News Features

 

Synergies Decisions document now online
The latest BRS publication charts the Synergies process from 2006 to the present day through decisions adopted by parties to protect human health and environment.

Synergies Decisions document now online

Synergies Decisions document now online
 
Synergies review: e-surveys launched
E-surveys are now available online to gather data and feedback on the synergies process.

Synergies review: e-surveys launched

Synergies review: e-surveys launched

At the ordinary meeting held in 2015, the respective conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) conventions decided to review the synergies arrangements at their meetings in 2017 (BC-12/20, RC-7/10 and SC-7/28). With the objective to gather data to inform this review process, e-surveys have been dispatched to all stakeholders. The e-surveys can also be accessed via the hyperlinks below.

Parties
Please click here to access the e-survey for parties. The submission deadline is 5 August 2016.

BCRCs and SCRCs
Please click here to access the e-survey for BCRCs and SCRCs. The submission deadline is 22 July 2016.

FAO country offices
Please click here to access the e-survey for FAO country offices. The submission deadline is 22 July 2016.

Partners
Please click here to access the e-survey for partners. The submission deadline is 22 July 2016.

Secretariat staff
Please click here to access the e-survey for Secretariat staff. The submission deadline is 22 July 2016.

Synergies workshop in Geneva marks 10 years of cooperation on chemicals and waste
With support from the Government of Switzerland, Geneva hosted a global workshop to further enhance cooperation between the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, 21-23 June 2016.

Synergies workshop in Geneva marks 10 years of cooperation on chemicals and waste

Synergies workshop in Geneva marks 10 years of cooperation on chemicals and waste
 
UN member states agree 25 resolutions at UNEA2
Resolutions on the sound management of chemicals and waste, marine litter, and the role of MEAs among resolutions agreed by UN member states at UNEA in Nairobi, 23 - 27 May 2016.

UN member states agree 25 resolutions at UNEA2

UN member states agree 25 resolutions at UNEA2

More than 2,000 delegates from around the world representing governments, civil society, and international organisations gathered from 23 – 27 May 2016 to attend the second UN Environment Assembly, held at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

As the first global meeting since the adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change, UNEA2 aimed to forward efforts to deliver the environmental dimension of the 2030 agenda. A small team from the BRS Secretariat attended and contributed to numerous Side Events, panel discussions, High-Level forums, Green Room events and throughout the conference throughout the week in order to emphasise the centrality of sustainable management of chemicals and waste to the implementation of the SDGs. An interactive quiz was launched at UNEA2 on this subject to gauge delegates’ appreciation of these linkages and the results will be shared in due course. To take the quiz, please go to the BRS website.

Key resolutions adopted by Member States on Friday 27 May included those on the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste, on Marine Litter, on Sustainable Consumption and Production, on Oceans, and on the role of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, (MEAs).

For more information on UNEA2 and on the resolutions agreed, please see the UNEP website.

New Director for BCCC Africa
The Government of Nigeria in consultation with the Secretariat has appointed Professor Percy C. Onianwa as the new director of Basel Convention Coordinating Centre for Africa effective 23 May 2016.

New Director for BCCC Africa

New Director for BCCC Africa
 
BRS launches SDGs quiz for delegates at UNEA2
Not attending UNEA2? You can be there in spirit by taking our online SDG quiz, which will be shared with delegates throughout this week in Nairobi.

BRS launches SDGs quiz for delegates at UNEA2

BRS launches SDGs quiz for delegates at UNEA2

Not attending UNEA2? You can be there in spirit by taking our online SDG quiz, which will be shared with delegates throughout this week in Nairobi.

Profile of Regional Centre continues focus on Caribbean
Find out about the Basel Regional Centre for the Caribbean, located in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Profile of Regional Centre continues focus on Caribbean

Profile of Regional Centre continues focus on Caribbean
 
E-waste technical guidelines finalised and now available online in 6 UN languages
Adopted at COP.12, these much-anticipated guidelines are a crucial resource for parties seeking to sustainably manage this fast-growing waste stream.

E-waste technical guidelines finalised and now available online in 6 UN languages

E-waste technical guidelines finalised and now available online in 6 UN languages
 
Sustainable management of chemicals and waste at UNEA-2
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.

Sustainable management of chemicals and waste at UNEA-2

Sustainable management of chemicals and waste at UNEA-2

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 Tuesday 24 May at 1800, Kerstin Stendahl will join the Gender and Environment Forum event, co-hosted by UNEP and the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment (NWMLE). Wednesday 25 May at 1030, Rolph Payet will speak at a Media Roundtable on “Marine & Plastic Litter: A global problem requiring global solutions” and then 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”.

Thursday 26 May begins with Kerstin Stendahl participating in the Ministerial Breakfast for Women Ministers of Environment at 0730, and then 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/.

Two BRS staff receive UN Long Service Medal Awards
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.

Two BRS staff receive UN Long Service Medal Awards

Two BRS staff receive UN Long Service Medal Awards

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.

Focus on Regional Centres switches to Africa
The second feature in our series on regional implementation highlights the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Focus on Regional Centres switches to Africa

Focus on Regional Centres switches to Africa

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:

  • ‘Push–pull’ habitat management strategy
  • Biopesticides
  • Fruit-fly Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  • Diamondback moth biological control
  • Classical biological control against the spotted stemborer Chilo partellus
  • Tsetse repellent collars; traps for control of tsetse flies
  • Habitat management for mosquito control; solar-powered mosquito traps; plant-derived mosquito control products
  • Honeybees; African Reference Laboratory for Bee Health
  • Training of African scientists
  • Training of rural community members in Africa

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

New DDT Toolkit on sound management now available
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.

New DDT Toolkit on sound management now available

New DDT Toolkit on sound management now available
 
Preventing illegal trade in environmentally - sensitive commodities
Green Customs Initiative: the BRS Secretariat hosts the 11th meeting of the GCI Partners in Geneva, 14-15 April 2016.

Preventing illegal trade in environmentally - sensitive commodities

Preventing illegal trade in environmentally - sensitive commodities
 
Special Programme on Chemicals and Waste: Call for Proposals Open
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.

Special Programme on Chemicals and Waste: Call for Proposals Open

Special Programme on Chemicals and Waste: Call for Proposals Open

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 

First ever MOOC on E-waste - now underway
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.

First ever MOOC on E-waste - now underway

First ever MOOC on E-waste - 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:


  • Show how sound management of e-waste can help reduce GHG emissions, mitigate climate change and prevent hazards to health and the environment in accordance with the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions
  • Share best practices, technological innovations, and sustainable e-waste recovery and recycling business models
  • Explore how the value in e-waste can be extracted in a way that supports the local economy and protects people’s health and the environment.

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.

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