All activities

Last of our pre-COP Interviews: the three COP Coordinators

A look ahead to what to expect from the Triple COPs with Alain Wittig, Andrea Lechner, and Marylene Beau.

Last of our pre-COP Interviews: the three COP Coordinators

Last of our pre-COP Interviews: the three COP Coordinators



Countdown to the Triple COPs - Presidents’ Joint Meeting takes place in Geneva

The Presidents of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions met on 21 April 2015 to finalize arrangements for the preparation of the upcoming Triple COPs.

Countdown to the Triple COPs - Presidents’ Joint Meeting takes place in Geneva

Countdown to the Triple COPs - Presidents’ Joint Meeting takes place in Geneva
 
Countdown to the Triple COPs: FAO and the Rotterdam Convention

FAO’s Elisabetta Tagliati answers your questions on the Rotterdam Convention and the relationships between pesticides, agriculture and environment.

Countdown to the Triple COPs: FAO and the Rotterdam Convention

Countdown to the Triple COPs: FAO and the Rotterdam Convention
 
Interview with FAO’s Christine Fuell

Find out all about Rotterdam Convention implementation and the role of FAO in the latest of our interview series marking the Countdown to the Triple COPs..

Interview with FAO’s Christine Fuell

Interview with FAO’s Christine Fuell
 
Register now for the COPs Excursion on Lake Geneva

The Government of Switzerland invites delegates of the meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to join a boat cruise on Lake Geneva on Sunday, 10 May 2015. Registration is required.

Register now for the COPs Excursion on Lake Geneva

Register now for the COPs Excursion on Lake Geneva

 

Protecting children from pesticides: new visual tool now available

Raising awareness about child labour and harmful exposure to pesticides, a new visual facilitator’s guide covers issues and preventative steps, and is available in different languages and adapted to different contexts.

Protecting children from pesticides: new visual tool now available

Protecting children from pesticides: new visual tool now available
 
Countdown to the Triple COPs - Update on Stockholm listings

Ask Kei Ohno all you need to know about chemicals proposed to be newly listed at this year’s Conference of the Parties.

Countdown to the Triple COPs - Update on Stockholm listings

Countdown to the Triple COPs - Update on Stockholm listings
 
COP President explores implementation of the Basel Convention

Read the new interview with Basel COP President Andrzej Jaguisiewicz to learn more about how Parties come together to further implementation of this key legal instrument on hazardous wastes.

COP President explores implementation of the Basel Convention

COP President explores implementation of the Basel Convention
 
Country-Led Initiative the focus for your questions

Ask Susan Wingfield how the CLI helps countries capture the benefits of improved waste management.

Country-Led Initiative the focus for your questions

Country-Led Initiative the focus for your questions
 
First ever, interactive, online Synergies publication now available

Aiming to help Customs Authorities meet their responsibilities for protecting against the adverse impacts of hazardous chemicals and wastes, this is the first ever interactive BRS publication.

First ever, interactive, online Synergies publication now available

First ever, interactive, online Synergies publication now available

The interactive Manual for Customs on hazardous chemicals and wastes under the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions will enhance your knowledge of the three global treaties that contribute to safely managing the production, movement, use and disposal of hazardous chemicals and wastes

An African perspective: capacities and partnerships in focus

Join Professor Oladele Osibanjo as he describes the main capacity constraints, and partnership opportunities, for solving waste and chemicals issues in Africa.

An African perspective: capacities and partnerships in focus

An African perspective: capacities and partnerships in focus
 
Focus on regional issues - Your chance to ask-an-expert

Suman Sharma answers your questions on How does Technical Assistance assist Parties implement the Chemicals and Waste Conventions?

Focus on regional issues - Your chance to ask-an-expert

Focus on regional issues - Your chance to ask-an-expert
 
BRS’ Mario Yarto explains how new chemicals get listed on www.unep.org

As part of the “Countdown to the Triple COPs” on UNEP’s Ask-an-Expert interactive portal, ask BRS Programme Officer Mario Yarto all you need to know about how the chemical listings processes work.

