Press Releases

 

Global Environment Facility Launches e-Magazine App
Interactive app adds sizzle to the 2013 COPs.

Global Environment Facility Launches e-Magazine App

Global Environment Facility Launches e-Magazine App

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has released its newly redesigned newsletter “The Greenline” as an online app. The app is available free in the Apple iTunes app store.

Compared to the original newsletter the new Greenline app offers an interactive reading and viewing experience featuring full-screen video clips and photo galleries, instant page-turns, and sharing opportunities.

With The Greenline app installed, users will be notified when a new issue is released. GEF is also developing a version compatible for other tablets. The Greenline will continue to be available online at www.thegef.org in HTML format.

The first issue focusing on Chemicals is already available on the GEF website.

The GEF released the Greenline app at the back-to-back meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, in Geneva, Switzerland, on 1 May 2013.

Invitation to Press Conference & Media Event

Geneva International Conference Centre, Room 3, Geneva, 27 April 2013 at 11:00 a.m.

 

Invitation to Press Conference & Media Event

Invitation to Press Conference & Media Event

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions to hold ‘sustainable synergies’ meetings aimed at solidifying collaboration among the leading global chemicals and waste agreements

Geneva International Conference Centre / Centre International de Conferences Genève, Room 3, Geneva, 27 April 2013 at 11:00 a.m.

Swiss Ambassador Franz Perrez and Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention Executive Secretary Jim Willis to brief media on the eve of the conference.

The three conventions that govern chemicals and hazardous waste safety at the global level will, for the first time, convene jointly in an historic back-to-back meeting of the parties in Geneva from 28 April to 10 May 2013. Nearly two thousand participants from more than 160 countries will attend the two-week long meeting.

The three legally autonomous conventions will begin by convening joint meetings of the conferences of the parties to strengthen cooperation and collaboration between the conventions, with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of their activities on the ground. Each convention will then continue individually to deal with its own specific topics over the two-week period.

The meetings will culminate in a ministerial segment on 9 and 10 May 2013 dedicated to the theme of strengthening synergies between the conventions at national, regional and global level. The ministerial segment will be opened with scheduled remarks by Swiss Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, UN Under-Secretary General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva, and Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii. Over 80 Ministers and Deputy Ministers are scheduled to attend.

Journalists may notify of their intention to attend the 27 April 2013 press conference by emailing elisabeth.maret@bafu.admin.ch.
Media accreditation requirements for the conference may be accessed at http://synergies.pops.int/?tabid=3136.

For more information, visit http://synergies.pops.int, or contact:

Elisabeth Maret, Information Officer, Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Tel. +41 (0)31 323 28 69, elisabeth.maret@bafu.admin.ch

Michael S. Jones, Public Information Officer, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mobile tel. +41 (0) 79 730 44 95, michael.jones@brsmeas.org

 

UN chemicals and waste conventions convene exceptional joint meetings

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions to hold ‘sustainable synergies’ meetings aimed at solidifying collaboration among the three legally autonomous global agreements.

 

UN chemicals and waste conventions convene exceptional joint meetings

UN chemicals and waste conventions convene exceptional joint meetings

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions to hold ‘sustainable synergies’ meetings aimed at solidifying collaboration among the three legally autonomous global agreements.

Geneva, Switzerland, 15 April 2013 – The three conventions that govern chemicals and hazardous waste safety at the global level will, for the first time, convene jointly in an historic back-to-back meeting of the parties in Geneva from 28 April to 10 May 2013. Nearly two thousand participants from more than 160 countries will attend the two-week long meeting.

The three legally autonomous conventions will begin by convening joint meetings of the conferences of the parties to strengthen cooperation and collaboration between the conventions, with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of their activities on the ground. Each convention will then continue individually to deal with its own specific topics over the two-week period.

