News Features

 

Briefing on the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention, the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention and the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention
The online briefings will provide Party representatives, observers and other stakeholders with an overview of the issues that will be considered by the next meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions to promote a "Clean Planet, Healthy People: Sound ...

Briefing on the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention, the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention and the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention

Briefing on the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention, the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention and the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention
 
30 years of the Basel Convention celebrated by International Geneva
Switzerland, the BRS Secretariat, and the Geneva Environment Network, co-host a special event in the UN Palais des Nations, 22 March 2019 at 16:00, to mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention’s adoption.

30 years of the Basel Convention celebrated by International Geneva

30 years of the Basel Convention celebrated by International Geneva

Click here or the image to download the invitation in PDF format.

BRS Technical Assistance: Draft monitoring and evaluation strategy published online
The strategy will be discussed at the forthcoming 2019 Triple COPs, to be held in Geneva from 29 April to 10 May under the theme “Clean Planet Healthy People”.

BRS Technical Assistance: Draft monitoring and evaluation strategy published online

BRS Technical Assistance: Draft monitoring and evaluation strategy published online
 
Regional preparations for Triple COPs continue with African meeting in Nairobi, Kenya
With thanks to Norway and Switzerland for funding support, African countries come together in Nairobi, 18 to 20 March, to prepare for the 2019 Triple COPs.

Regional preparations for Triple COPs continue with African meeting in Nairobi, Kenya

Regional preparations for Triple COPs continue with African meeting in Nairobi, Kenya
 
Read the Invisible News, which is proving popular at UNEA-4
Aiming to make the invisible, visible, this special 8-issue newspaper is brought to you by the BRS Secretariat, Minamata Convention, SAICM, and UN Environment (Chemicals & Waste) Branch.

Read the Invisible News, which is proving popular at UNEA-4

Read the Invisible News, which is proving popular at UNEA-4

A special set of “newspapers” produced for the Fourth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4), in Nairobi, reveal the hidden hazards in everyday objects, and also the safer alternatives which exist for safeguarding your household, your health, and the environment.

Jointly produced by the BRS Secretariat, the Minamata Convention, SAICM, & UN Environment Chemicals & Health Branch, the newspapers have proven popular with delegates eager to rest at the UNEA-4 chemicals and waste lounge installation “Making the Invisible, Visible”, located between the two main conference rooms. The lounge, made locally from recycled materials, has hosted special events – such as an informal gathering of dignatories and stakeholders to mark the 30th anniversary of the Basel Convention – as well as networking opportunities, and – frequented by hundreds of visitors every day - numerous conversations.

Invisible News, a special set of 8 editions aiming to raise awareness concerning the need for sound management of chemicals and waste, highlights the hazards found in a typical lounge, bathroom, bedroom, children’s room, kitchen and also on one’s dinner plate, as well as linking these to the wider environment, impacted by tosic chemicals and waste.

Invisible News notes the gender dimension in recognising that women and children are disproportionately more vulnerable to he adverse effects of toxic chemicals and waste than are men.

UN Environment Assembly marks 30 years of the Basel Convention
A speech by the UNEA President on day one, and an informal gathering of dignatories and stakeholders in day two, mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention’s adoption.

UN Environment Assembly marks 30 years of the Basel Convention

UN Environment Assembly marks 30 years of the Basel Convention

Adopted on 22 March 1989, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted in Basel, Switzerland, in response to a public outcry following the discovery, in the 1980s, in Africa and other parts of the developing world of deposits of toxic wastes imported from abroad. The overarching objective is to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes. Covering a wide range of wastes defined as “hazardous” based on their origin and/or composition and their characteristics, as well as two types of “other” waste namely household waste and incinerator ash.

Entering into force in 1992, by 22 March 2019 – the 30th anniversary of its adoption - the Convention had 187 Parties, giving it almost universal coverage. A series of events in Geneva and Nairobi were staged in order to mark this milestone, starting with the Fourth UN Environment Assembly, UNEA-4, in Nairobi from 11 to 15 March 2019, including:

UNEA-4 Opening Session statements, 11 March 2019: Speech by the UNEA President, Minister Siim Valmar Kiisler, outlining the achievements of the Basel Convention, with a response by the Basel Convention Executive Secretary, Rolph Payet. For more on this event, including photos, see: https://twitter.com/brsmeas/status/1105039320325459969 and http://enb.iisd.org/unep/oecpr4-unea4/11mar.html

