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Twenty years after the Stockholm Convention was adopted, new monitoring reports confirm decreasing levels of certain POPs worldwide

The latest round of regional monitoring reports, which have greater data and geographical coverage than before, and which again confirm decreasing levels of certain POPs worldwide, are now online.

Twenty years after the Stockholm Convention was adopted, new monitoring reports confirm decreasing levels of certain POPs worldwide

Twenty years after the Stockholm Convention was adopted, new monitoring reports confirm decreasing levels of certain POPs worldwide
 
Opportunity to comment on draft risk profiles for UV-328 & Dechlorane Plus, and on draft risk management evaluation for methoxychlor, by 15 June 2021

In accordance with the workplan adopted at POPRC-16, Parties & observers are invited to review and provide comments on these drafts and related additional information, by 15 June 2021.

Opportunity to comment on draft risk profiles for UV-328 & Dechlorane Plus, and on draft risk management evaluation for methoxychlor, by 15 June 2021

Opportunity to comment on draft risk profiles for UV-328 & Dechlorane Plus, and on draft risk management evaluation for methoxychlor, by 15 June 2021
 
BRS Secretariat launches video series to celebrate Stockholm Convention’s 20th anniversary

Watch the first of the new video series “Twenty Voices for Twenty Years”, featuring Executive Secretary Rolph Payet.

BRS Secretariat launches video series to celebrate Stockholm Convention’s 20th anniversary

BRS Secretariat launches video series to celebrate Stockholm Convention’s 20th anniversary
 
Happy Birthday: The Stockholm Convention is 20 years young!

Read the BRS Press Release marking the 20th anniversary of the adoption, on 22 May 2001, of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Happy Birthday: The Stockholm Convention is 20 years young!

Happy Birthday: The Stockholm Convention is 20 years young!

Geneva, Switzerland: 21 May 2021

Twenty years ago, on 22 May 2001, over 120 countries from around the world came together at a Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, to adopt the Stockholm Convention, in order to protect human health and the environment from Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). POPs are extremely toxic chemicals that are sometimes called ‘forever chemicals’ as they remain in our bodies and the environment for decades and can disperse over thousands of miles on land, our atmosphere and oceans. Exposure to POPs has been proven to lead to serious health effects including certain cancers, birth defects, dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems, greater susceptibility to disease, and damages to the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Today, the Stockholm Convention with 184 Parties, is legally binding and enjoys almost universal coverage. Of these Parties, 173 have submitted National Implementation Plans, outlining concrete steps each government should take to phase out the use and production of POPs.

In addition to the original 12 POPs listed upon adoption - the so-called “Dirty Dozen” including DDT - a further 18 toxic chemicals or chemical groups have been listed, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is common in many household items such as furniture and non-stick cooking pans, totalling some 4,000 chemicals in all. PFOA, like many other POPs, is known to be linked to major health problems including kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease and hypertension in pregnancy.

The Convention’s Global Monitoring Programme shows that for those initial 12 POPs, concentrations measured in air and in human populations have declined and continue to decline or remain at low levels, proving beyond any doubt that international legally binding treaties do work in addressing global environmental issues.

More chemicals are currently under review, including the plastic additive UV-328, 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. 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 consequently be released from plastic waste dumped in the oceans, which is taken up, for example by seabirds with subsequent accumulation in their tissue, and also as  microplastics. It is expected that possible future listing of this additive would strengthen the Stockholm Convention’s role as one of the key international treaties, alongside the Basel Convention, in tackling the growing plastic waste crisis.

In opening a celebratory series of short videos marking the anniversary entitled “Twenty Voices for Twenty Years”, Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Stockholm Convention, said that “Today is a moment to acknowledge and take stock of what is possible when the global community comes together with the political will and resources to solve environmental problems. I’m proud of the achievements of the Stockholm Convention, and thank all Parties and observers, as well as the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as the financial mechanism, and the 16 regional centres around the world, for their contributions and commitments to strengthen the Stockholm Convention in its ongoing work. In addressing the negative impacts of some of the most toxic chemicals produced worldwide, there remains an urgent need to tackle the global plastic waste pollution crisis, and the challenge of reversing the loss of our planet’s biodiversity, which undermines ecosystem functioning and ultimately life itself.”

Notes for Editors:

POPs and the Stockholm Convention

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, adopted in 2001 and entering 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. 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.

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

Contacts:

Technical contact: Maria-Cristina Cardenas, BRS Secretariat; email: maria-cristina.cardenas@un.org tel: +41-22-9178201

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

BRS and Minamata convention secretariats release “Key Insights” from joint study linking chemicals and waste and biodiversity

As the world marks International Biodiversity Day on 22 May, read the joint BRS/Minamata Press Release and find out more about this ground-breaking study.