The meetings will culminate in a ministerial segment on 9 and 10 May 2013 dedicated to the theme of strengthening synergies between the conventions at national, regional and global level.  The ministerial segment will be opened with scheduled remarks by Swiss Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, UN Under-Secretary General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva, and Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii.  Over 80 Ministers and Deputy Ministers are scheduled to attend.

The joint meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, opening on 28 April 2013, will review of the impact of the arrangements put in place by governments in 2011 to strengthen synergies among the treaties. The parties will also consider whether to make further modifications to the organization of the Secretariat, the programme of work and budget for joint activities of three conventions in 2014-2015, and a proposal for financing chemicals and waste related activities.  There will also be joint discussions related to compliance, technical assistance and financing, reporting and POPs-containing waste.

The sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention will consider the possible addition of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) to Annex A to the Convention with specific exemptions for expanded polystyrene and extruded polystyrene in buildings. It also will work to adopt a non-compliance mechanism.

The sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention will consider the possible addition of five chemicals and one severely hazardous pesticide formulation to Annex III of the Convention1. The conference will also work to adopt a non-compliance mechanism.

The eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention will follow-up to the Indonesian-Swiss country-led initiative (CLI) on how to improve the effectiveness of the Convention and consider the possible adoption of a framework for the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes and other wastes, as well as the possible adoption of technical guidelines on transboundary movements of electronic and electrical wastes (e-waste).

For more information, see also the 2013 COPs website: synergies.pops.int.

Follow the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions on Twitter @brsmeas.

Note to editors:

Chemicals contribute many advantages to today's world; however their use can also pose risks to human health and the environment. To reduce this harmful global impact, three conventions have been established that regulate chemicals and hazardous waste at global level:

Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal regulates the export/import of hazardous waste and waste containing hazardous chemicals. The Convention was adopted in 1989 and entered into force in 1992. It currently has 180 Parties.

Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade currently regulates information about the export/import of 43 hazardous chemicals listed in the Convention’s Annex III, 32 of which are pesticides (including 4 severely hazardous pesticide formulations) and 11 of which are industrial chemicals. The Convention was adopted in 1998 and entered into force in 2004. It currently has 152 Parties.

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants currently regulates 22 toxic substances that are persistent, travel long distances, bioaccumulate in organisms and are toxic. The Convention was adopted in 2001 and entered into force in 2004. It currently has 179 Parties.

For media inquiries, contact:

Mr. Michael S. Jones, Public Information Officer, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mobile +41 (0) 79 730 44 95, msjones@pic.int, SkypeID: mstanleyjones

For information on the ministerial segment, contact:

Ms. Laura Meszaros, Programme Officer, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Tel. +41 (22) 917 87 40, lmeszaros@pic.int

Download this press release in French


The five chemicals and the formulation proposed for listing are: Azinphos-methyl; PentaBDE: Pentabromodiphenyl ether (CAS No. 32534-81-9) and pentabromodiphenyl ether commercial mixtures; OctaBDE: Octabromodiphenyl ether commercial mixtures; PFOS: Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, perfluorooctanesulfonates, perfluorooctanesulfonamides and perfluorooctanesulfonyls; Chrysotile asbestos; and  Paraquat: Liquid formulations (emulsifiable concentrate and soluble concentrate) containing paraquat dichloride at or above 276 g/L,corresponding to paraquat ion at or above 200 g/L.

Message of Condolence to the Family, Friends and Colleagues of the Late Sergey E. Tikhonov

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Sergey Eduardovich Tikhonov.

 

Message of Condolence to the Family, Friends and Colleagues of the Late Sergey E. Tikhonov

Message of Condolence to the Family, Friends and Colleagues of the Late Sergey E. Tikhonov

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Sergey Eduardovich Tikhonov, a leader in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in the field of sound chemicals and waste management. Mr. Tikhonov died in Moscow, Russian Federation, on Friday, 26 October 2012.

Mr. Tikhonov headed the Autonomous Non-Profit Organization Centre for International Projects (ANO-CIP), based in Moscow, and served as director of the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre for capacity-building and transfer of environmentally sound technologies and the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Countries of the CIS.