Informal Cake-Cutting Reception at UNEA-4 and Speeches, 12 March 2019: Hosted by Rolph Payet and staged in the joint BRS, Minamata Convention, SAICM & UN Environment Chemicals & Health Branch lounge installation “Making the Invisible, Visible”, an informal lunchtime happening brought together dignatories and stakeholders from all UN regions, from government and from civil society, to share reflections and insights on the 30 years of implementing the Convention. More than 20 individuals took to the microphone. For more on this event, including photos, see: https://twitter.com/brsmeas/status/1105425159635288064 and https://twitter.com/brsmeas/status/1105413021835411456

These events are followed by special events in Geneva, on March 22 and during the 2019 Triple COPs. More details will follow in due course.

BRS Secretariat contributed to UNEA-4 in promoting sound management of chemicals and wastes
The Secretariat participated in more than 10 events, submitted numerous background documents, and staged 2 exhibitions throughout the 4th UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, 11 to 15 March.

BRS Secretariat contributed to UNEA-4 in promoting sound management of chemicals and wastes

BRS Secretariat contributed to UNEA-4 in promoting sound management of chemicals and wastes

The fourth session of the Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) took place in Nairobi from 11 to 15 March 2019. With its theme on Innovative Solutions to Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production, it pointed to the need for innovation in dealing with the complexity of the different environmental challenges we are facing, in particular the poverty and natural resources nexus and the promotion of a circular economy and sustainable business models.

The theme and agenda of UNEA-4 speak to the core objectives of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, which are the protection of human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes. By facilitating the delivery of assistance to Parties to manage chemicals and wastes in an environmentally sound manner at different stages of their life-cycle, the conventions directly contribute to shifting our economies towards circularity and sustainability.

Written Submissions

The BRS Secretariat took part in UNEA-4 as an observer and provide information on decisions and ongoing work under the conventions that are relevant to the meeting’s deliberations. To that effect, the Secretariat submitted to UNEA-4 the following background notes relating to the draft resolutions under consideration:

  • Briefing note on the work of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions as it relates to the promotion of sound chemicals and waste management;
  • Briefing note on the work of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions as it relates to sustainable consumption and production in a circular economy;
  • Briefing note on the work of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions as it relates to plastic wastes, including marine litter and microplastics;
  • Briefing note on the work of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions as it relates to the Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law;
  • Briefing note on the work of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions as it relates to the promotion of gender equality.

Active participation

The BRS delegation, led by Rolph Payet (Executive Secretary) and Carlos Martin-Novella (Deputy Executive Secretary) will participated throughout the week as speaker, panelist, moderator and contributor at the following Side Events and special events:

  • Opening Plenary of the UN Environment Assembly; announcing the 30th Anniversary of the Basel Convention (Monday 11 March, 10.00-13.00);
  • SIE Panel Session II on Legal Empowerment: Leaving No-one Behind in Decision-making on Sustainability (Monday 11 March, 15.00-16.00);
  • Environment Management Group Nexus Dialogue on Sustainable Food Systems: Ensuring Food Security for Future Generations (Tuesday 12 March, 15.00-18.00);
  • Meeting with the Heads of the Secretariat of MEAs (Tuesday 12 March, 15.00-17.00) (closed);
  • Marine litter in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) (Wednesday 13 March, 10.00-11.00);
  • The High Ambition Alliance on Chemicals and Waste (Wednesday 13 March, 10.30-12.30) (closed);
  • Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) Networking Luncheon (Wednesday 13 March, 13.00-15.00);
  • Elevating Electrics and Electronics to the Forefront of Circular Economy – an Integral and Multi-disciplinary Approach (Wednesday 13 March, 16.30-17.30);
  • Advancing the Sustainability of Chemicals Throughout the Life Cycle (Thursday 14 March, 18.15-19.45).
  • BRS Secretariat official statement, by the Executive Secretary, to UNEA-4 Plenary, (Friday 15 March 10.00 – 13.00)

Information-sharing

Additionally, the Secretariat was present throughout the week at two exhibitions located near to the main convention rooms, namely:

  • Making the Invisible, Visible: lounge installation with information news-sheets detailing household hazards from chemicals and wastes, together with outlines of safe alternatives;
  • BRS Information Booth: display stand with copies of BRS factsheets on marine litter and household waste, and copies of the three convention texts (English only).

