A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2016/17 is now available on the BRS websites
The Secretariat hands over the signed BRS Geneva Gender Parity Pledge to Mr. Michael Moller, UNOG Director General.
On 2 December 2015, during the United Nations Oath of Office ceremony at the Palais des Nation, the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat (BRS) handed over to Mr. Michael Moller, UNOG Director General, the signed BRS Geneva Gender Parity Pledge.
The Geneva Gender Parity Pledge aims to strive for gender parity in all discussions in International Geneva and in panels where BRS staff is involved. Further, the Secretariat commits to provide gender training sessions for its staff members to enable them to liaise with other United Nations colleagues and to beacon gender aspects; to include gender related sessions in the agenda of workshops organized by the BRS Secretariat to further strengthen the mainstreaming of gender equality in projects and programmes under the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions; and to update the BRS Gender Action Plan on a yearly basis.
Contact: Matthias Kern at firstname.lastname@example.org and Tatiana Terekhovap at email@example.com
The Secretariat has been made aware that emails were recently sent using abusively for instance the name of the Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions or other staff as its author, a misleading sender’s name, or a misleading email address. Please read the Secretariat’s communication about this issue.
This is the third 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 traps.
Delivering the environmental dimension of the SDGs means achieving sustainable management of chemicals and waste, the message at UNEA-2 in Nairobi, 23-27 May.
Delivering on the environmental dimension of the SDGs requires achieving the sustainable management of chemicals and waste, that is one key message which UNEA-2 is expected to underline and re-affirm. It is also the message brought by the BRS Secretariat staff travelling to UNEA-2 in Nairobi, 23-27 May 2016. Through participation in a series of side events, panel discussions, and civil society green room events the BRS Executive Secretary Rolph Payet, and Deputy Executive Secretary Kerstin Stendahl, will promote the implementation of the BRS Conventions as part of the efforts to integrate chemicals and wastes into national implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.
The UNEA-2 Committee of the Whole (CoW) will meet throughout the week to prepare decisions for adoption. Important for chemicals and wastes will be the negotiations on the Omnibus Decision on Chemicals and Waste as a renewed commitment to strengthened implementation at national level. Sustainable consumption and production, marine plastic debris and microplastics, and air quality as well as many cross-cutting issues will also be of relevance as pieces in the jigsaw puzzle of SDGs implementation, themes which may well be developed in more detail (further explored?) at the 2017 Triple COPs.
On the first day, Monday 23 May at 1300, Rolph Payet will provide the Opening Remarks to UNEA-2’s first Side Event (#1), on “Advancing Sustainable Chemistry in a Sustainable Development Context”, organised by the Government of Germany, Federal Ministry of the Environment. On Wednesday 25 May at 1300, the Rotterdam Convention President, Franz Perrez from Switzerland, and Rolph Payet will act as Panellists to the UNEP-facilitated Side Event (#19) on “The mutually supportive role and benefits of MEAs and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development”.
On Thursday 26 May at 1300, Rolph Payet contributes as Panellist to the Norwegian Government’s Side Event (#24) on “Marine Litter and Microplastics”, whilst at the same time Kerstin Stendahl will moderate the Side Event (#26) on “The Impact of Childhood Exposure to Toxic Chemicals on Children’s Rights”, organised by the UN Special Rapporteur on Hazardous Substances and Wastes, co-sponsored by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UNICEF. That evening at 1700, Rolph Payet will then feature as Panellist on the Global Universites Partnership/UNEP Green Room Event (#22)on “Innovation and Solutions: Environmental Education for Sustainable Development Goals”.
In addition, the BRS secretariat will have an information Booth at UNEA-2 where interested delegates will be able to access, electronically, a range of important documents and publications and where BRS staff will be asking questions of delegates concerning the SDGs and chemicals and waste. The Secretariat will also be communicating latest news and updates live and direct from Nairobi through live-tweeting on @brsmeas. Follow us on twitter in order to stay up-to-date with what is happening at this important event, which has become known as “the global parliament for the environment”.
For more information on UNEA-2 please consult the UNEP website http://web.unep.org/unea/.
The second feature in our series on regional implementation highlights the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Kenya (SCRC-Kenya) is hosted by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), in Nairobi.