Over a long and distinguished career, Mr. Tikhonov cooperated with the United Nations Environment Programme on awareness-raising and capacity-building initiatives in support of the chemicals and wastes conventions. He also supported a variety of public right-to-know mechanisms, including Earthwatch / International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC) and national Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers.

Sergey Tikhonov’s dedication and inspiring nature will long be remembered by those who were privileged to work with him.

Our Secretariat expresses its heartfelt sympathy to his family, friends and the staff of the Regional Centre in this time of sorrow.

 

Urgent Action Needed to Reduce Growing Health and Environmental Hazards from Chemicals: UN Report

Chemical ‘Intensification’ of Economies in Developing Countries Means Greater Risk of Exposure to Hazardous Substances

 

Urgent Action Needed to Reduce Growing Health and Environmental Hazards from Chemicals: UN Report

Urgent Action Needed to Reduce Growing Health and Environmental Hazards from Chemicals: UN Report
Chemical ‘Intensification’ of Economies in Developing Countries Means Greater Risk of Exposure to Hazardous SubstancesNew Study Shows Sound Management of Chemicals Can Deliver Major Economic Benefits and Support Green Economy
"Chemical Challenges, Sustainable Solutions" global art contest for children and youth to be featured during UN Conference on Sustainable Development

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions cordially invites children and youths to participate in a unique global contest.

 

"Chemical Challenges, Sustainable Solutions" global art contest for children and youth to be featured during UN Conference on Sustainable Development

"Chemical Challenges, Sustainable Solutions" global art contest for children and youth to be featured during UN Conference on Sustainable Development

Geneva, 29 November 2011 – The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions cordially invites children and youths 5 to 20 years of age to participate in a unique global contest highlighting the ways persistent organic pollutants (POPs) enter people’s bodies, change ecosystems, and affect the life of our planet.

The Stockholm Convention’s 10th anniversary global art contest, “Chemical Challenges, Sustainable Solutions” was announced at the 5th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, in May 2011. The Stockholm Convention was adopted on 22 May 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden.

POPs are substances that persist for a long time in the environment. They build up in the bodies of animals and are toxic. By altering hormonal balances and damaging the immune systems of exposed individuals as well as their offspring, POPs can affect generations of humans. Years or even decades after exposure, POPs can also cause cancer and harm a person’s ability to reproduce.

Children are among the most sensitive populations to many types of pollutants, including POPs.

The contest will explore the reasons why the planet’s “chemical temperature” is rising and how people can protect themselves and nature from these harmful substances.

The contest is open to children 5 to 10, youths 11 to 15 and young adults 16 to 20 years of age, working in three art media categories:

  • Drawing
  • Photography
  • Short videos

The contest opens on 1 January 2012 and the deadline for entering the contest is 16 March 2012. National entries are to be submitted through your country’s Official Contact Point. Full details of the contest rules and eligibility may be found at the Stockholm Convention website (in English, French and Spanish).

Each country can submit up to 27 entries (9 per art media category, in which 3 per age category).

Winning entries will be displayed at the European Headquarters of the United Nations during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 20-22 June 2012, as well as appear electronically at the Rio+20 conference venue and in the Stockholm Convention’s Regional Centres across the world.

In celebration of the Stockholm Convention’s 10th anniversary and in recognition of the International Year of Chemistry 2011, the Czech Republic launched its national art contest at the beginning of the academic year 2011-12. The International Year of Chemistry 2011 is a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind proclaimed by the United Nations.

Ms. Kateřina Šebková, an expert on chemicals at the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Environment, said: "We were pleased to see the initiative for the 10th anniversary of the Stockholm Convention, and as the current goals of this contest meet three out of four goals set up for the International Year of Chemistry, we simply had to join to further help raise awareness of the significance of chemicals among the general public. We are a very active Party and also host the Central and Eastern European POPs centre for the Stockholm Convention, so we will also try to pursue the idea regionally. Now is the time to join the contest!"

