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BRS supports sustainable development goal 5 on  gender equality  and women’s empowerment
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Transmission of National Implementation Plans

Lao PDR has transmitted its revised and updated national implementation plans addressing COP4 amendments pursuant to Article 7 of the Convention on 25 April 2016.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has transmitted its initial, revised and updated national implementation plans addressing COP4 and COP5 amendments pursuant to Article 7 of the Convention on 15 April 2016.

Yemen has transmitted its initial national implementation plans pursuant to Article 7 of the Convention on 26 January 2016.

Cambodia has transmitted its revised and updated national implementation plans addressing COP4 and COP5 amendments pursuant to Article 7 of the Convention on 25 January 2016.

Ukraine has transmitted its initial national implementation plans pursuant to Article 7 of the Convention on 21 January 2016.

Seychelles has transmitted its revised and updated national implementation plans addressing COP4, COP5 and COP6 amendment pursuant to Article 7 of the Convention on 5 January 2016.

See the national implementation plans.

A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2016/17 is now available on the BRS websites.

Concept notes for voluntary financial contributions 2016-17 now available

Concept notes for voluntary financial contributions 2016-17 now available

 

Dates agreed for high-level segment of 2017 Triple COPs

Dates agreed for high-level segment of 2017 Triple COPs

The high-level segment of the next Triple COPs is scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday, 4 May and the morning of Friday, 5 May 2017.

Dates agreed for high-level segment of 2017 Triple COPs

Dates agreed for high-level segment of 2017 Triple COPs
 
Ministers to be invited to attend the high-level segment of the 2017 Triple COPs

Ministers to be invited to attend the high-level segment of the 2017 Triple COPs

Ministers have been officially informed of the high-level segment of the meetings of the triple BRS COPs, which will be held in Geneva from 24 April to 5 May 2017.

Ministers to be invited to attend the high-level segment of the 2017 Triple COPs

Ministers to be invited to attend the high-level segment of the 2017 Triple COPs
 
What does the regional centre in Uruguay do?

What does the regional centre in Uruguay do?

Read our interview with Gabriela Medina to understand how regional efforts help implement the Basel and Stockholm conventions.

What does the regional centre in Uruguay do?

What does the regional centre in Uruguay do?
 
Croatia transmits revised and updated NIP

Croatia transmits revised and updated NIP

Addressing amendments made at the Stockholm Convention COP-4, COP-5 and COP-6, Croatia has transmitted its revised and updated National Implementation Plan.

Croatia transmits revised and updated NIP

Croatia transmits revised and updated NIP
 
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Stockholm Convention effectiveness evaluated: concentrations decreasing for legacy & some newly-listed POPs

The 2nd meeting of the effectiveness evaluation committee finds the Convention an effective framework for regulating POPs, but key implementation challenges remain.

Stockholm Convention effectiveness evaluated: concentrations decreasing for legacy & some newly-listed POPs

Stockholm Convention effectiveness evaluated: concentrations decreasing for legacy & some newly-listed POPs

The effectiveness evaluation committee, established by the Conference of the Parties at its seventh meeting, met for the second time from 4 to 7 October 2016 in Geneva to finalize the first six-year evaluation cycle.

The committee concluded, among others, that the Stockholm Convention provides an effective and dynamic framework to regulate POPs throughout their lifecycle, addressing the production, use, import, export, releases, and disposal of these chemicals worldwide. However, inadequate implementation is the key issue that has been identified in this evaluation. Mechanisms and processes required by the Convention to support Parties in meeting their obligations have all been put in place, with the exception of procedures and mechanisms on compliance. A key challenge in undertaking the evaluation was the limited data available from national reports and national implementation plans, and recommendations have been made to address these and other implementation issues. Monitoring results indicate that regulations targeting POPs are succeeding in reducing levels of POPs in humans and the environment. For legacy POPs, concentrations measured in air and in human populations have declined and continue to decline or remain at low levels due to restrictions on POPs that predated the Stockholm Convention and are now incorporated in it. For the newly listed POPs, concentrations are beginning to show decreases, although in a few instances, increasing and/or stable levels are observed.