More details on all of these events and exhibitions can be found on the UNEA-4 App, downloadable use the link at page 6 of the interactive UNEA-4 Programme of Events.

Clean Planet, Healthy People: All pre-session working documents now online
All working documents for the 2019 COPs, and most information documents, are now available online.

Clean Planet, Healthy People: All pre-session working documents now online

Clean Planet, Healthy People: All pre-session working documents now online
 
The latest BRS Newsletter is now online: all the news for a Clean Planet, Healthy People
A must-read for all those interested in, or working towards, the sound management of chemicals and waste.

The latest BRS Newsletter is now online: all the news for a Clean Planet, Healthy People

The latest BRS Newsletter is now online: all the news for a Clean Planet, Healthy People
Basel Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

BRS NEWSLETTER

Assisting parties to protect human health and the environment

February 2019 - No. 24

Welcome

Dear Readers,

This edition has key information about the forthcoming 2019 Triple COPs – the meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm conventions – which run from 29 April to 10 May in Geneva. Click below for an overview of what to expect from the COPs, including the Information Fair, how to view the background documents, and details of the 4 regional preparatory meetings throughout March, plus news on plastic waste and a postcard from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. #Detox!

 

News
Plastic waste again in the spotlight as Geneva hosts High Level Dialogue on 14 February

Plastic waste again in the spotlight as Geneva hosts High Level Dialogue on 14 February

BRS Secretariat joins forces with Geneva Environment Network and the governments of France, Gabon & Norway to further explore options for tackling marine litter.

Outcomes online of the 14th meeting of the Chemical Review Committee

Outcomes online of the 14th meeting of the Chemical Review Committee

The final version of the CRC-14 meeting report is now available in all United Nations languages.

PIC Circular XLVIII now available

PIC Circular XLVIII now available

The latest version of the Rotterdam Convention PIC Circular is now available online.

EU transmits updated plan to help beat pollution from toxic chemicals

EU transmits updated plan to help beat pollution from toxic chemicals

To rid the world of POPs, the EU has transmitted a new plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention.

Ireland transmits updated plan to help beat pollution from toxic chemicals

Ireland transmits updated plan to help beat pollution from toxic chemicals

To ride the world of POPs, Ireland has transmitted a new national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention.

First batch of pre-session documents, including budget documents for consideration by the COPs, now online

First batch of pre-session documents, including budget documents for consideration by the COPs, now online

Pre-session documents for the 2019 COPs, including the proposed programmes of work and budgets for the conventions for 2020-2021, are now available.

Chemicals and waste “Information Fair” at the 2019 BRS Triple COPs

Chemicals and waste “Information Fair” at the 2019 BRS Triple COPs

Apply for space at the Information Fair, 2 to 4 May, to showcase products, processes or partnerships which improve implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions.

BRS Secretariat marks International Day of Women & Girls in Science

BRS Secretariat marks International Day of Women & Girls in Science

Meet the BRS Science & Technical Assistance Branch, which has female staff from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, & Latin America, all working for a Clean Planet & Healthy People.

 

Technical Assistance
Technical Assistance

Upcoming webinars

 

Upcoming workshops

 

Forthcoming meeting
Four joint regional meetings to help Parties prepare for the 2019 Triple COPs

Four joint regional meetings to help Parties prepare for the 2019 Triple COPs

Regional preparatory meetings for the 2019 COPs will be held throughout March 2019, jointly with meetings on the Minamata Convention & SAICM. Invitation letters for the meetings have been sent out.

 

Emerging issues
David Ogden: Here come the COPs: Concrete steps towards a clean planet and healthy people

David Ogden: Here come the COPs: Concrete steps towards a clean planet and healthy people

From 29 April to 10 May this year, in Geneva, the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions will meet back-to-back for the fourth time. These “Triple COPs” meet every two years to set the agenda and take decisions with the aim to protect human health and the environment from the harmful effects of chemicals and waste. This year an Information Fair will be staged on the sidelines, highlighting and promoting the exchange of information as a vehicle for the implementation of the three conventions, from 2 to 4 May.

 

Synergies in the spotlight
As preparation for the 2019 Triple COPs, the outcomes of the Joint Bureaux meeting are now online

As preparation for the 2019 Triple COPs, the outcomes of the Joint Bureaux meeting are now online

The report of the joint meeting of the COPs bureaux, held in Geneva from 15 to 16 November 2018, is now available online.

