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Funding opportunities for pilot projects on the environmentally sound management of E-waste

The Basel Convention’s Follow-up Partnership to PACE invites project proposals promoting sound alternatives to open-pit burning of e-waste and harmful recycling operations, with a deadline of 20 February 2021.

Funding opportunities for pilot projects on the environmentally sound management of E-waste

Funding opportunities for pilot projects on the environmentally sound management of E-waste
 
Myanmar submits its first national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

To better protect human health and the environment, Myanmar has submitted its first NIP, covering amendments made at COP4, COP5 & COP6.

Myanmar submits its first national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Myanmar submits its first national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
Six months countdown to the BRS 2021 COPs starts today

This days also marks the communication of 3 proposals to amend the Basel Convention in addition to the proposals to amend Annexes A, B, and/or C of the Stockholm Convention and to amend Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention communicated on 15 December 2020.

Six months countdown to the BRS 2021 COPs starts today

Six months countdown to the BRS 2021 COPs starts today
 
Big Year for chemicals & waste continues as UN experts take steps to recommend eliminating UV-328

Read the BRS Press Release summarising the outcomes of the 16th meeting of the Stockholm Convention’s POPs Review Committee, 11-16 January 2021.

Big Year for chemicals & waste continues as UN experts take steps to recommend eliminating UV-328

Big Year for chemicals & waste continues as UN experts take steps to recommend eliminating UV-328

Geneva, Switzerland: 16 January 2021 - Just two weeks after the landmark Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments became effective for 186 states, almost 200 UN scientific experts and observers from around the world met online this week to review the scientific case for listing UV-328, a toxic chemical additive typically found in certain specific types of plastics, in Annex A to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

UV-328 is a ubiquitous high-volume additive typically used as an ultra-violet (UV) stabiliser in plastic products such as some personal care products, rubber and coatings. UV-328 is found in the environment and biota, including in remote areas such as the Arctic and the Pacific Ocean, far from its production and use. UV-328 has been found to be transported with, and may subsequently be released from plastic debris, which is taken up for example by seabirds with subsequent accumulation in their tissue, and microplastics. In humans, UV-328 has been detected in breast milk.  It is also the first non-halogenated chemical considered by the Stockholm Convention scientific subsidiary body, the POPs Review Committee. Possible eventual listing in Annex A, B and/or C at a future meeting of the Conference of Parties of the Stockholm Convention would then trigger its reduction or elimination.

The 16th Meeting of the POPs Review Committee, held online from 11 to 16 January 2021, concluded that UV-328 satisfies all criteria set out in Annex D to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)1, namely persistence, bioaccumulation, potential for long-range environmental transport and adverse effects to humans and/or the environment. UV-328 now goes forward to the next stage of the review by the Committee. After rigorous scientific review and socio-economic considerations, a future meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Stockholm Convention will take into account the recommendations of the Committee, and may decide to list it, leading to actions towards its elimination or reduction from production and use, as well as the destruction of existing stocks and management of POPs wastes. Given UV-328’s proliferation in plastic products, such a listing would strengthen the Stockholm Convention’s role as a key, additional, instrument for governments across the globe to tackle the growing plastic waste crisis.

Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Stockholm Convention, said that “The evaluation by POPRC of UV-328, a plastic chemical additive with long-term ecological and health effects, boosts the important work we have begun to address the toxic components present in many types of plastics. The synergies between the Basel and Stockholm Conventions provide the global legal and scientific framework, as well as a platform of opportunity for countries to continue to critically address the global plastics crisis.”

The Committee also considered other chemicals and adopted the risk profile for Methoxychlor, a pesticide used as a replacement for DDT, and decided that it is likely, as a result of its long-range environmental transport, to lead to significant adverse human health and environmental effects such that global action is warranted. An intersessional working group will continue the work by preparing a draft risk management evaluation that includes an analysis of possible control measures for Methoxychlor. 

The Committee also considered Dechlorane Plus, a flame retardant that has been in use since the 1960s, deciding  – following extensive discussions – that while information on persistence, bioaccumulation and the potential for long-range environmental transport was conclusive, the information on adverse effects was deemed insufficient to support a decision on the risk profile at this moment. Information and scientific research on adverse effects of Dechlorane Plus on human health and the environment is therefore urgently needed – before September 2021 – for the Committee to be able to further evaluate potential adverse effects and recommend if global action on this chemical is warranted.

POPRC last year recommended Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts, and PFHxS-related compounds be listed in Annex A to the Convention, which will be considered at the next meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Stockholm Convention (COP) to be held in July 2021. PFHxS is a group of industrial chemicals used widely in a number of consumer goods as a surfactant and sealant including in carpets, leather, clothing, textiles, fire-fighting foams, papermaking, printing inks and non-stick cookware. PFHxS is known to be harmful to human health including the nervous system, brain development, endocrine system and thyroid hormone.

To date, 30 POPs, which covers thousands of related chemicals, are listed in the Annexes A, B and C to the legally binding Stockholm Convention. The Convention, which entered into force in 2004 has 184 Parties, and benefits from almost universal coverage across the globe.