The effectiveness evaluation report, including an executive summary in the six UN languages, will be submitted for consideration at the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention.

Listen to the POPs rap, a musical postcard from Toronto

Canadian Karen Quinto felt the sustainable management of chemicals so important, she wrote a rap to communicate it. Listen to her song and tell us if you agree.

Listen to the POPs rap, a musical postcard from Toronto

Listen to the POPs rap, a musical postcard from Toronto

Interview between Charlie Avis, Public Information Officer for the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, and Ms. Karen Yves Quinto, a scientist/musician/artist from Toronto, Canada.

Charlie Avis (CA): Good morning Karen, thank you for time in sharing with us your work and first of all can I say how much I and many of my colleagues enjoyed your rap about persistent organic pollutants, or POPs. Congratulations!

Karen Yves Quinto (KYQ): Thank you, Charlie, for the opportunity to get my work out there and it’s great to know you enjoyed the song, it was certainly fun writing it!

CA: Firstly, please tell us a little bit about yourself. From what age did you feel interested in science and in chemistry and the environment?

KYQ: Well, I went to a progressive elementary school where we had Botany and Zoology as early as grade 1 and I fell in love with microscopes in grade 4 because it was like another world for me. I kind of forgot about science during high school, because I was too busy fitting in and science was not a popular subject, so I got into art and music instead up until I decided to pursue a career in science in the end. As for chemistry and the environment, those interests developed at Ryerson University where I did my undergrad. I was really into Microbial Fuel Cells, so I studied the topic for my Directed Studies in Chemistry course in my final year. We also had a very prominent, environmentally focused science programs and I held leadership positions in many environmentally focused projects, from making vertical gardens to petitioning to save the Experimental Lakes Area here in Canada.

CA: Why rap music, why not singer/song-writer guitar, for example?

KYQ: I do sing and write songs in other music projects. In my {Mandelbrot} & {Julia}: Boundaries Dissolve album, I focused more on my jazz lounge repertoire. I chose to delve into science rap recently because first of all, it's amusing in the context of science and I like to perform during my presentations. But I think rap also has a way of communicating quite plainly and honestly about any topic. Rapping is a good medium for communicating science because scientific terms are easier to rhyme. It also has a huge "wow" factor and has been my strategic go-to for seminars and presentations at school. It makes people laugh and it's never boring, so I keep doing it. I initially wrote "Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)" for Environment Canada's "Take Our Kids to Work Day", Canada's annual initiative to bring high school students to their parent/guardian's workplace. I went to my dad's workplace when I was a teen but he was in a manufacturing setting so there were lots for students to see because it was very visual. However, at Environment Canada, it was harder to show what scientists and policy makers actually do in a concrete and tangible way. So, I volunteered to co-host the event in 2015 and I used my POPs rap as an introduction to our work at the Hazardous Air Pollution Laboratory.

CA: How did the students react to your rap?

KYQ: When I first performed the rap, they looked very embarrassed for me. And I get it, it's unusual to be rapping about science but I know they acknowledged the skill that went into that. Some of them secretly told me later that initially they thought it was going to be lame, but they found it was "actually good". After the day was over, some parents emailed me afterwards saying that their children couldn't stop talking about the science rap that they had seen. And believe me, these teens are hard to impress! So in the end, I think it was successful in reaching the younger demographic.

CA: I’m curious, do you have other science raps you’ve written before POPs? And do you have any recordings of them?

KYQ: I've rapped about Lysteria in second year undergrad for Cellular Biology, then I wrote "Microbial Fuel Cells" and "Climate Change" for my Masters of Environmental Science presentations. If anyone wants to hear my music, they can go to https://soundcloud.com/karen-quinto or https://karenquinto.com/music-projects/ where they can stream my recorded music. The other rap songs are still in the process of being recorded. I barely record, to be honest, I much prefer performing in front of an audience!