BRS and Minamata convention secretariats release “Key Insights” from joint study linking chemicals and waste and biodiversity

BRS and Minamata convention secretariats release “Key Insights” from joint study linking chemicals and waste and biodiversity
 
The UN International Day of Biodiversity marked as BRS participates in the second Global Biodiversity Festival

Join Rolph Payet and 150 other eminent speakers at the online Global BioFest, 20 to 23 May 2021.

The UN International Day of Biodiversity marked as BRS participates in the second Global Biodiversity Festival

The UN International Day of Biodiversity marked as BRS participates in the second Global Biodiversity Festival
 
Online regional preparations for the online segment of the 2021 COPs begin with the African and Eastern European meetings

With thanks to Norway and Switzerland for funding support, African and Eastern European countries come together online in May, to prepare for the online segment of the 2021 COPs.

Online regional preparations for the online segment of the 2021 COPs begin with the African and Eastern European meetings

Online regional preparations for the online segment of the 2021 COPs begin with the African and Eastern European meetings
 
Outcomes of the resumed session of the Joint Bureaux meeting are now online

The report of the resumed session of the joint meeting of the COPs Bureaux, held online on 26 February 2021, is now available online.

Outcomes of the resumed session of the Joint Bureaux meeting are now online

Outcomes of the resumed session of the Joint Bureaux meeting are now online
 
Funding available for projects on the sound management of chemicals and waste

The UNEP Special Programme, open until August 2021, supports governments to implement the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm conventions.

Funding available for projects on the sound management of chemicals and waste

Funding available for projects on the sound management of chemicals and waste
 
The Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership and the BRS Secretariat launch a new wave of practical pilot projects on better managing plastic waste

The Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (BRS) are moving forward with the roll-out of over 50 pilot projects across the world. The initiative fosters the introduction of practical innovations to policymaking in the form of changes to business-as-usual prompted by the Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments, which became effective on 1 January this year.

The Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership and the BRS Secretariat launch a new wave of practical pilot projects on better managing plastic waste

The Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership and the BRS Secretariat launch a new wave of practical pilot projects on better managing plastic waste

Geneva, 6th April 2021: The Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (BRS) are moving forward with the roll-out of over 50 pilot projects across the world. The initiative fosters the introduction of practical innovations to policymaking in the form of changes to business-as-usual prompted by the Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments, which became effective on 1 January this year.

The urgency for tackling plastic waste pollution was noted at the recent UN Environment Assembly, held in Nairobi and online. “Tackling chemical pollution and waste is a critical journey in finding solutions for climate change and biodiversity,” noted BRS Executive Secretary Rolph Payet during the Leadership Dialogues of the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5). Payet went on to urge governments and the international community to ensure that “building back better” after the COVID-19 pandemic does not revert to “building back the same”.

Many projects are kicked off through the framework of the Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership, a new platform comprising more than a hundred actors from governments, private sector and civil society organisations collectively seeking solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. Yet more pilots are funded through the Convention’s Small Grants Programme, developed to build local capacities in addressing plastic waste through the implementation of the Basel Convention.

Overall, the projects focus on the environmentally sound management of plastic waste, the prevention and minimization of the generation of plastic waste, and the control of transboundary movements of plastic waste. They represent an excellent vehicle to usher in practical considerations brought on by the implementation of the Plastic Waste Amendments, accelerating efforts to ensure waste plastics are only traded with countries that have the necessary infrastructure to allow for the environmentally sound management of plastic waste.

The BRS Secretariat is grateful to the governments of France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland, together with the Norwegian Agency for Development (Norad) and the Norwegian Retailer’s Environment Fund, for providing financial resources to enable these projects to be rolled out across the world.

The Plastic Waste Partnership co-Chairs Ole Thomas Thommesen (Norway) and Ross Bartley (Bureau of International Recycling) expressed their confidence that “this initial number of pilot projects will go a long way in generating practical solutions and knowledge-sharing, and ultimately support countries to become more self-sufficient when it comes to managing plastic waste locally.”

NOTES for EDITORS:

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the most comprehensive international environment treaty on hazardous and other wastes and is almost universal, with 188 Parties. With an overarching objective of protecting human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes, its scope covers a wide range of wastes defined as hazardous based on their origin and/or composition and characteristics, as well as three types of waste defined as “other wastes”, namely household waste, residues arising from the incineration of household wastes ash and certain plastic wastes requiring special consideration. For more info see www.basel.int

The Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership (PWP) currently has more than 100 members from government, civil society and the private sector, and four project groups through which pilot projects and other activities, including public awareness and outreach, are implemented. For more on the PWP see: http://www.basel.int/tabid/8096  

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, or BRS Secretariat, supports Parties implement the three leading multilateral environment agreements governing chemicals and waste management, in order to protect human health and the environment. See www.brsmeas.org for more information and follow the @brsmeas twitter feed for daily news.