BRS’ Mario Yarto explains how new chemicals get listed on www.unep.org

BRS’ Mario Yarto explains how new chemicals get listed on www.unep.org
 
Global chemical conventions work together to continue supporting productive and sustainable agriculture, while protecting human health and the environment

Continuing the implementation of scientific synergies among global chemical agreements, the Rotterdam Convention’s Chemical Review Committee held its tenth meeting at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Headquarters in Rome, 22-24th October 2014, back-to-back with the tenth meeting of the Stockholm Convention’s POPs Review Committee, 27-30th October 2014.

Global chemical conventions work together to continue supporting productive and sustainable agriculture, while protecting human health and the environment

Global chemical conventions work together to continue supporting productive and sustainable agriculture, while protecting human health and the environment

Continuing the implementation of scientific synergies among global chemical agreements, the Rotterdam Convention’s Chemical Review Committee held its tenth meeting at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Headquarters in Rome, 22-24th October 2014, back-to-back with the tenth meeting of the Stockholm Convention’s POPs Review Committee, 27-30th October 2014.

The Chemical Review Committee (CRC), a subsidiary body of the Rotterdam Convention, made up of technical experts from across the world, met from 22-24th October and reviewed notifications of final regulatory action on three industrial chemicals and adopted draft decision guidance documents for the pesticide Methamidophos; and for the severely hazardous pesticide formulation .

Methamidophos is an insecticide widely used on a variety of crops including wheat, fruit trees, tomatoes, cotton, soybean and potatoes. Both chemical and non-chemical (Integrated Pest Management) alternatives are readily available. Fenthion[1] is used as a spray for bird control and can be replaced by a number of non-chemical measures including protection with nets, nest removal, bird scaring and trapping.

The recommended decision guidance documents will go forward for consideration of inclusion of these chemicals under the Rotterdam Convention at the forthcoming meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to be held in Geneva in May 2015.  “In doing so, we contribute not only to an informed decision making but also to the protection of the health of farmers and their families and with this we have a positive impact on food security at large”, said Christine Fuell, the Coordinator of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat within the FAO. If approved at the COP, the Convention’s Prior Informed Consent Procedure will then apply also to these pesticides.

Following from that, the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC), a subsidiary body of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), met from 27-30th October and recommended the listing of pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters (PCP, sometimes commonly known as “angel dust”) within the list of POPs. The Committee thus recommended the elimination of its future production and use, while providing for a time-limited specific exemption for its production and use for utility poles and cross-arms. In doing so, the Committee adopted the risk management evaluation and proposed a recommendation for labelling requirements warning against the re-use for non-specified purposes. Whilst in the past this chemical was used as a biocide, insecticide, disinfectant and anti-microbial agent, these uses have been increasingly phased out although it is still used for preservation of, for example, wooden railway cross ties (or “sleepers”).

The Committee further considered a proposal for listing dicofol a pesticide and acaricide used in many countries on a variety of fruit, vegetable, and ornamental crops. Chemically related to DDT, a substance already listed in Annex B of the Convention, dicofol will now be scrutinized by the Committee for its potential persistent organic pollutants properties as the next step of the review process.

The work of the Committee members was described as very inclusive, very precise, and of high quality. Members also provided ideas and input for the preparation of the Science Fair that will be held during the upcoming meetings of the COPs in 2015. Reflecting the overall theme of the COPs “From Science to Action, Working Today for a Better Tomorrow” the Science Fair will highlight the work of Committees such as CRC and POPRC in providing a solid scientific base for decision-making and policies related to sound chemicals management, a key cornerstone in governments efforts to transition towards a greener, more inclusive economic path.

For more information on these and other outcomes of the two committee meetings, please contact:

Contact:

Christine FUELL, Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention (FAO), Rome: + 39-06-5705-3765+ 39-06-5705-3765, christine.fuell@fao.org.

Kei OHNO WOODALL, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (UNEP), Geneva: +41-22-917-78201, kei.ohno-woodall@brsmeas.org .

Charlie AVIS, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (UNEP), Geneva: +41-79-730-4495+41-79-730-4495, charles.avis@brsmeas.org .

For more information: www.pops.int (Stockholm Convention) or www.pic.int (Rotterdam Convention).


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.

 Kerstin Stendahl appointed Executive Secretary ad interim of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
Since April 2014, Kerstin has served as Executive Secretary ad interim of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

Kerstin joined the Secretariat as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions in November 2012.


