In the spotlight

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Announcements

Calendar of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

 

Call for applications by 31 December 2014.

Download the communication and application form

Consultancy announcement: illegal traffic and trade

 
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Highlights

Transmission of National Implementation Plans

New Parties to the Convention

Pre-session documents for the three COPs now available

Pre-session documents for the three COPs now available

Pre-session documents for the three COPs, including programmes of work and proposed budgets for the biennium 2016-2017, are available on the Secretariat websites.

Pre-session documents for the three COPs now available

Pre-session documents for the three COPs now available
 
Science-based decision-making key to the COPs

Science-based decision-making key to the COPs

For three days on the margins of the COPs, the BRS Secretariat and its partners will present the scientific basis for sustainable management of chemicals and waste, at the Science Fair, 7-9 May 2015.

Science-based decision-making key to the COPs

Science-based decision-making key to the COPs
 
BRS online capacity building reaches >1,100 per year

BRS online capacity building reaches >1,100 per year

The BRS webinar series is especially tailored to assist all stakeholder to make the most of the forthcoming Triple COPs.

BRS online capacity building reaches >1,100 per year

BRS online capacity building reaches >1,100 per year
 
Focus on Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building

Focus on Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building

Why is Capacity-Building crucial for implementing the Conventions? An Interview with the Chief of the BRS Technical Assistance Branch, Maria Cristina Cardenas, tells us why.

Focus on Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building

Focus on Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building
 
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Activities

Syndicate
Briefing on Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions COPs in 2015

The online briefings aim at providing parties, observers and other stakeholders with an overview of the issues that will be discussed during the meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, to be held in Geneva, from 4-15 May 2015.

Briefing on Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions COPs in 2015

Briefing on Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions COPs in 2015
 
Growing Coffee without Endosulfan: experiences with biopesticides for managing Coffee Berry Borer (CBB)

This is the second of three webinars looking at Integrated Pest Management practices to control the important Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) pest, as an alternative to using the highly hazardous pesticide Endosulfan. This webinar aims to share practical experiences of coffee farmers, in managing CBB with biopesticides.

Growing Coffee without Endosulfan: experiences with biopesticides for managing Coffee Berry Borer (CBB)

Growing Coffee without Endosulfan: experiences with biopesticides for managing Coffee Berry Borer (CBB)
 
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

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
 
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
 
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Upcoming meetings

Ninth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC.9)
Rome, Italy, from 14 to 18 October 2013

Ninth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC.9)

Rome, Italy, from 14 to 18 October 2013


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

Highlights: The ninth meeting of the POPs Review Committee (POPRC.9) will be held from 14 to 18 October 2013, with pre-meetings on Sunday, 13 October 2013, at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy. In addition, on Sunday, 20 October 2013, a joint meeting with the Rotterdam Convention’s Chemical Review Committee (CRC) will be held. This joint meeting was agreed to by the bureaux of the Committees and the conferences of the Parties to the Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, at their sixth meetings held from 28 April to 10 May 2013. The purpose of the joint meeting is for scientific information exchange between the members of the Committees.

The Committee will have before it proposals for listing decabromodiphenyl ether (commercial mixture, c-decaBDE) and dicofol in Annexes A, B and/or C to the Stockholm Convention. The Committee will also review, among other things, the draft risk management evaluation on chlorinated naphthalenes and hexachlorobutadiene and the draft risk profile on pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters. We would like to remind you that if you are planning to provide new or additional data on any chemical at the meeting, you should also provide a copy of the full reference documentation to ensure data acceptability.

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 30 August 2013 by fax or e-mail to the Secretariat.

First joint meeting of the Chemical Review Committee and the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee, 20 October 2013

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Recent meetings

February 2015
Global workshop on updating national implementation plans (NIPs) under the Stockholm Convention
Bratislava, Slovakia, 17 - 19 February 2015

Global workshop on updating national implementation plans (NIPs) under the Stockholm Convention

Bratislava, Slovakia, 17 - 19 February 2015


Backround:

The addition of chemicals to Annexes A, B or C of the Stockholm 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. A set of guidance documents has been developed to assist parties in reviewing and updating their NIPs with information related 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, parties should also evaluate effectiveness of the action plans and strategies included in the original NIP. Review of the adopted strategies and measures to reduce or eliminate releases of Annex C POPs will require parties to elaborate updated release inventories in order to evaluate whether the unintentional releases actually decreased.