Notes for Editors:

UV-328

UV-328 is a substituted phenolic benzotriazole (BZT) used as a UV absorber in many products. BZTs absorb the full spectrum of UV light and are mostly used in transparent plastics, coatings, and personal care products (PCPs). UV-328 in particular can be used in many types of plastic polymer matrices, typically in concentrations between 0.1 and 0.5% of mass. UV-328 is used as a printing ink additive in food contact materials, too. Because it is not bound to the polymer, UV-328 can migrate from within the polymer matrix and eventually diffuse out of the matrix and enter the environment.

PFHxS

PFHxS, its salts and related compounds have unique properties with a high resistance to friction, heat, chemical agents, low surface energy and are used as a water, grease, oil and soil repellent. It is widely utilized in a variety of consumer goods such as carpets, leather, apparel, textiles, firefighting foam, papermaking, printing inks, sealants, and non-stick cookware. PFHxS concentrations are found in biota and humans alike and its elimination takes approximately 8 years. Effects of PFHxS in humans are found to influence the nervous system, brain development, endocrine system and thyroid hormone. For more on PFHxS see: http://chm.pops.int/tabid/243/

POPs and the Stockholm Convention

Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) can lead to serious adverse health effects including certain cancers, birth defects, dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems, greater susceptibility to disease and damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems. Given that these chemicals can be transported over long distances, no one government acting alone can protect its citizens or its environment from POPs. The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, adopted in 2001 and entered into force in 2004, is a global treaty requiring its Parties to take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of POPs into the environment, to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have harmful impacts on human health or on the environment.

For more information on the Stockholm Convention, POPs, and POPRC: www.pops.int

For more info:

Technical contact: Kei Woodall Ohno, BRS Secretariat; email: kei.ohno-woodall@brsmeas.org tel: +41-22-9178201

Press contact: Charlie Avis, BRS Secretariat email: Charles.avis@brsmeas.org tel: +41-79-7304495



[1] That it is toxic to both humans and wildlife, persists over long periods in the environment, accumulates in organisms, and that when released can be transported over long distances by air or water, in this case as an additive to plastic waste which ends up as marine plastic litter.

United Arab Emirates updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

To better protect human health and the environment, UAE’s updated NIP addresses amendments made at COP-7, COP-8, and COP-9

United Arab Emirates updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

United Arab Emirates updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
Scientific experts meet online for the 16th meeting of the Stockholm Convention’s POPs Review Committee (POPRC), 11-16 January 2021

On the agenda is the proposal to list UV-328, and draft risk profiles for Dechlorane Plus and Methoxychlor. All the documents are publically available, online.

Scientific experts meet online for the 16th meeting of the Stockholm Convention’s POPs Review Committee (POPRC), 11-16 January 2021

Scientific experts meet online for the 16th meeting of the Stockholm Convention’s POPs Review Committee (POPRC), 11-16 January 2021
 
Impact of COVID-19 on BRS meetings <span class="attentionNote">(Updated 12 January 2021)</span>
 

Impact of COVID-19 on BRS meetings (Updated 12 January 2021)

Impact of COVID-19 on BRS meetings <span class="attentionNote">(Updated 12 January 2021)</span>
 
To rid the world of POPs, Sweden updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Addressing Amendments made at COPs 8 and 9, Sweden has transmitted its updated NIP.

To rid the world of POPs, Sweden updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

To rid the world of POPs, Sweden updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
International Mountains Day marked as countries prepare for expanded control of plastic waste

The Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments become effective on New Year’s Day 2021, giving new impetus to the protection of mountains and other regions from plastic waste pollution.

International Mountains Day marked as countries prepare for expanded control of plastic waste

International Mountains Day marked as countries prepare for expanded control of plastic waste
 
Japan updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

To better protect human health and environment, Japan has transmitted its updated NIP, addressing amendments made at COPs 8 and 9.

Japan updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Japan updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
2019 Stockholm Convention amendments on Dicofol, PFOA, and PFOS enter into force

On 3 December 2020, amendments adopted at COP9 enter into force for most Parties, adding Dicofol and PFOA, its salts & PFOA-related compounds to Annex A, and amending the exemptions for PFOS, its salts and PFOSF in Annex B.

2019 Stockholm Convention amendments on Dicofol, PFOA, and PFOS enter into force

2019 Stockholm Convention amendments on Dicofol, PFOA, and PFOS enter into force
 
Tanzania has updated its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Addressing amendments made at COPs 4, 5, 6, & 7, the updated NIP will help protect human health and the environment from POPs.

Tanzania has updated its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Tanzania has updated its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
16th POPs Review Committee meeting kicks off online Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Pre-meetings of POPRC-16 will run from 1 to 3 December, providing an early opportunity for experts to introduce and discuss the technical issues ahead of the full meeting in January 2021.

16th POPs Review Committee meeting kicks off online Tuesday, 1 December 2020

16th POPs Review Committee meeting kicks off online Tuesday, 1 December 2020
 
Join the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues, online, starting 26 November 2020

Organised by GEN with the BRS Secretariat and a host of other partners, the first of the series focuses on plastic waste.