The icipe, founded in 1970, was nominated by the Africa region to serve as a Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in July 2010.Its primary objective is to research and develop alternative and environmentally friendly pest and vector management strategies that are effective, selective, non-polluting, non-resistance inducing, and which are affordable to resource-limited rural and urban communities. The Centre was endorsed by COP5 in 2011 as a regional and sub-regional centre for capacity building and the transfer of technology for a period of four years. Further, in 2015 the COP7 evaluated the performance of SCRC-Kenya; took note of its excellent performance and endorsed it for another term of four years. The Centre provides assistance mainly to almost all the African countries but could also support countries in other continents having similar issues.
Being hosted in icipe, SCRC Kenya focuses at undertaking research and development for non-chemical alternatives to the use of hazardous pesticides including persistence organic pollutants (POPs) for management of pests and disease vectors. It also promotes capacity-building and transfer of technology to farmers and other stakeholders. Alternative technologies and conservation efforts contribute to reduction in the use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other hazardous chemicals in vector and pest control in Africa, and thus reduce their negative impacts. The activities of the SCRC-Kenya are particularly important because most of the POPs that are listed under the Stockholm Convention are pesticides.
A key solution to reducing the impact of hazardous synthetic pesticide substances is to shift to the use of non-chemical alternatives for control of pests and disease vectors. In Africa however, many countries face major barriers to the accomplishment of the shift to the use of non-chemical alternatives that include inadequate expertise, resources, relevant information, technology, and development assistance and policies.
SCRC-Kenya has a long tradition of collaboration, with over 100 partner institutions in Africa and elsewhere in the world that include National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS), NGOs, universities, other international organizations. The Centre’s R&D work involves rural communities and members, farmers and farmer groups, national extension service providers and community-based organizations. SCRC-Kenya has formulated innovative approaches through Public-Private Community Partnerships (PPCPs) to create better and more effective products, processes, services and technologies
SCRC-Kenya works in a holistic and integrated approach through a 4-H paradigm comprising “Human Health, Animal Health, Plant Health and Environmental Health”. Research and development has led to a number of effective alternatives that are contributing to reduction in the use of hazardous pesticides including persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Africa. Some of the most successful initiatives taken by the centre that led to significant reduction in the use of chemical based pesticides include:
For more information on these initiatives and other information relating to icipe SCRC-Kenya please visit the website: www.icipe.org and for more on other Regional Centres, see http://synergies.pops.int/Implementation/TechnicalAssistance/RegionalCentres/tabid/2636/language/en-US/Default.aspx
Aiming to strengthen national institutions and to promote the mainstreaming of sound management of chemicals and wastes, the 1st Call for Proposals is open until 4 July 2016.
The Special Programme aims to strengthen national institutions and to promote the mainstreaming of the sound management of chemicals and waste. Key activities supported by the programme provide countries to advance institutional capacity for the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the Minamata Convention and SAICM. Activities supported by the programme intend to strengthen national capacities, monitor implementation and enforcement of legislation and regulatory frameworks, and this includes developing national plans, budgets, policies, legislation and implementation frameworks for the sound management of chemicals and wastes throughout their life-cycle and at all levels.
Fundamentally linking chemicals and waste management with the economic, environmental and social development agenda is essential to sustainable development. It creates new impetus for the implementation of international chemicals and waste agreements, as well as other relevant international commitments and policy frameworks, including the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). The integration of sound management of chemicals and waste in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a major achievement.
Project proposals should include a timeline for completion within three years. In some cases, project allocations may be increased up to a maximum of US$500,000, where adequate justification and evidence is given for a comprehensive approach to institutional strengthening at the national level and taking into account as well, the amounts of funds available in the Trust Fund.
More information on www.unep.org/chemicalsandwaste/SpecialProgramme/SpecialProgrammeCallsforProposals/tabid/1061027/Default.aspx
Read the BRS Executive Secretary’s address to the first International Conference on Chemical Safety and Security (ICCSS1) held in Kielce, Poland 18-20 April 2016.
