In the spotlight

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.

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.

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Announcements

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.

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.

Calendar of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

 
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Highlights

Transmission of National Implementation Plans

New Parties to the Convention

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.

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.
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.

Regional Centres meet to enhance cooperation and coordination

Regional Centres meet to enhance cooperation and coordination
 
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. A draft 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
 

Clock starts ticking towards entry into force of HBCD amendment

The amendment for the listing of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) to Annex A of the Stockholm Convention will enter into force on 26 November 2014 for most Parties.  

Clock starts ticking towards entry into force of HBCD amendment

The official notification of HBCD has been communicated, by the Depositary/Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs in New York, to all Parties on 26 November 2013.

The notification is now available in English and in French

The HBCD amendment will enter into force for Parties on 26 November 2014, except for those Parties which might opt out, or for those Parties which had submitted the declaration for opting-in to any amendments, at the time they submitted their instruments of ratification of the Convention.

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Activities

Syndicate
Briefing on OEWG2 of SAICM

The objective of this webinar is to inform SAICM stakeholders of the 2nd meeting of the of the SAICM Open-ended Working Group, to enable them to participate fully in the related discussions. This webinar also serves to increase synergies in the implementation of SAICM and the chemicals and waste related conventions, including the Basel, Minamata, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

Briefing on OEWG2 of SAICM

Briefing on OEWG2 of SAICM

Schedule and registration

Date and Time
(Geneva time: UTC/GMT+1 hour)
Please register a few days in advance of the webinar.
To register, please use the following link:
25 November 2014, 10 am
Register
27 November 2014, 4 pm
Register

Objectives

The objective of this webinar is to inform SAICM stakeholders of the 2nd meeting of the of the SAICM Open-ended Working Group, to enable them to participate fully in the related discussions. This webinar also serves to increase synergies in the implementation of SAICM and the chemicals and waste related conventions, including the Basel, Minamata, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

Contents

  1. Introduction 5 min
  2. Presentation by the SAICM secretariat:
    • OEWG2 - 10 mins.
    • Overall Orientation and Guidance and related documents - 10 mins.
    • Other meeting documents - 10 mins.
    • Plans for ICCM4 - 5 mins.
  3. Questions and Answers - 20 mins.

Background

The 2nd meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG2) on the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management will be held in Geneva at the Centre International de Conference Genève (CICG) from 15 to 17 December 2014, with technical briefings and informal regional and other group meetings on Sunday 14 December 2014.
The OEWG2 meeting is in response to the request of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) in its resolution II/6 that established the Working Group as its subsidiary body which would meet a few months prior to the Conference.
The Working Group is to consider the implementation, development and enhancement of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, including by:
  1. Reviewing and prioritizing proposals for emerging policy issues in preparation of the next session of the Conference;
  2. Continuing discussion on work on emerging policy issues;
  3. Considering proposals for the inclusion of new activities in the Global Plan of Action;
  4. Considering initiatives that are being undertaken and addressing progress and gaps in achieving the goal that, by 2020, chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment;
  5. Considering the outcomes of regional meetings;
  6. Identifying priority issues for consideration for inclusion in the agendas of the sessions of the Conference;
  7. Undertaking such other activities as the Conference may direct;
A significant part of the agenda will be dedicated to discussing progress towards the 2020 goal and contributing to the ‘Overall Orientation and Guidance towards the 2020 Goal’, an expected strategic policy outcome of the fourth session of the ICCM.

Target group

SAICM stakeholders, including nominated SAICM National, Regional, IGO and NGO Focal Points, Basel Convention focal points, Rotterdam Convention focal points, Stockholm Convention national focal points and other BRS stakeholders.

Equipment requirements

The internet-based software, Webex, will be used for the video/teleconference session which allows for sharing voice and data, such as PowerPoint presentations. Webinar participants would need to use the following items: a computer, preferably a headset or a microphone and speakers and a good internet connection, or otherwise a phone.

Additional information

For more information, please contact:
For aspects related to the agenda and content of the webinar
The SAICM secretariat
Email: saicm.chemicals@unep.org
For IT and organisational aspects of the webinar
Technical Assistance Programme
Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
Email: technical.assistance@brsmeas.org
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.
The October  issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The Technical Assistance Newsletter provides information on the past, current and upcoming technical assistance activities.

The October issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The October  issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available
 
Tenth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee to be held in Rome in October 2014
The tenth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC-10) will be held from 27 to 30 October 2014 in Rome, Italy.