CA: I’m sure you’ll get some additional visitors, after this interview. The only “criticism” I’ve heard about your POPs rap is that it is too short, and it’d be great to be able to enjoy it for longer! Is it difficult to write and perform for longer than a minute or so?

KYQ: I wrote POPs as an intro to a presentation of our work at Environment Canada, so initially the one-minute mark was because of its original use. Rap is fast-paced, so there’s a lot of work and longevity that goes into writing and performing one. You have to be concise and find ways for all the words to fit and rhyme in your own style. Then you have to memorize the whole thing, which requires a seriously intense amount of repetition until it is recorded in the muscle memory of your mouth. I suppose I could write a few more verses!

CA: Let’s talk about environment awareness. How would you describe the awareness of young adults and teenagers, for example in your city, concerning the environment, concerning chemicals, everyday pollution, waste, recycling, themes like that?

KYQ: I can’t really speak about statistics or anything concrete like that, but from what I have observed, it really depends on many factors: their geography, their upbringing at home, their school, and other sources like the shows that they watch. Some cities like Toronto have a fairly good recycling culture, but other cities don’t. If you’re eating home cooked meals, you’re less likely to produce trash than if you were always on the go. If your school has a clean-up day, it becomes part of your habit. If you live in a condo without a recycling program, you’re not going to think about recycling as much as if you lived in a house. I think that young adults in general are becoming more aware of the “big picture” environmental issues, but practicing environmentalism is dependent upon the local community of that teen.

CA: Tell me what are your current projects, anything else POPs-related?

KYQ: Right now, I am more into the painting side of things. I perform sometimes and have collaborations on the side, really slow-burning stuff. I’m not a full-time musician, so everything is happening on a different timescale. Nothing POPs-related, although I’m sure something interesting is bound to come along and help me continue that path. I have been bouncing around ideas and thinking about ways to communicate that area of science. I’m very much project-driven when it comes to my art. I like finding opportunities to create something for both science and art’s sake.

CA: Last question from me: the international community has its two-yearly “COPs” - or meetings of the conference of parties – coming up in Geneva next April, when new chemicals will be added to the Stockholm Convention and other decisions will be taken through the Basel and Rotterdam Conventions to protect human health and the environment. Do you think you could write a song about that?

KYQ: Is that an offer? Yeah for sure, I’d welcome any invitation to write and even perform; the sky’s the limit. Why not? That’s a very exciting proposition. When I wrote POPs, I was having lunch in the cafeteria of Environment Canada and planning what to do for an education event. That’s how my ideas thrive and come to fruition.

CA: Not an offer, no, but maybe the germ of an idea! Let’s see. Karen, thank you so much for your time, for your answers, and especially for your music. Good luck with your inspiring work, please let’s keep in touch!

ANAG: Thanks Charlie, we definitely will! And let me just add that if anyone wants to connect with me about science, art, and/or music, they can add me on www.linkedin.com/in/karenquinto or email me at k.quinto@mail.utoronto.ca

 

Outcomes of the 12th meeting of the POPs Review Committee

The advance English version of the POPRC-12 meeting report is now available.

Outcomes of the 12th meeting of the POPs Review Committee

Outcomes of the 12th meeting of the POPs Review Committee
 
Uruguay playing lead regional role in sound management of chemicals and waste

Our regional focus switches to Latin America and the role of The Uruguayan Technological Laboratory (LATU) in Montevideo, which assists parties implement the Basel and Stockholm Conventions.

Uruguay playing lead regional role in sound management of chemicals and waste

Uruguay playing lead regional role in sound management of chemicals and waste
 
China ratifies the Stockholm Convention 2013 amendment on HBCD

China is working towards elimination of the flame retardant HBCD after its government ratified the amendment listing it in Annex A to the Convention, as adopted by the Conference of the Parties in 2013.