Ladies and Gentlemen
As we entered the third millennium, our world had become more globalised and interconnected. We can today manufacture to bespoke needs in one part of the world and ship to anywhere within days. However, those great transformations have exposed millions of people and biodiversity to hazardous chemicals and wastes.
New estimates from the World Health Organization indicate that at least 12.6 million people died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment in 2012, primarily from environmental risk factors, such as air, water and soil pollution, chemical exposures, climate change, and ultraviolet radiation. The situation is far worse in the developing world, the WHO report finds. Low- and middle-income countries in the WHO South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions had the largest environment-related disease burden in 2012, with a combined total of 7.3 million deaths, most attributable to indoor and outdoor air pollution, whilst there were also 2.2 million deaths in the African region, 1.4 million deaths in the European region, 854,000 deaths in the Eastern Mediterranean region and 847,000 deaths in the region of the Americas. Furthermore, the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, estimated that 41 million tones of electronic wastes are generated per year, growing to 50 million tons by next year.
Africa and Asia, being the destinations for large-scale shipments of hazardous wastes, has resulted in large areas turned into illegal dumps scavenged by the poor in those countries. Inconsistency in regulations between exporting and importing countries - including what is classified as hazardous or contaminated waste - poses a challenge to effectively combating illegal waste trafficking. Wastes have the potential to pollute and expose millions of people to hazardous chemicals through food chains, water, the oceans and the atmosphere.
Contaminated land is also global issue with chemical safety concerns at hand. In many countries, hundreds of square kilometers of land have a legacy of contaminated land resulting from mining, past industrial activity, intensive agriculture, chemical stockpiles and waste management. Sadly, despite efforts by numerous organizations, such as UNEP, FAO, UNIDO and donors such as the GEF - land contamination is still on the increase especially in the developing countries. Contamination of water bodies, remote communities and also the atmosphere through open burning presents a serious chemical danger to the entire planet.
Chemical Safety, in the context of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions involves all efforts to ensure the protection of human health and the environment through sound management of chemicals and wastes. Whilst our conventions are limited to a few chemicals it provides an international legal framework for the sound management of chemicals and wastes. Furthermore, many of those chemicals, such as POPs are present in almost all materials and products produced in the last 50 years or so. Their accumulation in the environment in expected to last beyond this century due to their long-term environmental persistence.
The Stockholm Convention lists 26 chemicals that are persistent, toxic, bio-accumulative and travel long distances in the environment for which consumption, production and use, import and export, disposal and/or environmental release must be reduced, prohibited and/or eliminated. The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the most comprehensive global agreement specifically targeting hazardous and other wastes. The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade focuses on facilitating information exchange about hazardous chemicals and severely hazardous pesticide formulations, by providing for a national decision-making process on their imports and exports and by disseminating these decisions to Parties.
Against this backdrop of widespread use of chemicals in products, the capacity of countries to implement chemical safety is severely limited in many parts of the world. The Special Programme under UNEP and the Chemicals and Wastes Conventions is expected to support countries in building robust policies, regulations and mechanisms for the sound management of chemicals. However, resources remain limited. Although in 2014, the global chemicals industry earned more than 5 trillion dollars, its contribution to the sound management of chemicals and wastes is but a pittance. The current contributions to the UNEP Special programme are about 14 million dollars, which is about 0.0028%. The GEF Chemicals and Waste Portfolio, which includes partnerships with industry, at 2.7 billion USD, does not even come close to 1%. Indeed, there are numerous efforts and initiatives by industry but we cannot achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals with this level of support from the industry.
For example, in a report to the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention indicates that there are at least 11,000 Tons of DDT stockpiles around the world. DDT has been linked to a large number of cancers, male infertility and child growth. Such stockpiles are a clear and present danger to millions of people located in those areas. Can we remove those stockpiles in a sound manner - yes, and before 2030 - yes - We need financial resources and political will!
It is also an honor and a pleasure for me to represent the Executive Director of UNEP, Mr Achim Steiner, who unfortunately could not be with us this afternoon. UNEP remains committed to the sound management of chemicals and wastes, and to the minimization of hazardous wastes. Many initiatives implemented by UNEP have addressed the issue of chemical safety, especially in areas of institutional support and scientific knowledge. It has produced a number of guidance and capacity building to countries on sound management of chemical wastes, and led many global initiatives such as the DDT Alliance. As such, the UNEP Chemicals and Waste branch, based in Geneva, is a very strong partner with the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention Secretariat. We also work very closely with the Minamata Convention Secretariat.