Kerstin Stendahl appointed Executive Secretary ad interim of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

 Kerstin Stendahl appointed Executive Secretary ad interim of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm 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

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.
INECC hosts 1st Workshop on Technical Assistance & Capacity Strengthening for Implementation of the Stockholm Convention

The first Workshop on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building for the Implementation and Compliance of the Stockholm Convention in Mexico City was successfully held from 2 to 4 December 2013.

INECC hosts 1st Workshop on Technical Assistance & Capacity Strengthening for Implementation of the Stockholm Convention

INECC hosts 1st Workshop on Technical Assistance & Capacity Strengthening for Implementation of the Stockholm Convention

The National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC), Regional Center of the Stockholm Convention for Latin America and the Caribbean, has successfully held the first Workshop on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building for the Implementation and Compliance of the Stockholm Convention in Mexico City from 2 to 4 December 2013.

The workshop was attended by government representatives from eight countries: Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru, as well as national experts in the field.

On 26 November 2014, one year after notification, the amendment listing HBCD in Annex A to the Stockholm Convention entered into force for most parties.

 

Amendment listing the flame retardant, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), in Annex A enters into force

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.

International experts share information on alternatives to POPs in Articles

POPs in Articles have taken center stage at two recent events co-organized by the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific/Stockholm Convention Regional Centre for Capacity-building and the Transfer of Technology in Asia and the Pacific (BCRC Beijing/SCRCAP) and Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS Secretariat).

The “POPs in Articles and POPs Expert Meeting” was held on August 23-24, 2013 in Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. The workshop addressed challenges Parties face from the lack of information on the use and presence of new POPs in supply chains and production processes, as well as in recycling and waste stream. The meeting also addressed monitoring of POPs in articles.

The focus on POPs in Articles continued in a side event to the ninth meeting of the POPs Review Committee, in Rome, on 18 October 2013.

International experts share information on alternatives to POPs in Articles

International experts share information on alternatives to POPs in Articles

The addition of new Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) to the Stockholm Convention in 2009, 2011 and 2013 brought a number of new challenges to Parties in their efforts to reduce or eliminate releases from intentional production and use of POPs. Among these issues are the identification and sound management of industrial POPs that have been integrated into articles and products throughout their life-cycle.

POPs in Articles have taken center stage at two recent events co-organized by the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific/Stockholm Convention Regional Centre for Capacity-building and the Transfer of Technology in Asia and the Pacific (BCRC Beijing/SCRCAP) and Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS Secretariat).

The “POPs in Articles and POPs Expert Meeting” was held on August 23-24, 2013 in Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. The workshop addressed challenges Parties face from the lack of information on the use and presence of new POPs in supply chains and production processes, as well as in recycling and waste stream. The meeting also addressed monitoring of POPs in articles.

Prof. Jinhui Li, Executive Director of BCRC Beijing/SCRCAP, and Ms. Jacqueline Alvarez, BRS Secretariat, opened the workshop with an overview POPs-free products and POPs alternatives. Experts next made presentations on a guidance document under the Stockholm Convention, and various POPs-free projects carried out by regional centres, nongovernmental organizations, UNEP, and others. An outline of an electronic publication compiling existing information related to POPs in articles was discussed and amended by the participants.

The meeting was attended by 20 experts from Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), BRS Secretariat, International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN), and Stockholm Convention Regional Centres in Brazil, China, Czech, India, Nigeria, and Spain, and other international experts.

The focus on POPs in Articles continued in a side event to the ninth meeting of the POPs Review Committee, in Rome, on 18 October 2013. Prof. Li and Ms. Alvarez, who introduced the session, were joined by Mr. Joe DiGangi, Senior Science and Technical Advisor, International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) and Mr. Roland Weber, POPs Environmental Consulting (Germany). Mr. DiGangi presented the results of IPEN’s Toxic Toys campaign to eliminate POPs from children’s products. Mr. Roland Weber reported on the preparation of the POPs in Articles publication via webinar.

The Beijing expert meeting was organized under the “Project on the sound management of POPs in articles and phasing-out opportunities in emerging countries” , which is funded by the Governments of Germany and Norway and GIZ-Germany, and carried out by BCRC Beijing/SCRCAP from December 2012 to December 2013.

The POPs in Articles electronic publication will be posted in the Stockholm Convention website and presented to the Parties to the Stockholm Convention for their information at the seventh meeting of the Conference on the Parties to the Convention, scheduled to be held in May 2015.

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