News Features

Croatia transmits revised and updated NIP
Addressing amendments made at the Stockholm Convention COP-4, COP-5 and COP-6, Croatia has transmitted its revised and updated National Implementation Plan.

Croatia transmits revised and updated NIP

Croatia transmits revised and updated NIP
 
What does the regional centre in Uruguay do?
Read our interview with Gabriela Medina to understand how regional efforts help implement the Basel and Stockholm conventions.

What does the regional centre in Uruguay do?

What does the regional centre in Uruguay do?
 
Stockholm Convention effectiveness evaluated: concentrations decreasing for legacy & some newly-listed POPs
The 2nd meeting of the effectiveness evaluation committee finds the Convention an effective framework for regulating POPs, but key implementation challenges remain.

Stockholm Convention effectiveness evaluated: concentrations decreasing for legacy & some newly-listed POPs

Stockholm Convention effectiveness evaluated: concentrations decreasing for legacy & some newly-listed POPs

The effectiveness evaluation committee, established by the Conference of the Parties at its seventh meeting, met for the second time from 4 to 7 October 2016 in Geneva to finalize the first six-year evaluation cycle.

The committee concluded, among others, that the Stockholm Convention provides an effective and dynamic framework to regulate POPs throughout their lifecycle, addressing the production, use, import, export, releases, and disposal of these chemicals worldwide. However, inadequate implementation is the key issue that has been identified in this evaluation. Mechanisms and processes required by the Convention to support Parties in meeting their obligations have all been put in place, with the exception of procedures and mechanisms on compliance. A key challenge in undertaking the evaluation was the limited data available from national reports and national implementation plans, and recommendations have been made to address these and other implementation issues. Monitoring results indicate that regulations targeting POPs are succeeding in reducing levels of POPs in humans and the environment. For legacy POPs, concentrations measured in air and in human populations have declined and continue to decline or remain at low levels due to restrictions on POPs that predated the Stockholm Convention and are now incorporated in it. For the newly listed POPs, concentrations are beginning to show decreases, although in a few instances, increasing and/or stable levels are observed.

The effectiveness evaluation report, including an executive summary in the six UN languages, will be submitted for consideration at the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention.

Outcomes of the 12th meeting of the POPs Review Committee
The advance English version of the POPRC-12 meeting report is now available.

Outcomes of the 12th meeting of the POPs Review Committee

Outcomes of the 12th meeting of the POPs Review Committee
 
Uruguay playing lead regional role in sound management of chemicals and waste
Our regional focus switches to Latin America and the role of The Uruguayan Technological Laboratory (LATU) in Montevideo, which assists parties implement the Basel and Stockholm Conventions.

Uruguay playing lead regional role in sound management of chemicals and waste

Uruguay playing lead regional role in sound management of chemicals and waste
 
Ministers to be invited to attend the high-level segment of the 2017 Triple COPs
Ministers have been officially informed of the high-level segment of the meetings of the triple BRS COPs, which will be held in Geneva from 24 April to 5 May 2017.

Ministers to be invited to attend the high-level segment of the 2017 Triple COPs

Ministers to be invited to attend the high-level segment of the 2017 Triple COPs
 
China ratifies the Stockholm Convention 2013 amendment on HBCD
China is working towards elimination of the flame retardant HBCD after its government ratified the amendment listing it in Annex A to the Convention, as adopted by the Conference of the Parties in 2013.

China ratifies the Stockholm Convention 2013 amendment on HBCD

China ratifies the Stockholm Convention 2013 amendment on HBCD
 
The BRS interview - Focus on the Gulf
Latest in the series talks to Dr. Abdulnabi Al-Ghadban, who leads the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Kuwait.

The BRS interview - Focus on the Gulf

The BRS interview - Focus on the Gulf
 
Cameroon submits updated Stockholm Convention NIP
Addressing amendments from COP-4, COP-5 and COP-6, Cameroon has submitted its updated National Implementation Plan.

Cameroon submits updated Stockholm Convention NIP

Cameroon submits updated Stockholm Convention NIP
 
Regional focus switches to Kuwait
This month we highlight the work of the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre for Kuwait.

Regional focus switches to Kuwait

Regional focus switches to Kuwait

SCRC Kuwait is hosted by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), which was established in 1967 to carry out applied scientific research and to provide consulting services for both governmental and private sectors in Kuwait, the Gulf region and the Arab World. KISR was nominated by the parties of the Asia region, and endorsed by the Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention in 2009 to serve as a Stockholm Convention Regional Centre. The centre serves basically the countries located in the West Asia region, namely: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. The main objective of the SCRC Kuwait is to strengthen and further develop the capabilities of countries in the West Asia region in implementing the Stockholm Convention, through capacity building and the transfer of environmentally sound technologies adopted and used under the Stockholm Convention.

The priorities of the centre are as follows:

  1. Coordinate with the 10 served members regarding the compliance of the stated recommendations by the POPRC and the conference of the parties;
  2. Provide all served members with needful technical support to assist them in fulfilling the requirement of the convention;
  3. Upgrade the centre with up to date facilities such as equipment for providing better services.

