News Features

 

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
 
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.

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

Chemicals and waste “Information Fair” at the 2019 BRS 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.

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
 
BRS Secretariat is carbon-neutral for fifth year in a row
As part of the UN’s Greening the Blue initiative, the BRS Secretariat is actively reducing its environmental footprint for all operations, including meetings such as the Triple COPs.

BRS Secretariat is carbon-neutral for fifth year in a row

BRS Secretariat is carbon-neutral for fifth year in a row
 
Improved governance called for to prevent 12,000 million tonnes of plastic waste by 2050
Read the BRS Press Release on marine litter, as BRS and Barcelona conventions join forces to help beat plastic pollution.

Improved governance called for to prevent 12,000 million tonnes of plastic waste by 2050

Improved governance called for to prevent 12,000 million tonnes of plastic waste by 2050

With UN Environment reporting that 12,000 million tonnes of plastic will be in landfills or in the natural environment by 2050 under current trends[1], the international community mobilised in Geneva, Switzerland this week to explore ways to tackle marine plastics litter, one of the most visible and pressing environmental issues of our time.

Improved governance, a holistic approach, a possible new global treaty, strengthening existing initiatives and instruments, and better coordination among them, were considered as options, which will go to the next UN Environment Assembly, UNEA-4 in Nairobi next March, for consideration and actioning.

One existing legally-binding instrument, the Basel Convention, was recognised as a valuable avenue for governments and stakeholders to tackle plastic pollution, given it is almost universal and has a number of relevant features, with amendments being discussed at its next conference of the parties next year. Focussing on tackling waste generation at source and at the household level, a Basel Convention Partnership on Household Waste was initiated in 2017 to explore and disseminate innovative solutions, an integrated approach, avoidance and minimisation of waste at source as well systems for the collection, separation, transport, storage, treatment, processing, recycling and where necessary, final disposal, of household waste. More information is available here.

Responding to the call for urgency and to improve actions in the Mediterranean region, strengthened cooperation between international agreements was announced on Friday 6th December, with the secretariats of the Barcelona Convention[2] and the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions[3] signing a new memorandum of understanding aimed at boosting regional efforts including to beat plastic pollution.

Next, the Basel Convention’s Conference of the Parties (COP), in April/May 2019, will consider a range of additional steps to better address the challenges of plastics wastes[4] including proposed amendments to the Convention to better address plastic wastes[5]; a set of further actions and establishing a new Partnership on Plastic Waste designed as an international vehicle for public-private cooperation, sharing of best practices, and technical assistance in the area of at-source measures to minimise and more effectively manage plastic waste, thus helping tackle the global environmental problem of marine plastic litter. More information on minimising plastic waste is available here.

NOTES for EDITORS:

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, or BRS Secretariat, supports parties implement the three leading multilateral environment agreements governing chemicals and waste, in order to protect human health and the environment. See www.brsmeas.org for more info and follow @brsmeas twitter feed for daily news.

The Barcelona Convention was adopted in 1976 and aims to protect and improve the marine and coastal environment in the Mediterranean, whilst promoting regional and national plans contributing to sustainable development. Today, 21 countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the European Union, are Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention. The UN Environment / Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) is a cooperative effort to support the implementation of the Barcelona Convention. See web.unep.org/unepmap for more info.

Media enquiries, interviews:

Charlie Avis
Public Information Officer
BRS Secretariat
Charles.avis@brsmeas.org
Tel: +41-79-7304495  


[1] UN Environment UNEP/AHEG/2018/1/INF/3: Combating marine plastic litter and microplastics: an assessment of the effectiveness of relevant international, regional and subregional governance strategies and approaches; p.9;  available at : https://papersmart.unon.org/resolution/uploads/unep_aheg_2018_inf3_full_assessment_en.pdf

[2] Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean.

[3] Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

Side event in Geneva marks conventions joining forces to beat plastic pollution
Strengthened cooperation between BRS and the Barcelona Convention to enhance the Mediterranean Action Plan and regional efforts to tackle marine plastic litter.

Side event in Geneva marks conventions joining forces to beat plastic pollution

Side event in Geneva marks conventions joining forces to beat plastic pollution

On the margins of the meeting, on Friday 7th December at 1.30pm, a side event takes place in Room 4, marking strengthened cooperation on tackling marine litter between the UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan - Barcelona Convention, and the BRS conventions.

Life-Cycle Approach to chemicals and waste in the spotlight in Beijing, China
Basel and Stockholm Convention Regional Centre’s roundtable meeting brings together participants from 7 Asian countries to discuss better approaches to chemicals and waste management.

Life-Cycle Approach to chemicals and waste in the spotlight in Beijing, China

Life-Cycle Approach to chemicals and waste in the spotlight in Beijing, China
 
Beat Marine Plastic Pollution: UN experts meet in Geneva to examine options
Important meeting assesses how to improve governance for tackling marine plastic pollution.

Beat Marine Plastic Pollution: UN experts meet in Geneva to examine options

Beat Marine Plastic Pollution: UN experts meet in Geneva to examine options

Important meeting in Geneva, 3 to 7 December 2019, assesses how to improve governance for tackling marine plastic pollution.

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.

With that goal in mind, staff from the BRS Secretariat, led by Executive Secretary Rolph Payet, participate in the 2nd Meeting of the Ad-Hoc Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics, convening in the Palais des Nations, Geneva from 3 to 7 December 2018.

In reviewing a report which details gaps in the international policy framework, and in recommending future policy priority actions and responses, this meeting is designed to improve governance and bring forward proposals for consideration at the next United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) which takes place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 11 to 15 March 2019. This Assembly, which is the highest-level decision-making body on environmental issues in the world, is expected to address measures and commitments to tackle marine plastic pollution through its focus on “Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production.”

The Basel Convention can offer an important part of the solution. In addition to its provisions aimed at controlling the exports of hazardous wastes and wastes generated from households (where a large amount of plastic waste originates) and ensuring their environmentally sound management, the Convention also seeks to tackle the problem at source through prevention and minimisation. Technical guidelines, guidance documents, and manuals have been developed to provide governments and stakeholders with real solutions to prevent and minimise their waste, to develop inventories of waste generated, and to develop infrastructure and effective techniques to ensure its proper recycling and disposal.

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 information on how the BRS Secretariat is contributing, contact BRS Programme Officer Kei Ohno Woodall by email on: kei.ohno-woodall@brsmeas.org.

Conventions join forces to Beat Plastic Pollution

On the margins of the meeting, on Friday 7th December at 1.30pm, a side event takes place in Room 4, marking strengthened cooperation on tackling marine litter between the UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan - Barcelona Convention, and the BRS conventions.


[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/.

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