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Geneva has many inspiring women working for a better environment
BRS and GEN mark International Women’s Day by celebrating some of inspiring women working on environment in Geneva.

Geneva has many inspiring women working for a better environment

Geneva has many inspiring women working for a better environment

BRS and GEN mark International Women’s Day by celebrating some of the inspiring women working on environment in Geneva

On the occasion of 8 March 2016, International Women’s Day, the BRS Secretariat and the Geneva Environment Network (GEN) launched an exhibition and awards ceremony to recognize inspirational women in Geneva working to protect the environment. 

The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has played a strong part of the efforts to advance the status of women worldwide. While it is essential that gender equality is promoted and ensured through internationally-agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals such as the SDG number 5, the greatest impact is achieved through the daily on the ground work that both men and women do.   

With this notion in mind, a call for nominations of inspirational women in Geneva working to protect the environment was made in February 2016. As a result, a total of 160 submissions were received all of which deserved to be recognized. 20 nominees were selected by the committee to be part of an exhibition celebrating their achievements. The majority of them originally come from Europe and Northern America, however all UN regions were represented.

These 20 inspirational women represent a rich diversity of organizations, sectors, functions and nationalities. Some of these dynamic and enthusiastic women are from intergovernmental organizations: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Secretariat of the Aarhus Convention, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN REDD+), United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), International Trade Center (ITC), International Organization for Migration (IOM), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Civil society is represented by passionate and dedicated women from the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF International), International Institute on Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Hard working, motivated women are also from the private sector, namely World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Transparency. The committee also acknowledged the important contribution of hardworking and insightful visionaries from the University of Geneva and the Swiss Parliament.

Here is the list of awardees:

  1. Ann-Kathrin Zotz, International Trade Center
  2. Berta Pesti, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation/United Nations Development Programme
  3. Cristina Buetti,  International Telecommunication Union
  4. Dina Ionesco, International Organization for Migration
  5. Elena Manaenkova, World Meteorological Organization
  6. Emily Bradley, United Nations Institute for Training and Research
  7. Fiona Marshall, Secretariat of the Aarhus Convention, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  8. Isabella Marras, Sustainable UN Facility,  United Nations Environment Programme
  9. Isabelle Boutillon, World Intellectual Property Organization
  10. Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, University of Geneva
  11. Lisa Mazzone,  Verts genevois,  Swiss Parliament
  12. Maria Mendiluce, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  13. Maria Neira, World Health Organization
  14. Monika Linn, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  15. Nathalie Bernasconi, International Institute on Sustainable Development
  16. Nawal Ait-Hocine, Transparence SA
  17. Sarah Price, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification
  18. Sheila Logan, Chemicals and Waste Branch, United Nations Environment Programme
  19. Silja Halle, Post Conflict and Disaster Management Branch, United Nations Environment Programme
  20. Susan Brown, Worldwide Fund for Nature

As a result of its success, it is hoped that this initiative will become an annual event to celebrate dedicated, hard-working and passionate women working to protect the environment. 

For more information about the exhibition, please visit the GEN homepages: http://www.genevaenvironmentnetwork.org/?q=en/women2016

 

Follow BRS on Twitter for the latest news
Join the ever-growing number of @brsmeas followers and keep up to date on the chemicals and wastes agenda.

Follow BRS on Twitter for the latest news

Follow BRS on Twitter for the latest news
 
Linking chemicals and waste with SDGs ahead of UNEA-2
Read the briefing made by BRS during the 2nd meeting of the UNEP open-ended CPR, on the sound management of chemicals and wastes within the 2030 agenda on sustainable development.

Linking chemicals and waste with SDGs ahead of UNEA-2

Linking chemicals and waste with SDGs ahead of UNEA-2

On 15-19 February 2016, delegates from 114 Member States and 42 major groups and stakeholders participated in the second meeting of the open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR-2) at UNEP’s Nairobi headquarters to prepare for the second United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) in May, the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment. During the week, delegates actively prepared resolutions and decisions, which were grouped in five issues clusters, and would be recommended for adoption UNEA-2. 

