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Report now available of the Joint Bureaux Meeting
This meeting, held 11 – 12 November 2014 in Geneva, approved the programme for the forthcoming Triple COPs.

Report now available of the Joint Bureaux Meeting

Report now available of the Joint Bureaux Meeting
This meeting, held 11 – 12 November 2014 in Geneva, approved the programme for the forthcoming Triple COPs.
Why are the meetings of the COPs Important ?
As 2015 begins, David Ogden, Chief of the Conventions Operations Branch, tells us why.

Why are the meetings of the COPs Important ?

Why are the meetings of the COPs Important ?

An explanation of the significance of the forthcoming 2015 Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

Interview with David Ogden, Chief of Conventions Operations Branch, by Charlie Avis, Public Information Officer, BRS Secretariat

Charlie Avis: David, please tell me, why are the triple COPs in 2015 important?

David Ogden: Well, the triple COPs - or the 2015 Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, to name them in full - are the principal platform for proposing sustainable solutions, based on sound science, to protect human health and the environment from the possible adverse effects of hazardous chemicals and waste. Together, the three conventions represent not just a governance structure, but also a set of tools and shared capacities for assisting governments implement these solutions. So what happens at the triple COPs in May next year will influence the direction the Parties take sustainable chemicals and waste management for the next two years, and beyond.

CA: What will be discussed?

DO: Some key guidance documents, which are developed to assist countries put in place the necessary arrangements for implementation, will be discussed at the COPs. In particular, draft Technical Guidelines on E-Waste, on POPs waste, and on Mercury waste, will be on the agenda. Also, Parties have put forward a number of new chemicals for possible inclusion in the Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention processes: this is a key step for sustainably managing those substances, if they are found to present harmful threats to human and environmental health. Also, the new work programme for 2016-17 will be discussed, including a number of key initiatives such as ensuring appropriate technical assistance for the regions, and an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Stockholm convention.

CA: E-waste sounds interesting. Why is E-waste on the agenda?

DO: E-waste is a rapidly growing waste stream – mobile phone usage is very high across the world and many devices don’t last very long. We need proper recycling, reuse, and disposal of these appliances, because they are for example full of heavy metals and other potentially hazardous substances. Gram for gram, there is more gold in a mobile phone than in retrievable gold ore, so it is also an opportunity and a real, economic, resource. But recycling and disposal needs to be done in a way which is also safe for workers, good for society as a whole, and also good for the environment. Hence the draft Technical Guidelines, which will assist governments with appropriate procedures on transboundary movements of E-waste.

CA: You mentioned science in your opening remarks: why is science so important to all of this?

DO: The Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm processes are scientifically-driven. There is a need first to identify and then to understand the risks from chemicals and waste, in order to be able to propose alternatives and sustainable approaches to their management. “Science is the judge” for whether chemicals and waste are listed, and eventually banned, or not. After that, socio-economic factors influence the types of measures used to address the risks. All aspects of the Conventions’ decision-making are therefore underpinned by rigorous, international, cooperative scientific analysis. To help explain how this works, this time we are organising a Science Fair to bring these complexities to a wider audience.

CA: What is the Science Fair?

DO: Together with our partners – governments as well as civil society, and the private sector – we will stage a three-day Fair, highlighting how science is used to inform all the different steps for deciding and implementing the different aspects of the three conventions. From 7th to 9th May, we will showcase work from all over the world, employing a variety of media including videos, interactive exhibits, panel discussions and others. The Fair reflects the overall theme of the meetings of the COPs, which is “From Science to Action: Working for a Safer Tomorrow”.

CA: For a Safer Tomorrow: a good place for us to stop. Thank you for your time. 


Take part in the first ever “International Geneva” mass tweet campaign
The UNOG Director General, Mr Michael Moeller, launches the mass tweet campaign on Wednesday 17 December at 1100am, with the BRS Secretariat participating under the banner of “Geneva Means..... Sustainable Chemicals and Waste”.

Take part in the first ever “International Geneva” mass tweet campaign

Take part in the first ever “International Geneva” mass tweet campaign
The UNOG Director General, Mr Michael Moeller, launches the mass tweet campaign on Wednesday 17 December at 1100am, with the BRS Secretariat participating under the banner of “Geneva Means..... Sustainable Chemicals and Waste”.
Bureaux approve the schedule of work for the 2015 COPs
At their joint meeting on 11-12 November, the bureaux successfully laid foundations for the forthcoming COPs. An advance version of the schedule is now available.