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December 2014
Sub-regional workshop on illegal traffic of hazardous wastes, including PCBs and other wastes
Barranquilla, Colombia, 10 - 12 December 2014

Sub-regional workshop on illegal traffic of hazardous wastes, including PCBs and other wastes

Barranquilla, Colombia, 10 - 12 December 2014


Background: Under the Basel Convention, each Party is required to take appropriate legal administrative and other measures to implement and enforce the provisions of the Convention, including appropriate national/domestic legislation to prevent and punish illegal traffic (art. 4.4 and 9.5). The Secretariat’s activities pertaining to national legislation, illegal traffic and enforcement support the effective implementation of these requirements and hence the achievement of fundamental objectives of the Convention.

COP-11 adopted two decisions of particular relevance to the objective of preventing and combating illegal traffic. By Decision BC-11/8: Committee for Administering the Mechanism for Promoting Implementation and Compliance of the Basel Convention, COP-11 established ENFORCE. By Decision BC-11/10: National legislation, notifications, enforcement of the Convention and efforts to combat illegal traffic, COP-11 invited Parties and requested the Secretariat to undertake a number of activities aimed at preventing and combating illegal traffic.

In their decisions on enhancing cooperation and coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the three COPs list “combating illegal traffic and trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes” as a specific area for enhanced cooperation and coordination among the conventions.

At the third and fourth meetings, in its decisions SC-3/7 and SC-4/8 respectively, the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention requested the Secretariat to undertake training and other capacity building activities to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition in implementing the Basel Convention technical guidelines on POPs waste, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These as well as a number of documents and guidance on inventory of PCBs and environmentally sound management of PCBs, have been prepared by the Secretariat.

Over the years, the Secretariat carried out a number of training activities to support parties in preventing and combating illegal traffic in hazardous wastes and other wastes, including more recently two workshops that focused on the prosecution of illegal traffic. The first workshop for prosecutors took place in Bratislava, the Slovak Republic, on 26-27 June 2012 for countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. The workshop for Central and South America took place on 28-29 August 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Furthermore, the Secretariat also provided support to Parties on the environmentally sound management of PCBs and POPs waste in a series of regional workshops that took place in 2009 and 2010.

Sub-regional workshop on updating NIPs and POPs wastes under the Stockholm Convention
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 8 - 10 December 2014

Sub-regional workshop on updating NIPs and POPs wastes under the Stockholm Convention

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 8 - 10 December 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, parties should also evaluate effectiveness of the action plans and strategies included in the original NIP. Review of the adopted strategies and measures to reduce or eliminate releases of Annex C POPs will require parties to elaborate updated release inventories in order to evaluate whether the unintentional releases actually decreased.

POPs wastes are listed as wastes in Annexes I and VIII of the Basel Convention. The updated general technical guidelines for the environmentally sound management of wastes consisting of, containing or contaminated with POPs was adopted by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Basel Convention by its decision VIII/16. Further, the COP mandated by its decision BC-11/3, to update the general technical guidelines and the preparation or updating of specific technical guidelines with regard to the chemicals listed in Annexes A, B and C to the Stockholm Convention by its decisions SC-4/10, SC-4/11, SC-4/12, SC-4/13, SC-4/14, SC-4/15, SC-4/16, SC-4/17, SC-4/18, SC-5/3, and SC-6/13 of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention.

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November 2014
Expert meeting on Best Available Techniques and Best Environmental Practices and the Toolkit
Geneva, Switzerland, 24 - 25 November 2014

Expert meeting on Best Available Techniques and Best Environmental Practices and the Toolkit

Geneva, Switzerland, 24 - 25 November 2014


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

Highlights: The expert meeting on Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP) and the Toolkit for Identification and Quantification of Releases of Dioxins, Furans and Other Unintentional Persistent Organic Pollutants under the Stockholm Convention (Toolkit) was held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 24 and 25 November 2014.

