News Features

 

Global MEAs for Atmosphere, Hazardous substances and Biodiversity: What are the lessons for Future Synergies?
Jim Willis will present on the conventions’ experience with synergies at a Rio+20 side event, being held at Athletes Park, UNEP Pavilion from 13:00 to 14:45:on 22 June 2012.

Global MEAs for Atmosphere, Hazardous substances and Biodiversity: What are the lessons for Future Synergies?

Global MEAs for Atmosphere, Hazardous substances and Biodiversity: What are the lessons for Future Synergies?

The Rio+20 side event “Global MEAs for Atmosphere, Hazardous substances and Biodiversity: What are the lessons for Future Synergies?” will be held at Athletes Park, UNEP Pavilion from 13:00 to 14:45 on 22 June 2012.

Bakary Kante, UNEP, Director of Division on Environmental Law and Conventions, will introduce the session and moderate a panel discussion on the way forward on synergies. The discussion will explore which good practices can be distilled from experiences, and needs and opportunities for synergies at the international and national implementation levels.

Panellists reports on taking stock of experiences with synergies will be delivered by Jim Willis, Executive Secretary, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions; John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES; Marco Gonzales, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat; and Marcos Silva, Chief Knowledge Management, CITES.

In addition to the experiences of the multilateral environment agreements, the panel will examine informational synergies under UNEP’s InforMEA initiative.

Sustainability at the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions
In July 2011, a sustainability task force was set up in the secretariat to develop recommendations on improving the secretariat’s environmental and financial sustainability. Find out about the results of the task force and the sustainability performance of the secretariat, by consulting the ta...

Sustainability at the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

Sustainability at the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

In July 2011, a sustainability task force was set up in the secretariat to develop recommendations on improving the secretariat’s environmental and financial sustainability. Find out about the results of the task force and the sustainability performance of the secretariat, by consulting the task force’s report.

 

Quarterly management oversight reports increase transparency of secretariat
The secretariat presents new management oversight reports covering synergies between the conventions and their operations.

Quarterly management oversight reports increase transparency of secretariat

Quarterly management oversight reports increase transparency of secretariat

The secretariat presents new management oversight reports covering synergies between the conventions and their operations.

 

Sign up now for Wastes, PIC and POPs webinars
Our offer of online training has been expanded to address a variety of new issues relevant to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions. Find more by consulting the schedule of webinars for this year.

Sign up now for Wastes, PIC and POPs webinars

Sign up now for Wastes, PIC and POPs webinars

Our offer of online training has been expanded to address a variety of new issues relevant to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions.

Find more by consulting the schedule of webinars for this year.

A breakthrough year of synergies for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions
In 2011, the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions embarked on a new, innovative and tangible phase the synergies process.  

A breakthrough year of synergies for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

A breakthrough year of synergies for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

In 2011, the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions embarked on a new, innovative and tangible phase the synergies process.

At the three meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Stockholm, Rotterdam and Basel conventions held in April, June and October2011, respectively, parties reached consensus on a path forward on synergies, as well as a number of significant technical and policy matters.

The Stockholm and Rotterdam meetings in Geneva resulted in new listings for control of hazardous chemicals and pesticides and new initiatives to strengthen the scientific underpinnings of chemicals management. The Basel and Stockholm COPs also agreed to new synergistic relations between an expanded number of designated Regional Centres serving to bolster implementation on the ground.

Meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, Parties at Basel COP10 agreed on a way forward on the amendment banning transboundary movements of hazardous wastes from OECD countries to developing countries. For a number of reasons, the Ban Amendment has not yet entered into force, while trade in hazardous waste for resource recovery has grown significantly in the intervening decades, including between developing countries.

Basel COP10 recognized this shift and in a historic decision agreed to an approach that will allow the Ban Amendment to enter into force for those countries who wish to adhere to it. At the same time, Parties agreed to a framework to build a regime for countries who may wish to trade in waste to ensure the minimization of health and environmental impacts.

In launching the synergies process, Parties established the goal of strengthening implementation of each convention while delivering services in an efficient, cost effective manner. Improving the delivery of service to parties is the sine qua non of the Secretariat.

Among the most visible benefits to Parties has been the integration of conference services and meeting support, which contributed to successfully holding our first three paperless COPs. The recent conferences drew praises or being among the smoothest and most productive meetings in the entire history of the conventions the “miracle of Cartagena”.

The COPs approved the proposed cross-cutting and joint activities for inclusion in the programmes of work of the three Secretariats for 2012–2013 and authorized the Executive Secretary to determine the staffing levels, numbers and structure of the Secretariat in a flexible manner within the ceiling established by the decision on financing and budget for the biennium 2012–2013.

Working in consultation with Parties through the bureaux, I have submitted a proposal for the organization of the Secretariats, including staffing levels, numbers and structure, to be implemented by 31 December 2012. The proposed future structure would establish a single integrated secretariat dedicated to serving all three conventions equally, and would consist of four branches covering administrative services, convention operations, technical assistance and scientific support.

The proposed future structure would also considerably simplify the organization of the secretariat, and ultimately reduce the number of senior managers.

Eliminating redundancies, identifying resource savings, building upon best practices, and strengthening the focus on delivery of services to Parties are key considerations that should translate into increased support to Parties.  A secretariat better able to deliver services related to all three MEAs simultaneously would be better able to influence synergies externally, for example through supporting synergistic projects delivered through regional centres or by IGO partners.

The synergies process of the chemicals and waste MEAs is part of a larger effort aimed at overcoming fragmentation within the global system of environmental governance. Our experience shows that it is indeed possible to break away from “business as usual” and do much more through cooperation and collaboration in ways that were once hardly considered possible.

Jim Willis, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions 

 

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