Contact:

Michael Stanley-Jones, Press Focal Point/Public Information Officer, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, +41-22-917-8668; (m) + 41-79-730-4495, e-mail: msjones@pops.int

 

Launch of InforMEA – the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Geneva, 14 June 2011 - The Multilateral Environmental Agreements Information and Knowledge Management Initiative (MEA IKM), launched today develops harmonized MEA information systems to assist Parties and the environment community at large access information from multiple agreements from one location. Supported by UNEP the initiative currently includes 17 MEAs from 12 Secretariats hosted by three UN organizations and IUCN.

 

Launch of InforMEA – the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Launch of InforMEA – the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Geneva, 14 June 2011 - The Multilateral Environmental Agreements Information and Knowledge Management Initiative (MEA IKM), launched today develops harmonized MEA information systems to assist Parties and the environment community at large access information from multiple agreements from one location. Supported by UNEP the initiative currently includes 17 MEAs from 12 Secretariats hosted by three UN organizations and IUCN. It is open to observers involved in MEA information and data management.

The first project– InforMEA, the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements – was launched on 14 June at the occasion of the initiative’s 2nd Steering Committee Meeting, attended by Ms. Maria Louisa Silva, Executive Secretary of the Barcelona Convention, Mr. John Scanlon, Secretary General of Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and Mr. Jim Willis, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

“With the launch of InforMEA the global environmental community has taken a major stride forward in making access to information more transparent and easier to apply in solving the complex challenges we face in the Information Age”, Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 

The InforMEA Portal presents Conference of the Parties decisions and resolutions, news, calendars, events, country specific MEA Membership, national focal points, as well as in the near future national reports and implementation plans organized against a set of 200 hierarchical terms taken from MEA Conference of the Parties (COP) Agendas.

In contrast to similar endeavors this project harvests and displays information directly from MEA Secretariats websites and data bases, who remain the custodians of their data. This allows for accurate and timely data availability in a cost effective manner. MEA secretariats individually implement the technical solution identified.

Harmonization of information standards and formats will facilitate the development of many other knowledge tools among conventions. For example, the Convention on Migratory Species and CITES could display the species listed on their respective appendices or the Stockholm Convention may feature decisions related to endangered migratory species threatened by POPs. Once such an application is developed, the tool is maintained at minimal cost.

www.informea.org - Making key MEA information “speak to one another”

For further information please contact: Marcos Silva (CITES) and marcos.silva@cites.org, and Eva Duer (UNEP) eva.duer@unep.org, (respective MEA representative)

 

UN Conventions Seek to Strengthen National Control of International Chemicals and Waste Trade

The first joint consultation of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions with the Basel and Stockholm Convention Regional Centres and FAO and UNEP Regional Offices in Barcelona coordinates actions on hazardous chemicals and waste and the enforcement of the conventions.

 

UN Conventions Seek to Strengthen National Control of International Chemicals and Waste Trade

UN Conventions Seek to Strengthen National Control of International Chemicals and Waste Trade

The first joint consultation of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions with the Basel and Stockholm Convention Regional Centres and FAO and UNEP Regional Offices in Barcelona coordinates actions on hazardous chemicals and waste and the enforcement of the conventions

Barcelona, Spain, 4 October 2010 – A joint consultation held for the first-time between the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO), United Nations Environment Programme and regional centres established under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions has concluded with an agreement on a plan to strengthen national coordination for control of international trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes.

The national governments have assumed great commitments to implement hazardous materials and wastes environmental agreements and the FAO and UNEP are enhancing their cooperation and coordination so that these commitments can be achieved.

One way of increasing the delivery of technical and financial support is the use of dynamic green global network taping into communication technology and exchange of experiences and information. The network of 14 Basel Centres, 15 Stockholm Centres and FAO and UNEP Regional offices in all regions of the world are a powerful green network. This network is open to different actors of civil society like NGOs, industry, academia, a winning proposition to save the planet and to foster sustainable development.

