shouts out for Home Recycling on World Environment Day 2014
Luxembourg singer/songwriter Daniel Depienne’s Statement of Responsibility on how becoming a ‘Recycling Freak’ helps protect nature from electronic and other wastes.

DD shouts out for Home Recycling on World Environment Day 2014

DD shouts out for Home Recycling on World Environment Day 2014
Luxembourg singer/songwriter Daniel Depienne’s Statement of Responsibility on how becoming a ‘Recycling Freak’ helps protect nature from electronic and other wastes.
Training Manual for Chairs released

The manual was developed for potential Chairs and Presidents of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions’ meetings.

Training Manual for Chairs released

Training Manual for Chairs released
 
A Brief Historical Perspective on International Progress in the Sound Management of Chemicals and Wastes
Jim Willis guest article published in IISD Chemicals and Wastes Policy & Practice on 28 March 2014.

A Brief Historical Perspective on International Progress in the Sound Management of Chemicals and Wastes

A Brief Historical Perspective on International Progress in the Sound Management of Chemicals and Wastes
Jim Willis guest article published in IISD Chemicals and Wastes Policy & Practice on 28 March 2014.
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Upcoming meetings

Regional workshop on enhancing national cooperation and coordination
Nairobi, Kenya, from 10 to 12 September 2013

Regional workshop on enhancing national cooperation and coordination

Nairobi, Kenya, from 10 to 12 September 2013


The decisions on enhancing cooperation and coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions by the three Conferences of the Parties (Basel COP9 decision IX/10, Rotterdam COP4 decision RC-4/11, Stockholm COP4 decision SC-4/34) recognized that the overarching goal of all three conventions is the protection of human health and the environment for the promotion of sustainable development and that the objective of enhanced coordination and cooperation among the three conventions is to contribute to the achievement of that goal.

For practical information about Nairobi (visa, safety, accommodation, health issues, etc.)

Announcement
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Recent Meetings

December 2014
Sub-regional workshop on illegal traffic of hazardous wastes, including PCBs and other wastes
Barranquilla, Colombia, 10 December - 12 November 2014

Sub-regional workshop on illegal traffic of hazardous wastes, including PCBs and other wastes

Barranquilla, Colombia, 10 December - 12 November 2014


Background: Under the Basel Convention, each Party is required to take appropriate legal administrative and other measures to implement and enforce the provisions of the Convention, including appropriate national/domestic legislation to prevent and punish illegal traffic (art. 4.4 and 9.5). The Secretariat’s activities support the effective implementation of these requirements and hence the achievement of fundamental objectives of the Convention.

According to Annex A part II of the Stockholm Convention, Parties to the Convention are obliged to eliminate equipment and oils containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from use by 2025 and bring these under environmentally sound waste management by 2028.

Over the years, the Secretariat carried out a number of training activities to support parties in preventing and combating illegal traffic in hazardous wastes and other wastes, including more recently two workshops that focused on the prosecution of illegal traffic. The first workshop for prosecutors took place in Bratislava, the Slovak Republic, on 26-27 June 2012 for countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. The workshop for Central and South America took place on 28-29 August 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Furthermore, the Secretariat provided support to Parties on the environmentally sound management of POPs wastes including PCBs wastes in a series of regional workshops that took place in 2009 and 2010. The Secretariat also undertook activities to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition in implementing the Basel Convention technical guidelines on POPs waste, including PCBs. These as well as a number of documents and guidance on inventory of PCBs and environmentally sound management of PCBs, have been prepared by the Secretariat. 

Organized by: The sub-regional workshop is organized by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Colombia in collaboration with the Basel Convention Regional Centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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November 2014
Annual joint meeting of Directors of the regional centres under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions
Geneva, Switzerland, 27 - 28 November 2014

Annual joint meeting of Directors of the regional centres under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions

Geneva, Switzerland, 27 - 28 November 2014


Venue: International Environment House-2 (IEH-2), Châtelaine, Geneva

Background: Decisions BC-11/12 (Basel Convention regional and coordinating centres), BC-11/13 (Process for evaluating the performance and sustainability of the Basel Convention regional and coordinating centres), and SC-6/16 (Regional and subregional centres for capacity-building and the transfer of technology), among others, are implemented through programme budget for Activity 19. Activity 19 includes convening of annual joint meetings to enhance cooperation and coordination between regional centres under the Basel and Stockholm conventions to promote and enhance synergies in delivery of technical assistance under the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions.

Organizer(s): The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

Working Language: English only

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Joint meeting of the bureaux of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockhol
Geneva, Switzerland, 11 - 12 November 2014

Joint meeting of the bureaux of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockhol

Geneva, Switzerland, 11 - 12 November 2014


Venue: International Environment House 2 (IEH-2), Châtelaine-Geneva, Switzerland. The bureaux of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions will meet jointly on 11 and 12 November 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Among other matters, the bureaux will agree on the organization of work of the ordinary meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, taking place from 4 to 15 May 2015 in Geneva, and will discuss other organizational matters related to these back-to-back meetings.

Working Language: The working language of the meeting will be English.

Participants: By decisions BC-11/25 and SC-6/29, the conferences of the parties to the Basel and Stockholm conventions at their eleventh and sixth meetings respectively, decided that five members of their bureaux may participate in the joint meetings of the bureaux of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, having due regard to the principle of equitable geographical representation of the five regions of the United Nations.

A process and selection criteria to assist each Bureau with the selection of five members to participate in the joint bureaux meeting in November 2014 was agreed to by the bureaux.

The process included consideration of the following selection criteria: (1) Availability of members to participate (2) Regional balance in each Bureau and sub-regional balance among three bureaux and (3) Gender balance.

Following regional consultations in each Bureau, the Basel and Stockholm COP presidents, taking into account the process and criteria referred to above, agreed to the selection which was subsequently communicated to the bureaux.

List of participants

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