With respect to the work on BAT and BEP, the collection and evaluation of new information provided by parties and others to revise and/or supplement the guidelines and guidance was one of the main areas of work included in the workplan for the biennium 2014-2015. The meeting aimed at taking stock of the information submitted intersessionally in view of assessing the aspects that can be addressed and integrated in the near future for development of documents for consideration at the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-7) and the issues that require further information collection and evaluation in the next intersessional period. The experts have evaluated the information and comments submitted on the guidelines and guidance on BAT and BEP (the list of comments and responses is attached to the meeting report as Annex III) and developed the workplan for the ongoing review and update of the guidelines and guidance in the biennium 2016–2017.

With respect to the Toolkit, the experts have developed the methodology and agreed on the workplan for the preliminary analysis of the information on unintentional releases of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) provided through national reports pursuant to Article 15 for consideration by the effectiveness evaluation committee by January 2016.

The conclusions and recommendations of the Toolkit and BAT and BEP experts towards COP-7 are included in the meeting report.

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Meeting of the Global Coordination Group for the Global Monitoring Plan for POPs - 2014
Geneva, Switzerland, 10 - 12 November 2014

Meeting of the Global Coordination Group for the Global Monitoring Plan for POPs - 2014

Geneva, Switzerland, 10 - 12 November 2014


Venue: International Environment House, Geneva, Switzerland.

Highlights: The members of the Global Coordination Group for the Global Monitoring Plan (GMP) for POPs met in Geneva, Switzerland from 10 to 12 November 2014. Among the issues under discussion in view of closing the second phase of the GMP, agreement on the final steps and timetable towards finalizing the five regional monitoring reports, developing conclusions and recommendations to be considered at COP-7, defining the approach, steps and timelines towards the development of the global monitoring report and identifying the GMP coordination group representative to the effectiveness evaluation committee were among the major highlights.

The five regional monitoring reports will be made available for consideration at COP-7. Monitoring data contained in the regional monitoring reports will, where possible and appropriate, be made available through the GMP data warehouse by March 2015. The global monitoring report will be developed on the base of the five regional monitoring reports by the coordination group for the global monitoring plan, with the assistance of the Secretariat and invited experts, by January 2016, and will be made available for consideration by the Effectiveness Evaluation Committee. While regional reports include data for PFOS in water and information on the regional transport where available, the assessment of PFOS water data and LRT considerations will be considered from a global perspective in the global monitoring report. A draft outline of the global monitoring report has been agreed by the coordination group as a basis for the future work.

New information has or will soon become available for inclusion in the GMP guidance document. The guidance will be updated to include up-to-date reference to HBCD, specification of the criteria for the selection of donors of human samples, and a revised water chapter to include more practical details on sampling for PFOS.

The conclusions and recommendations of the global coordination group are set out in the meeting report.

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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.

Summary of the outcomes

The tenth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee was held from 27 to 30 October 2014 in Rome back to back with the tenth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee of the Rotterdam Convention.

The Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee adopted a risk management evaluation on pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters and recommended listing of those chemicals in Annex A with specific exemptions for the production and use of pentachlorophenol for utility poles and cross-arms. The Committee also adopted a risk profile on decabromodiphenyl ether (commercial mixture, c-decaBDE) and established an intersessional working group to prepare a draft risk management evaluation. With regard to dicofol, the Committee was satisfied that the screening criteria have been fulfilled and established an intersessional working group to prepare a draft risk profile on dicofol. In addition, the Committee commenced the work of the intersessional working group on short-chained chlorinated paraffins to prepare a revised draft risk profile on those chemicals. Furthermore, as requested by the Conference of the Parties in decision SC-6/4, the Committee completed the assessment of alternatives to perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (PFOSF) and reviewed the draft report of the Secretariat for the evaluation of information on those chemicals. The Committee also provided comments on the draft guidance to assist parties to the Rotterdam Convention and the Chemical Review Committee in their work when a chemical under consideration is a persistent organic pollutant listed under the Stockholm Convention and requested the joint intersessional working group established at the first joint meeting of the Chemical Review Committee and the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee held in October 2013 to finalize and submit it to the Conference of the Parties.

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