Tenth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee to be held in Rome in October 2014

Tenth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee to be held in Rome in October 2014
 
Kerstin Stendahl calls for increased awareness & safer alternatives to unsound chemicals

Collective global action agreed to in our multilateral environmental agreements coupled with implementation supported by the Global Environment Facility is helping to reduce threats posed by the use of chemicals.


Kerstin Stendahl calls for increased awareness & safer alternatives to unsound chemicals

Kerstin Stendahl calls for increased awareness & safer alternatives to unsound chemicals

Collective global action agreed to in our multilateral environmental agreements coupled with implementation supported by the Global Environment Facility is helping to reduce threats posed by the use of chemicals.

“The Month of Reporting” opens with special series of webinars on National Reporting
A series of webinars aim to provide in-depth guidance to Parties to the Stockholm Convention on how to submit their national reports.

“The Month of Reporting” opens with special series of webinars on National Reporting

“The Month of Reporting” opens with special series of webinars on National Reporting

A series of webinars aim to provide in-depth guidance to Parties to the Stockholm Convention on how to submit their national reports.

Stockholm Convention Bureau discussed preparation for the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties

The report of the meeting which took place on 14-15 May 2014, in Geneva, Switzerland is now available.

Stockholm Convention Bureau discussed preparation for the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties

Stockholm Convention Bureau discussed preparation for the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties
 
Record Funding for the Global Environment

US$ 4.43 billion pledged for the Global Environment Facility.

Record Funding for the Global Environment

Record Funding for the Global Environment
 
First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste

INTERPOL and the BRS Secretariat launch e-learning module to help law enforcement officers identify and prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes.

First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste

First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste
 
17 participants strengthened their skills at the training session on chairing meetings of all conventions
Training contributes to gender and regional diversity in conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons

17 participants strengthened their skills at the training session on chairing meetings of all conventions

17 participants strengthened their skills at the training session on chairing meetings of all conventions

Training contributes to gender and regional diversity in conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons

The Pilot training session on chairing meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) conventions took place in Glion, Switzerland, from 3 to 5 March 2014. The training was conducted by the Institute of Advanced Studies of the United Nations University in cooperation with the Secretariat. It brought together 17 participants from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, the Cook Islands, Ecuador, Egypt, Georgia, Indonesia, Japan, Malawi, Poland, the Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, and Switzerland.

The participants benefited from experience of former chairs who led various BRS processes, including the conferences of the parties, meetings of subsidiary bodies, contact groups and informal consultations. Through the combination of lectures, case studies, videos and simulation exercises the participants learned firsthand how to effectively chair intergovernmental meetings and guide them toward consensual outcomes.

“The pilot raining extends the conventions’ corps of highly qualified chairpersons, ensuring that we can call upon experienced chairs from all regions, while maintaining gender and regional diversity among them,” said Kerstin Stendahl, BRS Deputy Executive Secretary.

The training session was held through the generous support of the Government of Switzerland.
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Upcoming meetings

Alternatives Identification and Assessment Training
Barcelona, Spain, on 13 December 2011

Alternatives Identification and Assessment Training

Barcelona, Spain, on 13 December 2011


As part of the Programme of Work of the CPRAC in its activity 5.1.13 “Promotion and diffusion of Alternative Products and Processes to reduce the use of POPs and other chemicals” the CP/RAC is organizing the “Alternatives Identification and Assessment Training” which will be held on 13th December in Barcelona.

The training is organized under the EU Life Project SUBSPORT and intends to provide authorities, industry, trade unions, NGOs and other interested parties with information and tools to facilitate the substitution of hazardous chemicals in products and processes with safer alternatives.

Draft Agenda
Invitation Letter
Registration Form
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Upcoming webinars

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Recent meetings

November 2014
Fifth Expert Group Meeting on DDT
Geneva, Switzerland, 10 - 12 November 2014

Fifth Expert Group Meeting on DDT

Geneva, Switzerland, 10 - 12 November 2014


Venue: International Environment House-1 (IEH-1), 11-13 chemin des Anémones, 1219 Châtelaine, Switzerland. 

Background: DDT is listed in Annex B of the Stockholm Convention with its uses in disease vector control as an acceptable purpose in accordance with Part II of Annex B of the Convention. 

The DDT expert group is established in consultation with the World Health Organization to assess, every two years, the available scientific, technical, environmental and economic information related to production and use of DDT.

The sixth meeting of the COP, concluded that countries that are relying on DDT for disease vector control may need to continue such use until locally safe, effective, affordable and environmentally sound alternatives are available for a sustainable transition away from DDT. It also decided to evaluate the continued need for DDT for disease vector control on the basis of available scientific, technical, environmental and economic information, including that provided by the DDT expert group at its seventh meeting, with the objective of accelerating the identification and development of locally appropriate, cost-effective and safe alternatives.