 

Postcard from Bishkek
Regional workshop in Kyrgyzstan builds government capacities for implementing Rotterdam Convention

Regional workshop in Kyrgyzstan builds government capacities for implementing Rotterdam Convention

Officials from 10 countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus were trained during an FAO workshop in Bishkek, 19 to 23 November.

 

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UN agencies in Geneva join forces to reduce, re-use, recycle & refuse
BRS Secretariat, UN Environment and the UN Office at Geneva urge international Geneva to minimize single-use plastics.

UN agencies in Geneva join forces to reduce, re-use, recycle & refuse

UN agencies in Geneva join forces to reduce, re-use, recycle & refuse

Joint appeal from the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, UN Environment, and United Nations Office at Geneva to minimise the use of single-use plastics across International Geneva.

2019 is an important year for the international community as it works together to tackle marine plastic pollution. The sound management of chemicals and waste, including plastic waste, is on the agenda of the forthcoming 4th UN Environment Assembly (Nairobi, 11-15 March; and the BRS Triple COPs (Geneva, 29 April-10 May).

Marine plastic pollution is one of the most visible and pressing environmental concerns of our time. With an estimated 100 million tonnes of plastic in our seas, 80-90% of which has come from land-based sources[1], the high public profile of this issue is understandable. Reducing waste generation at source, and improving waste management thereafter, would go a long way towards solving this problem.

Reflecting that importance and urgency, the BRS Secretariat, led by Executive Secretary Rolph Payet, has joined forces with UN Environment, and the UN Office in Geneva, in encouraging all UN entities and partner organisations across International Geneva to collectively minimise single-use plastics within UN premises, at meetings, and at events organised by the UN in Geneva.

Simple steps such as re-using coffee cups, carrying a re-useable water bottle, and ordering takeaway food in a re-useable packaging container can significantly lower the accumulation of plastics from UN facilities.

The BRS Secretariat is proud that its meetings are already paperless and carbon-neutral. This latest initiative (see letter as pdf) will further help to make the meetings and operations of the Secretariat more sustainable, in line with pan-UN efforts under the “Greening the Blue” initiative and in a spirit of not just “talking the talk” but also “walking the walk”.

For more information on how the BRS Secretariat is working on tackling marine plastic litter, contact BRS Programme Officer Kei Ohno Woodall by email on: kei.ohno-woodall@brsmeas.org

For more details on how the Basel Convention contributes to efforts for tackling marine plastic litter, see: http://www.brsmeas.org/?tabid=4332&blogId=5169

For more details on the UN “Greening the Blue” initiative, see: www.greeningtheblue.org  


[1] Data from “Marine litter plastics and microplastics and their toxic chemicals components: the need for urgent preventive measures” by Frederic Gallo et. al. in Environmental Sciences Europe 2018; 30(1): 13. Online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5918521/

As preparation for the 2019 Triple COPs, the outcomes of the Joint Bureaux meeting are now online
The report of the joint meeting of the COPs bureaux, held in Geneva from 15 to 16 November 2018, is now available online.

As preparation for the 2019 Triple COPs, the outcomes of the Joint Bureaux meeting are now online

As preparation for the 2019 Triple COPs, the outcomes of the Joint Bureaux meeting are now online
 
Plastic waste again in the spotlight as Geneva hosts High Level Dialogue on 14 February
: BRS Secretariat joins forces with Geneva Environment Network and the governments of France, Gabon & Norway to further explore options for tackling marine litter.

Plastic waste again in the spotlight as Geneva hosts High Level Dialogue on 14 February

Plastic waste again in the spotlight as Geneva hosts High Level Dialogue on 14 February
 
BRS Secretariat marks International Day of Women & Girls in Science
Meet the BRS Science & Technical Assistance Branch, which has female staff from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, & Latin America, all working for a Clean Planet & Healthy People.

BRS Secretariat marks International Day of Women & Girls in Science

BRS Secretariat marks International Day of Women & Girls in Science
 
The 2019 Triple COPs are coming!
Read the new BRS Blog to find out how the COPs will contribute to a clean planet and healthy people.

The 2019 Triple COPs are coming!

The 2019 Triple COPs are coming!
 
First batch of pre-session documents, including budget documents for consideration by the COPs, now online
Pre-session documents for the 2019 COPs, including the proposed programmes of work and budgets for the conventions for 2020-2021, are now available.

First batch of pre-session documents, including budget documents for consideration by the COPs, now online

First batch of pre-session documents, including budget documents for consideration by the COPs, now online
 
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