Bureaux approve the schedule of work for the 2015 COPs

Bureaux approve the schedule of work for the 2015 COPs
At their joint meeting on 11-12 November, the bureaux successfully laid foundations for the forthcoming COPs. An advance version of the schedule is now available.
Science Fair will accompany the COPs, Geneva, 7-9th May, 2015
The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce it will stage a Science Fair, reflecting the COP Theme of “From Science to Action: Working for a Safer Tomorrow, from 7-9th May, 2015.

Science Fair will accompany the COPs, Geneva, 7-9th May, 2015

Science Fair will accompany the COPs, Geneva, 7-9th May, 2015
The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce it will stage a Science Fair, reflecting the COP Theme of “From Science to Action: Working for a Safer Tomorrow, from  7-9th May, 2015.
Regional Centres meet to enhance cooperation and coordination
The Annual joint meeting of Regional Centres under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions takes place in Geneva on 27-28 November 2014.

Regional Centres meet to enhance cooperation and coordination

Regional Centres meet to enhance cooperation and coordination
The Annual joint meeting of Regional Centres under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions takes place in Geneva on 27-28 November 2014.
Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015
Parties have been officially informed of the back-to-back meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs to be held in Geneva, 4-15 May 2015.

Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015

Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015
Parties have been officially informed of the back-to-back meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs to be held in Geneva, 4-15 May 2015.
Detoxifying  Development: How strengthened sound management of chemicals and wastes contributes to sustainable development
A summary of the United Nations Environment Assembly panel discussion held on 24 June 2014 in Nairobi.

Detoxifying Development: How strengthened sound management of chemicals and wastes contributes to sustainable development

Detoxifying  Development: How strengthened sound management of chemicals and wastes contributes to sustainable development

Detoxifying Development

FOCUS / BRIEF DESCRIPTION / MAJOR ISSUES DISCUSSED:

While chemicals contribute significantly to our well‐being, they can also pose a threat to human health and the environment if they are not managed well. Their potentially adverse impacts, combined with the limited capacity in many countries to deal with these impacts, make the sound management of chemicals and waste a key issue that cuts across many areas of our lives. In Johannesburg in 2002 governments agreed that, by 2020, chemicals should be used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment. The 2020 target was further recognized in the Rio+20 outcome “The Future We Want”. The 2006 Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) also reaffirmed the Johannesburg 2020 goal.

Chemicals and waste management is traditionally considered an environmental issue. However, it also has significant benefits for the economic and social objectives of sustainable development. These benefits are demonstrated by a number of efforts and initiatives, e. g. the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paints, sound management of electrical and electronic waste, promotion of alternatives to highly hazardous pesticides, to name just a few.

Sound management of chemicals and wastes has the potential of supporting progress in a wide range of thematic areas: poverty eradication, health, agriculture, water, industrial growth, and employment. It therefore has a catalyzing potential to support relevant sustainable development goals (SDGs) currently under development.

This can be done through the full and effective implementation of the existing agreed frameworks in the chemicals and waste cluster, including legally binding and voluntary instruments, efforts and initiatives, such as the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the Minamata Convention on Mercury and SAICM – all contributing to sustainable development and the protection of human health and the environment. SDGs need to reflect the importance of international commitments, including those made in multilateral environmental agreements and to stress the need of the Post‐2015 framework to be consistent with and build on these commitments.

In order to positively contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, it is important to enable and require the effective coordination of local, national, regional and global environmental policy and legal frameworks for effective implementation and enforcement of their provisions. These coordinating efforts are expected to strengthen institutional frameworks and policy coherence. At the national level, implementation can be strengthened by enhanced cooperation and coordination among relevant stakeholders. For example, Nigeria established a national committee on chemicals management which engages relevant ministries and key NGOs. Mainstreaming of chemicals and wastes into the national development agenda is another opportunity for linking it to the sustainable development process.

In addition to actions taking place at the international and national levels, regional efforts have a catalyzing role to play for implementation of existing MEAs and promotion of coherent chemicals and waste management.

OUTCOME / WAY FORWARD:

  • Recognize that the sound management of chemicals and waste contributes to the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development.
  • Promote efforts for the coordinated implementation of the existing global policy and legal regimes in the chemicals and waste management cluster.
  • Ensure that chemicals and waste management is properly reflected in the SDGs, including as targets under the SDGs on health, sustainable agriculture, poverty reduction, sustainable production and consumption, industrialization, water and sustainable cities.

CONCLUSIONS / RECOMMENDATIONS:

Effective implementation of the existing international, regional and national legal and policy regimes addressing chemicals and wastes supports sustainable development, and help realize the future sustainable development goals. By striving for policy coherence and efficiency at the national level, and through improved use of resources and greater coordination among the key stakeholders for the implementation of the national legal framework, we can make strides towards achieving sustainable development.