Meeting objectives: To facilitate the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Stockholm Convention in its evaluation of continued need for DDT for disease vector control.

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October 2014
Tenth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC.10)
Rome, Italy, 27 - 30 October 2014

Tenth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC.10)

Rome, Italy, 27 - 30 October 2014


Venue: FAO Headquarters, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy.

Highlights: The tenth meeting of the POPs Review Committee (POPRC.10) will be held from 27 to 30 October 2014, with pre-meetings on Sunday, 26 October 2014, at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy.

The Committee will review the draft risk management evaluation on pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters, draft risk profile on decabromodiphenyl ether, and the proposal for listing dicofol in Annex A, B, and/or C to the Stockholm Convention. The Committee will also consider the draft reports prepared for the evaluation of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride pursuant to paragraphs 5 and 6 of part III of Annex B to the Stockholm Convention.

The Committee’s meetings are open to observers in accordance with the rules of procedure of the Conference of the Parties and the terms of reference of the POPs Review Committee. To participate as an observer, please read the information for admission of observers and submit the completed registration form before 29 August 2014 by e-mail to the Secretariat.

The pre-meetings for the Committee members and intersessional working groups will be held on Sunday, 26 October 2014 at the same venue. Please download the tentative schedule of the pre-meetings.

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August 2014
Regional workshop on updating national implementation plans and reporting under Stockholm Convention
Montevideo, Uruguay, 5 - 8 August 2014

Regional workshop on updating national implementation plans and reporting under Stockholm Convention

Montevideo, Uruguay, 5 - 8 August 2014


Background: The addition of chemicals to Annexes A, B or C of the Convention triggers the need for most parties to review and update the national implementation plans (NIPs) in accordance with decision SC-1/12. In 2009, nine new chemicals were added to the Annexes of the Convention and in 2011, endosulfan was added to Annex A of the Convention.

The process of reviewing and updating the NIPs can be challenging for parties that lack adequate resources and technical capacity. Parties have expressed the need for assistance in that regard and in particular in addressing newly listed POPs that are widely used for industrial purposes and are contained in products and articles. In accordance with decision SC-4/9 that requested the Secretariat to identify any additional guidance that might be required to assist parties in their development and implementation of the Convention, a set of guidance documents has been developed to assist parties in reviewing and updating their NIPs with information relating to newly listed POPs. These documents should assist parties in developing strategies to restrict and eliminate the newly listed POPs by providing guidance on establishing inventories, controlling the import of new POPs, monitoring the presence of products and articles containing new POPs, selecting best available techniques and best environmental practices for the management of new POPs.

While updating their NIPs in order to address the newly listed POPs parties should also evaluate effectiveness of the action plans and strategies included in the original NIP. Reviewing of the adopted strategies and measures to reduce or eliminate releases of Annex C POPs, will require to elaborate updated release inventories in order to evaluate whether the unintentional releases actually decreased.

Parties to the Stockholm Convention are also required to transmit national reports every four years to the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention. The reports contain qualitative information on the measures taken to implement the Convention and on the effectiveness of such measures. Additionally, Parties are required to report quantitative information which includes statistical data on the production, import and export of the chemicals listed in Annexes A and B, among others. Based on these obligations, the Secretariat has developed electronic reporting systems, one for each convention, where Parties can report directly online.

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July 2014
Sub-regional workshop on reporting obligations under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions
Dakar, Senegal, 6 - 8 July 2014

Sub-regional workshop on reporting obligations under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions

Dakar, Senegal, 6 - 8 July 2014


Background: Parties to the Basel Convention are required to transmit to the Secretariat, at the end of each calendar year, their respective national reports pursuant to Article 13, paragraph 3. The national report questionnaire contains qualitative and quantitative information. This is a mechanism that allows Parties to share information with each other and it also indicates the level of the implementation of the Basel Convention. The focal points of the Basel Convention, at the national level, are responsible for receiving and submitting information as provided for in Articles 13 and 16.

Parties to the Stockholm Convention are to transmit national reports to the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention every four years. The reports contain qualitative information on the measures taken to implement the Convention and on the effectiveness of such measures. Additionally, Parties are required to report quantitative information which includes statistical data on the production, import and export of the chemicals listed in Annexes A and B, among others.

Based on these obligations, the Secretariat has developed electronic reporting systems, one for each convention, where Parties can report directly online.

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