The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions are successful examples of the commitment of the global community, including governments, industry, academia and public interest groups towards a common goal to produce and use chemicals in ways that minimize adverse effects to human health and the environment. Although these three conventions have done a great deal to improve the global situation regarding toxic chemicals and hazardous wastes, the treaties alone cannot solve all the problems. The global chemicals industry whoch accounts for around 9% of the world's economy needs to play a greater role. We need to continue to build partnerships and invest in a future that is driven by sustainable chemistry and the sound management of chemicals and wastes.
The Sustainable Development Agenda provides us with a unique opportunity to engage and make this vision a reality. The role of initiatives such as the Chemss2016 forum in strengthening community preparedness and enhancing chemical safety and security is of great importance for the global environmental sound management of chemicals and wastes and for the international community to achieve sustainable development goals.
In closing, I wish to thank the people of Poland for their warm welcome. The conference organizers, in particular Andrzej Jagusiewicz, who was also former President of the Basel Convention, for his invitation to this timely global conference.
Marking 25 years of service to UNEP, BRS staff Laura Meszaros from Argentina, and Ariel Dayao from the Philippines, were recently honoured at the Palais des Nations, Geneva.
Marking 25 years of service to UNEP, BRS staff Laura Meszaros from Argentina, and Ariel Dayao from the Philippines, were recently honoured at the United Nations, Geneva.
During a special awards ceremony at the Palais des Nations on 12 April 2016, the Director-General of UNOG, Mr. Michael Møller, presented them with silver medals and expressed appreciation for their dedication and commitment, highlighting that the Organization’s achievements were made thanks to their spirit of teamwork and cooperation.
Visit the one-stop shop for resources on the life-cycle management of DDT, within the context of the chemicals and waste conventions and pulling together information from WHO, FAO and others.
Green Customs Initiative: the BRS Secretariat hosts the 11th meeting of the GCI Partners in Geneva, 14-15 April 2016.
You can still register for, and since 4 April 2016 join, the first ever Massive Open Online Course on the E-waste Challenge, now underway.
With our growing appetite for electrical and electronic products, combined with rapid innovation and ever-shorter product lifespans, e-waste has now become one of the fast growing waste streams.
This course will help you to understand why and how we must manage e-waste in an environmentally sound manner and how you can take action on e-waste in your own life, business, or organization.
The aims of the course are to:
The E-waste challenge MOOC was developed by the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions Secretariat and Climate-KIC in cooperation with KU Leuven, in Belgium, and the World Resources Forum, an International non-profit organization based in Switzerland. The course will provide at least one ECTS to students who can take it at KU Leuven.
Register for the e-waste challenge MOOC at this address. The course will launch from 4 April 2016.
Governments, international organisations, civil society and the private sector come together to plan delivery of the SDGs, 11 - 13 April 2016.
Stakeholders from different part of the worlds representing governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, academia and civil society will meet at the International Expert and Stakeholder Workshop on the Integrated National Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and International Chemicals and Waste Agreements to seek common understanding, commitment and action to effectively integrate sound management of chemicals and wastes into national implementation of SDGs and development planning and, through this, minimize the adverse effects of hazardous chemicals and waste on human health and the environment.
The workshop is jointly organized by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Chemicals and Waste Branch, Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC). It will take place on 11-13 April 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.
A news series highlights the vital work of the Basel and Stockholm regional centres, starting with the joint RC in Beijing, China.
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.
This webinar will present key factors necessary to develop sustainable e-waste recycling businesses in developing countries.
The objective of this webinar is to inform Governments about the Special Programme to support institutional strengthening at the national level for the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the Minamata Convention and SAICM.
The objective of this webinar is to inform Parties to the Basel Convention and observers to enable them to fully participate in the discussions at the tenth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group
Come and learn more on health effects of e-waste exposure on children and vulnerable populations, from the perspective of WHO's Department of Public Health Environment and Social Determinants of Health