UNEA should send a signal to the decision‐makers engaged in New York in the negotiations of the SDGs about the crucial potential that can be brought by the sound management of chemicals and wastes for the achievement of SDGs. At the moment, the integration of sound management of chemicals and waste into SDGs is an opportunity for the international community which should not be missed.

Appointment of the new Executive Secretary
The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce that the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, has recently appointed Dr. Rolph Payet, Minister for Environment and Energy, Seychelles, as its new Executive Secretary. Dr. Payet has a Doctorate in...

Appointment of the new Executive Secretary

Appointment of the new Executive Secretary

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce that the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, has recently appointed Dr. Rolph Payet, Minister for Environment and Energy, Seychelles, as its new Executive Secretary.

Dr. Payet has a Doctorate in Environmental Science, degrees at master level in Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Business Administration (MBA) and Applied Environmental Economics, and an honours degree in Biochemistry.

In addition to having been the Seychelles’ Chief Negotiator for the Basel Convention, the Montreal Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Dr. Payet also established important multi-stakeholder platforms, such as the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) and and co-chaired the International Coral Reef Initiative. He was Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third and Fourth Assessments and was elected as Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) in 2007, in recognition of his contributions to marine research. He established the first university in Seychelles in 2009, and is its present ProChancellor. He also holds an associate professorship at the University of Linnaeus in Sweden.

Dr. Payet will take up his new duties in Geneva on 6 October 2014.

Upcoming Webinars continue preparations for 2015 COPs
Environmentally Sound Management of Asbestos among the many webinars offered during October and November, as preparations for 2015 COPs intensifies.

Upcoming Webinars continue preparations for 2015 COPs

Upcoming Webinars continue preparations for 2015 COPs
Environmentally Sound Management of Asbestos among the many webinars offered during October and November, as preparations for 2015 COPs intensifies.
Joint meeting of the bureaux of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs
The bureaux will meet from 11 to 12 November 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss preparations for the 2015 COPs.

Joint meeting of the bureaux of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs

Joint meeting of the bureaux of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs

The bureaux will meet from 11 to 12 November 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss preparations for the 2015 COPs.

Agencies and partners join forces to promote the implementation of environmental law through enhanced knowledge sharing and new tools
The Multilateral Environment Agreements and Knowledge Management Initiative seeks to develop harmonised information systems among 18 MEAs.

Agencies and partners join forces to promote the implementation of environmental law through enhanced knowledge sharing and new tools

Agencies and partners join forces to promote the implementation of environmental law through enhanced knowledge sharing and new tools
The Multilateral Environment Agreements and Knowledge Management Initiative seeks to develop harmonised information systems among 18 MEAs.
New Tool Goes Live for Finding Technical and Scientific Publications
The Secretariat is pleased to announce the launch of a new online tool for finding its many joint technical and scientific publications. The use of an integrated search engine combines publications from the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Convention processes for the first time, and enables interes...

New Tool Goes Live for Finding Technical and Scientific Publications

New Tool Goes Live for Finding Technical and Scientific Publications

The Secretariat is pleased to announce the launch of a new online tool for finding its many joint technical and scientific publications. The use of an integrated search engine combines publications from the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Convention processes for the first time, and enables interested browsers to search by keyword, life cycle phase, or chemical/waste name under the Conventions.

The tool aims to better facilitate the sharing of key information about sustainable chemicals management amongst stakeholders, ease the work of Parties and Observers to the three Conventions, is the latest in the ongoing process of harmonisation and improvement of knowledge management within the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions.

DD shouts out for Home Recycling on World Environment Day 2014
Luxembourg singer/songwriter Daniel Depienne’s Statement of Responsibility on how becoming a ‘Recycling Freak’ helps protect nature from electronic and other wastes.

DD shouts out for Home Recycling on World Environment Day 2014

DD shouts out for Home Recycling on World Environment Day 2014
Luxembourg singer/songwriter Daniel Depienne’s Statement of Responsibility on how becoming a ‘Recycling Freak’ helps protect nature from electronic and other wastes.
May Webinars shine light on candidate POPs under review and PCBs inventories
Join the Webinars on Chemicals under Review by POPRC, 6 May, and enhancing PCB inventories, 13 and 15 May 2014.

May Webinars shine light on candidate POPs under review and PCBs inventories

May Webinars shine light on candidate POPs under review and PCBs inventories
Join the Webinars on Chemicals under Review by POPRC, 6 May, and enhancing PCB inventories, 13 and 15 May 2014.
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