Contacts

For technical questions on plastic waste, contact:
Kei Ohno Woodall, Programme Officer, BRS Secretariat, Kei.ohno@un.org Tel: +41-79-2333218

For Plastic Waste Partnership enquiries, contact:
Susan Wingfield and Melisa Lim, Programme Officer, BRS Secretariat, susan.wingfield@un.org and melisa.lim@un.org

For enquiries related to the Plastic Waste Amendments, contact:
Melisa Lim and Yvonne Ewang, melisa.lim@un.org and Yvonne.ewang@un.org

For media enquiries, interviews, & more information, contact:
Charlie Avis: Public Information Officer, BRS Secretariat, Charles.avis@un.org Tel: +41-79-7304495

Cuba updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Addressing amendments made at COP-8, Cuba has transmitted its updated National Implementation Plan, or NIP.

Cuba updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Cuba updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
Have your say in the first ever global survey on waste in mountainous regions

Information sought to guide activities on tackling waste in mountain regions, organised by GRID Arendal, together with UNEP & BRS.

Have your say in the first ever global survey on waste in mountainous regions

Have your say in the first ever global survey on waste in mountainous regions
 
On International Women’s Day, and everyday, BRS salutes women around the world working for the sound management of chemicals and waste

Read our Gender Heroes series for inspiring stories of women’s leadership on implementing at local levels the global agreements for a healthy planet.

On International Women’s Day, and everyday, BRS salutes women around the world working for the sound management of chemicals and waste

On International Women’s Day, and everyday, BRS salutes women around the world working for the sound management of chemicals and waste
 
BRS COP Bureaux agree on a way forward for the organization of the 2021 Triple COPs

The BRS COP Bureaux have agreed at their resumed joint meeting on 26 February 2021 to hold the Basel Convention’s COP-15, the Rotterdam Convention’s COP-10 and the Stockholm Convention’s COP-10, back-to-back in two segments: an online segment in 2021 and a face-to-face segment in 2022.

BRS COP Bureaux agree on a way forward for the organization of the 2021 Triple COPs

BRS COP Bureaux agree on a way forward for the organization of the 2021 Triple COPs
 
Stockholm Convention implementation priorities highlighted by The GEF’s guest blog

Read the new Global Environment Facility “Guest Blog” by BRS Executive Secretary, Rolph Payet, for news of upcoming priorities for implementing global agreements for a healthy planet.

Stockholm Convention implementation priorities highlighted by The GEF’s guest blog

Stockholm Convention implementation priorities highlighted by The GEF’s guest blog
 
BRS Executive Secretary addresses the Leadership Dialogue at the 5th UN Environment Assembly, 22-23 February 2021

Watch Rolph Payet’s video address, which focusses on the environmental dimension for building a resilient and inclusive post-pandemic world.

BRS Executive Secretary addresses the Leadership Dialogue at the 5th UN Environment Assembly, 22-23 February 2021

BRS Executive Secretary addresses the Leadership Dialogue at the 5th UN Environment Assembly, 22-23 February 2021
 
BRS hosts plastic waste Side Event at the 5th UN Environment Assembly, 18 February 2021

Register now for the “Tackling plastic waste through the Basel Convention” UNEA-5 Side Event, kicking off at 1330 Geneva time on Thursday 18 February.

BRS hosts plastic waste Side Event at the 5th UN Environment Assembly, 18 February 2021

BRS hosts plastic waste Side Event at the 5th UN Environment Assembly, 18 February 2021
 
Join the upcoming BRS webinars, which cover many key aspects of the three conventions’ implementation

Webinars cover the Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Partnership, Small Grants Projects, & Strategic Framework Final Evaluation Report; the Rotterdam Convention’s export notification system; & outcomes from the Stockholm Convention’s POPRC-16 meeting.

Join the upcoming BRS webinars, which cover many key aspects of the three conventions’ implementation

Join the upcoming BRS webinars, which cover many key aspects of the three conventions’ implementation
 
Plastic waste pilot projects kicking off across the globe

Thanks to funding support from the Norwegian development agency Norad, BRS regional centres are implementing practical projects on the environmentally sound management of plastic waste.

Plastic waste pilot projects kicking off across the globe

Plastic waste pilot projects kicking off across the globe
 
Outcomes of the sixteenth meeting of the POPs Review Committee

The online briefings will provide an overview of the outcomes of the sixteenth meeting of the Stockholm Convention POPs Review Committee (POPRC)), held online, on 11-16 January 2021.

Outcomes of the sixteenth meeting of the POPs Review Committee

Outcomes of the sixteenth meeting of the POPs Review Committee
 
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