The BRS Secretariat took part in OECPR-2 as an observer and provided information on decisions and ongoing work under the Conventions that were relevant to the meeting’s deliberations.

At the invitation of UNEP, the BRS Secretariat made a special briefing to the delegates engaged in the working group’s discussions pertaining chemicals and wastes management. The briefing aimed at highlighting the importance of the sound management of chemicals and wastes for the achievement of the 2030 sustainable development agenda. It also presented ongoing efforts undertaken by partners to implement the chemicals and wastes part of the sustainable development agenda.

These information materials have been developed by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, in cooperation with UNEP Chemicals and Waste Branch, including the interim secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury and the secretariat of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management.

Two consulting opportunities open until 20 February 2016
BRS secretariat invites tenders for the drafting of ESM factsheets and design options for management of shipbreaking waste.

Two consulting opportunities open until 20 February 2016

Two consulting opportunities open until 20 February 2016
 
Watch the latest BRS science video
New film shows how science underpins decision-making for the 3 BRS conventions.

Watch the latest BRS science video

Watch the latest BRS science video
 
Regional consultations underway for Minamata Convention on Mercury
BRS is participating in regional consultations for the intergovernmental negotiating committee on mercury (INC7), which will be held in Jordan, 10 to 15 March 2016.

Regional consultations underway for Minamata Convention on Mercury

Regional consultations underway for Minamata Convention on Mercury

A series of regional consultations are being held in preparation for the seventh session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee on mercury (INC7), scheduled to be held in the Dead Sea Area in Jordan, from 10 to 15 March 2016. For more information, please visit the Minamata Convention website.

In line with relevant mandates, the BRS Secretariat cooperates and collaborates with the interim secretariat of the Minamata Convention in areas of mutual interest with a view to fostering policy coherence, where appropriate, and maximizing the effective and efficient use of resources at all levels.

In the framework of these regional meetings, the BRS Secretariat provides inputs pertaining to the BRS conventions that are relevant to the upcoming INC-7 discussions. For instance, experience gained under the BRS conventions will be shared with the participants on topics, such as: mercury wastes, financial mechanism, national reporting, financial rules, rules of procedure, BAT&BEP and monitoring.

Institutional strengthening for implementation of the BRS Conventions
The Executive Board of the UNEP Special Programme holds its first meeting on 2 to 3 February 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Institutional strengthening for implementation of the BRS Conventions

Institutional strengthening for implementation of the BRS Conventions
 
Gender Heroes 8: Women waste-pickers turn toxic to green
In the last of our popular series on gender, read how Indian women are bringing added responsibility to e-waste re-cycling.

Gender Heroes 8: Women waste-pickers turn toxic to green

Gender Heroes 8: Women waste-pickers turn toxic to green
 
Review of BRS Synergies process underway
Reviews of the synergies arrangements: call for tenders by 5 February 2016.

Review of BRS Synergies process underway

Review of BRS Synergies process underway
 
Season’s greetings from the BRS Secretariat
Best wishes and thanks to all of our parties, partners, donors and stakeholders and looking forward to a fruitful 2016.

Season’s greetings from the BRS Secretariat

Season’s greetings from the BRS Secretariat

Best wishes and thanks to all of our parties, partners, donors and stakeholders and looking forward to a fruitful 2016.

For downloading our Season's greetings card.

Gender Heroes 7: Female explorers raise awareness of hazardous chemicals
Meet Emily Penn and Lucy Gilliam, leaders of Exxpedition, a team of inspiring women highlighting POPs and plastics in the world’s oceans.

Gender Heroes 7: Female explorers raise awareness of hazardous chemicals

Gender Heroes 7: Female explorers raise awareness of hazardous chemicals

 

Gender Heroes 6: Reducing Risks to Children in Trinidad & Tobago
Latest in the gender series shows how children are often more vulnerable to the risk of health impacts from hazardous wastes.

Gender Heroes 6: Reducing Risks to Children in Trinidad & Tobago

Gender Heroes 6: Reducing Risks to Children in Trinidad & Tobago

 

Geneva Gender Parity Pledge
The Secretariat hands over the signed BRS Geneva Gender Parity Pledge to Mr. Michael Moller, UNOG Director General.