"In the face of mounting pressure on the environment and public health, UNEP, FAO and the Regional Centres from across the globe have joined forces in Barcelona to strengthen management of transboundary wastes and the trade in hazardous chemicals," said Nelson Sabogal, Chief Convention Services and Governance Unit with the Secretariat of the Basel Convention.

The joint effort to promote interregional cooperation and coordination on enforcement of the three conventions and improve their implementation at national level brought more than 60 representatives from all the regions of the world together at the "Joint Consultation of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention with the Basel and Stockholm Regional Centres and FAO and UNEP Regional Offices", held in Barcelona, from 27 September to 1 October 2010.

The consultative meeting was hosted in Barcelona by the Regional Activity Centre for Cleaner Production (CP/RAC), a Regional Centre under the Stockholm Convention, in the facilities of the Waste Catalan Agency. The Director of the Agency, Genoveva Català, highlighted the importance of hosting the meeting. "The Waste Catalan Agency is very proud to host this event and contribute to enhance the global situation concerning the use of hazardous chemical substances, as waste is the end-of-pipe, but to achieve good results we have to address too the beginning of the production line", he said.

The joint consultative meeting followed up on the historic synergy decisions about the collaboration of the Stockholm, Basel and Rotterdam Conventions reached at the simulataneous extraordinary meetings of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions in Bali, last February.

Experts agreed to establish a structured exchange of information on implementation at national level and between the regional centres. The clearing house mechanism under the Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions, undergoing expansion in cooperation with the Basel Convention, serves as a key component in the strategy to strengthen the exchange of information on the control of international trade in chemicals and wastes and enforcement of the three treaties.

The workshop also benchmarked the performance of regional centres and developed individual actions for each aimed at strengthening enforcement. The agreement builds on specific areas of expertise identified among the centres of each region in which they will lead in the provision of technical assistance and capacity building. A training session for the Centres on ways to improve the delivery and sustainability of Green Customs Initiative workshops also took place.

The weeklong event included parallel sessions in which the Third Workshop of the Stockholm Convention Regional and Subregional Centres, the Sixth session of the Consultative Meething of the Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres and the Sixth Session of the Consultative Meeting of the FAO Sub-Regional Officers were held.

The joint meeting applied an approach to international conventions pioneered in the Mediterranean Action Plan of the Barcelona Convention for the Protection against Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea.

Note to Editors:

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal seeks to control the movement of hazardous wastes across international frontiers to protect human health and the environment. It establishes criteria for environmentally sound management of the wastes and promotes the lifecycle approach and minimization of hazardous waste generation. The Convention was adopted in 1989 and entered into force on 5 May 1992.

The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for certain hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in international trade promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts in the international trade of hazardous chemicals to protect human health and the environment from potential harm. The Convention was adopted in 1998 and entered into force on 24 February 2004.

The Stockholm Convention targets certain hazardous pesticides and industrial chemicals that can kill people, damage the nervous and immune systems, cause cancer and reproductive disorders and interfere with normal infant and child development. It seeks the elimination or restriction of production and use of all intentionally produced persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and the continuing minimization of the releases of unintentionally produced POPs such as dioxins and furans. The Convention was adopted in 2001 and entered into force on 17 May 2004.

The Regional Activity Centre for Cleaner Production in Barcelona is one of six Regional Activity Centres within the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP). The goal of the Centre is the promotion and dissemination of preventoin and the reduction of pollution at the source in the industrial, agriculture and tourism sectors.

Further information:

Contact:

Nelson Sabogal, Chief Convention Services and Governance Unit, Secretariat to the Basel Convention, UNEP, +41 22 917 8212, e-mail: Nelson.Sabogal@unep.ch

Michael Stanley-Jones, Press Focal Point/Public Information Officer, Joint Services of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, +41-22-917-8668; (m) + 41-79-730-4495, e-mail: SafePlanet@unep.org

 

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