China ratifies the Stockholm Convention 2013 amendment on HBCD

China ratifies the Stockholm Convention 2013 amendment on HBCD
 
The BRS interview - Focus on the Gulf

Latest in the series talks to Dr. Abdulnabi Al-Ghadban, who leads the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Kuwait.

The BRS interview - Focus on the Gulf

The BRS interview - Focus on the Gulf
 
Cameroon submits updated Stockholm Convention NIP

Addressing amendments from COP-4, COP-5 and COP-6, Cameroon has submitted its updated National Implementation Plan.

Cameroon submits updated Stockholm Convention NIP

Cameroon submits updated Stockholm Convention NIP
 
Regional focus switches to Kuwait

This month we highlight the work of the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre for Kuwait.

Regional focus switches to Kuwait

Regional focus switches to Kuwait

SCRC Kuwait is hosted by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), which was established in 1967 to carry out applied scientific research and to provide consulting services for both governmental and private sectors in Kuwait, the Gulf region and the Arab World. KISR was nominated by the parties of the Asia region, and endorsed by the Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention in 2009 to serve as a Stockholm Convention Regional Centre. The centre serves basically the countries located in the West Asia region, namely: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. The main objective of the SCRC Kuwait is to strengthen and further develop the capabilities of countries in the West Asia region in implementing the Stockholm Convention, through capacity building and the transfer of environmentally sound technologies adopted and used under the Stockholm Convention.

The priorities of the centre are as follows:

  1. Coordinate with the 10 served members regarding the compliance of the stated recommendations by the POPRC and the conference of the parties;
  2. Provide all served members with needful technical support to assist them in fulfilling the requirement of the convention;
  3. Upgrade the centre with up to date facilities such as equipment for providing better services.

As such the vision for evolving the RC in the next 5 to 10 years is to ensure that all members would have the means and support needed from the RC to reach the level of full compliance with the Stockholm Convention.

SCRC Kuwait/KISR has emerged as a centre of excellence in the field of laboratory analysis of various environmental samples, including POPs and has a proven track record in laboratory management. The main laboratories and support sectors available in KISR that are related to the work of SCRC Kuwait are:

  1. Laboratories
    • The Central Analytical Laboratory
    • Environmental Organic and inorganic Chemistry
    • Ecotoxicology and bio-monitoring Laboratories
    • Radioecology and radiochemistry
    • Remote Sensing              
  2. Support sectors
    • National Scientific & Technical Information Centre
    • Manpower Development Division  

KISR/SCRC Kuwait has been undertaking a wide range of environmental studies particularly on the monitoring of POPs in various matrices and producing a significant number of articles in the peer review journals in recent years. Some of the notable works related to the Stockholm Convention include:

  • Capacity-Building Workshop for the Development of Ambient Air Monitoring Network for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) including the newly added POPs to the Stockholm Convention in the region of West Asia;
  • A study on Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in car dust from Kuwait: Implications for human exposure; and
  • A study on “Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Kuwait’s atmosphere: Building the capacity to fulfil data requirements of the Stockholm Convention on POPs” .

For more information please visit: www.kisr.edu.kw.

Is the Stockholm Convention effective in protecting human health and environment from POPs?

From 4 to 7 October, Geneva hosts the 2nd meeting of the effectiveness evaluation committee, whose work is helping answer this important question.

Is the Stockholm Convention effective in protecting human health and environment from POPs?

Is the Stockholm Convention effective in protecting human health and environment from POPs?
 
Press Release: UN chemical experts pave way for more sustainable management of chemicals

The outcomes of the recent Rotterdam Convention CRC-12 and Stockholm Convention POPRC-12 meetings are now available online, featuring proposed new chemicals listings at the COPs in Geneva in 2017.

Press Release: UN chemical experts pave way for more sustainable management of chemicals

Press Release: UN chemical experts pave way for more sustainable management of chemicals
 
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