Geneva Gender Parity Pledge

Geneva Gender Parity Pledge

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 matthias.kern@brsmeas.org and Tatiana Terekhovap at tatiana.terekhovap@brsmeas.org

Gender Heroes 5: Children and art combine to reduce waste in Panama
Latest in the series highlights an inspirational artist leading an initiative to kick out waste and protect lives in Panama.

Gender Heroes 5: Children and art combine to reduce waste in Panama

Gender Heroes 5: Children and art combine to reduce waste in Panama

 

United Nations reports on its 2014 greenhouse gas emissions
BRS achieves climate neutrality for the third year running, showing commitment to continually improve its sustainability performance.

United Nations reports on its 2014 greenhouse gas emissions

United Nations reports on its 2014 greenhouse gas emissions

United Nations reports on its 2014 greenhouse gas emissions

27 November 2014 The United Nations today released details of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 2014 in the latest edition of Moving Towards a Climate Neutral UN. 

The report provides details on the emissions from 65 UN system organizations, covering more than 250,000 staff and hundreds of locations worldwide. Greenhouse gas emissions totaled 2 million tonnes CO2eq across the UN system, equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions from 191,019 homes in the United States or from consuming 4,868,772 barrels of oil. 

A total of 18 UN system organizations report having an Emission Reduction Strategy in place and at least nine are implementing an Environment Management System or have reached the highest standards in building management. 

A total of 21 organizations have gone further and become climate neutral through the purchase of carbon credits, with one further agency offsetting emissions from its headquarters. These offsets amount to 676,997 tonnes CO2eq or 32% of the UN’s total reported emissions for 2014. 

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) is pleased to report on its CO2 emissions for 2014: 

  • Total emissions were 355 tonnes CO2eq;
  • Air travel is the main source of CO2 emissions, representing 99% of total emissions. Other emissions are attributed to office operations;
  • Per capita footprint is 5.14 tCO2eq/ staff member, below the UN average of 8.31 tCO2eq/ staff member. 

“Since 2012, the BRS Secretariat has been climate neutral through a carbon offset programme and has reduced its carbon footprint by 22%, most notably due to promoting video conferencing and more systematic scheduling of back-to-back meetings. We are committed to continue to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions through all means possible” said Mr. Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.  

Through the recent promotion of the use of video conferencing and more systematic scheduling of back-to-back meetings, reductions in GHG emissions have been achieved over the period 2010-2014.

The total Secretariat’s GHG emissions have decreased by 29% in 2011, 50% in 2012, 23% in 2013 and 61% in 2014 compared to the 2010 baseline. In absolute values, the total BRS GHG emissions have represented: 924 tCO2eq in 2010, 661 tCO2eq in 2011, 460 tCO2eq in 2012, 697 tCO2eq in 2013 and 354 tCO2eq in 2014. 

Furthermore, since 2012, the BRS Secretariat has been climate neutral through a carbon offset programme implemented as part of the UNEP Climate Neutral Initiative. 

The work on sustainability is a continuous process to which the BRS Secretariat is committed to contribute to, while taking into account best practices and tools put in place by other United Nations organizations in their strategies toward better environmental performance. 

More details on the greener practices implemented in the Secretariat is available at Greening the Blue.   

Background

The report provides an update on progress in implementing the 2007 UN Climate Neutral Strategy, which was approved by the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) and committed the UN Secretariat and all UN agencies, funds and programmes to move towards climate neutrality within the wider context of greening the UN. 

Specifically, the Strategy requires UN bodies to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions, to undertake efforts to reduce their emissions to the greatest extent possible and to analyse the cost implications of purchasing carbon offsets. 

The emissions calculations in the report were compiled using internationally recognized guidance based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a widely used methodology developed by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The UN greenhouse gas inventory includes emissions from all activities that are under the direct financial control of the organization, such as the heating and cooling of buildings and the travel of its staff members. 

To download the report and for more information please visit Greening the Blue

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