Join the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues, online, starting 26 November 2020

Join the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues, online, starting 26 November 2020
 
Tuvalu updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

To help protect human health and the environment from POPs, Tuvalu has transmitted its updated NIP, covering amendments made at COP4, COP5, COP6, COP7, COP8 and COP9.

Tuvalu updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Tuvalu updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
Webinar to outline the selected projects of the new Small Grants Programme on plastic waste

Learn about the 7 projects selected for funding from the first call for proposals, by joining this webinar on 12 November at 1400.

Webinar to outline the selected projects of the new Small Grants Programme on plastic waste

Webinar to outline the selected projects of the new Small Grants Programme on plastic waste
 
The Stockholm Convention's POPs Review Committee will hold its 16th meeting online. Agenda, documents, and other information are available online

The Stockholm Convention's scientific subsidiary body meeting, POPRC-16, will take place online 11-16 January 2021, with preparatory pre-meetings online 1-3 December 2020.

The Stockholm Convention's POPs Review Committee will hold its 16th meeting online. Agenda, documents, and other information are available online

The Stockholm Convention's POPs Review Committee will hold its 16th meeting online. Agenda, documents, and other information are available online
 
Theme for the 2021 Triple COPs announced: Global Agreements for a Healthy Planet

The Theme for the next meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, and the associated High-Level Segment, from 19 to 31 July 2021, is “Global Agreements for a Healthy Planet; Sound Management of Chemicals & Waste”.

Theme for the 2021 Triple COPs announced: Global Agreements for a Healthy Planet

Theme for the 2021 Triple COPs announced: Global Agreements for a Healthy Planet
 
International E-Waste Day marked around the world

The BRS Secretariat is proud to support and publicise this day, organised by the WEEE Forum, which aims to draw attention to the growing environmental & health challenges posed by electrical and electronic waste.

International E-Waste Day marked around the world

International E-Waste Day marked around the world
 
Sound management of chemicals and waste a prerequisite for turning the tide on biodiversity loss

Joint press release from the BRS and Minamata convention secretariats on the occasion of the UN Summit on Biodiversity.

Sound management of chemicals and waste a prerequisite for turning the tide on biodiversity loss

Sound management of chemicals and waste a prerequisite for turning the tide on biodiversity loss

Geneva, Switzerland; 30 September 2020 - All eyes are on biodiversity today, as the UN Summit on Biodiversity brings together the international community in the name of stemming the tide of biodiversity loss worldwide. With biodiversity loss occurring at an unprecedented rate, we are called upon to recognise not only our common global duty to halt the destruction of our natural world, but also to act where we are, and where we can, to safeguard and restore the life-supporting functions of our Planet.

The Basel (1989), Rotterdam (1998), Stockholm (2001), and Minamata (2013) Conventions were agreed in order to manage and reduce the harmful impacts of hazardous chemicals and wastes on the environment and on human health. While focused on chemicals and wastes management, each of these Conventions also decidedly contributes to the overall protection of biological diversity and the range of goods and services provided by our Planet’s ecosystems.

Pollution is widely accepted as one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss. Pollution might be experienced as plastics or pesticides choking life in our rivers and oceans, or as industrial chemicals such as PCBs and PFOS, taken up by living organisms and accumulating up the food-chain, causing multiple damages such as endocrine disruption and neurotoxicity, or as wastes dumping or open burning, poisoning our soils, freshwater and air, or as mercury dramatically affecting the health of small-scale gold miners. Common to each of these examples of unsustainable use of chemicals and wastes, is the almost irreparable damage done to the ecosystems and to Nature’s ability to thrive and to contribute to the well-being of people. 

As independent and  legally binding instruments, the four Conventions provide for specific means to achieve their respective objectives, including by setting obligations for their respective Parties to control or reduce harm to human health and the environment stemming from the production, use, trade and disposal of the covered chemicals and wastes. Since they contribute to a greater whole, their full implementation makes a significant, and vital contribution to the protection of the environment and biodiversity, and overall, to the health and well-being of people.

As a contribution to efforts to protect biodiversity, the secretariats of the four conventions have joined forces to develop an exploratory study highlighting the pollutants regulated by the four Conventions and their impacts on biodiversity. Based on existing scientific knowledge, the sound management of these pollutants under our Conventions will undoubtedly result in improvements to the state of biodiversity. The study will be launched at the 5th Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, convening in 2021, in the run-up to the Conferences of the Parties of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (July 2021), the Conference of the Parties of the Minamata Convention (November 2021), as well as the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity convening to adopt the Global Biodiversity Framework, in late 2021.

For further information on the work of the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions: www.brsmeas.org

Contact: Katarina Magulova (tel: +41-22-9178170; email: Katarina.magulova@brsmeas.org )

For further information on the work of the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention: www.mercuryconvention.org

Contact person: Claudia ten Have, Senior Policy and Coordination Officer (tel: +41-22-9178638; email: claudia.tenhave@un.org )

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