As such the vision for evolving the RC in the next 5 to 10 years is to ensure that all members would have the means and support needed from the RC to reach the level of full compliance with the Stockholm Convention.

SCRC Kuwait/KISR has emerged as a centre of excellence in the field of laboratory analysis of various environmental samples, including POPs and has a proven track record in laboratory management. The main laboratories and support sectors available in KISR that are related to the work of SCRC Kuwait are:

  1. Laboratories
    • The Central Analytical Laboratory
    • Environmental Organic and inorganic Chemistry
    • Ecotoxicology and bio-monitoring Laboratories
    • Radioecology and radiochemistry
    • Remote Sensing              
  2. Support sectors
    • National Scientific & Technical Information Centre
    • Manpower Development Division  

KISR/SCRC Kuwait has been undertaking a wide range of environmental studies particularly on the monitoring of POPs in various matrices and producing a significant number of articles in the peer review journals in recent years. Some of the notable works related to the Stockholm Convention include:

  • Capacity-Building Workshop for the Development of Ambient Air Monitoring Network for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) including the newly added POPs to the Stockholm Convention in the region of West Asia;
  • A study on Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in car dust from Kuwait: Implications for human exposure; and
  • A study on “Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Kuwait’s atmosphere: Building the capacity to fulfil data requirements of the Stockholm Convention on POPs” .

For more information please visit: www.kisr.edu.kw.

Is the Stockholm Convention effective in protecting human health and environment from POPs?
From 4 to 7 October, Geneva hosts the 2nd meeting of the effectiveness evaluation committee, whose work is helping answer this important question.

Is the Stockholm Convention effective in protecting human health and environment from POPs?

Is the Stockholm Convention effective in protecting human health and environment from POPs?
 
Preparations intensify for 2017 triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, Switzerland
Parties have been officially informed of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs, featuring a high-level segment, to be held in Geneva from 24 April to 5 May 2017.

Preparations intensify for 2017 triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, Switzerland

Preparations intensify for 2017 triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, Switzerland
 
Updated BRS Gender Action Plan now online
Reflecting the Secretariat’s commitment to taking action to reduce gender inequalities, the updated BRS Gender Action Plan is now available.

Updated BRS Gender Action Plan now online

Updated BRS Gender Action Plan now online
 
Scientists gather to protect human health and environment
The Stockholm Convention’s POPs Review Committee (POPRC.12) meets in Rome 19-23rd September to review new chemicals proposed for listing.

Scientists gather to protect human health and environment

Scientists gather to protect human health and environment
 
Nigeria transmits its revised Stockholm Convention NIP
Pursuant to Article 7 of the Stockholm Convention, Nigeria has transmitted its updated National Implementation Plan reflecting to COP4, COP5, and COP6 amendments.

Nigeria transmits its revised Stockholm Convention NIP

Nigeria transmits its revised Stockholm Convention NIP
 
Brazil in the spotlight as we continue to focus on regional centres
Find out about the work of the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Brazil in the spotlight as we continue to focus on regional centres

Brazil in the spotlight as we continue to focus on regional centres

The Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Brazil (SCRC Brazil) is hosted by the Environmental Company of São Paulo State (Companhia Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo, or CETESB). Since its establishment in 1973, CETESB has been undertaking the task of controlling, regulating, supervising and monitoring of environmental pollution and is supported by about 2,000 highly-trained employees. It was nominated by the Parties to the Stockholm Convention located in the Latin America and Caribbean Region to serve as a Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in 2007. At its fourth meeting held in 2009, the Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention endorsed it to become a Stockholm Convention Regional Centre for Capacity-building and Transfer of Technology for a period of 4 years. This was again re-endorsed for another term of 4 years by the seventh meeting of the Conference held in 2015.

During these years, the Centre has been able to serve the parties by providing trainings to build capacity to implement the obligations under the Convention and it has been recognized through the performance evaluation as one of the best regional centres. The Centre has been receiving requests for support in various areas including for the development and implementation of the National Implementation Plan of the region’s countries and several other projects that promote synergies between the chemicals and wastes conventions. The centre has reflected these requests in its periodic work plans which have five major programmes:

  • Technical Training and Technology Transfer;
  • Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement;
  • Pilot Projects;
  • Laboratory Analytical Capacity;
  • Agreements and Partnerships

The SCRC Brazil constantly strives to strengthen its team, providing resources and developing knowledge and skills, in order to maintain its excellent performance and keeps monitoring closely its work plan in order to ensure that the target and goals thus set are achieved.

Capacity Building and Technology Transfer - a key to support the implementation of the Stockholm Convention

CETESB, as a technological company, offers a range of specialized practical training courses for various sectors of the society. Through these trainings the Centre disseminates knowledge on concepts, tools, techniques, and procedures aimed at protecting environment through diagnosis, management, quality control, licensing and legislation. The Company carries out annually approximately one hundred and fifty training programs with the participation of four to five thousand professionals.

CETESB has accumulated over forty years of experience in organizing courses for internal and external, national and international participants, through the support of its post-graduate faculties with their recognized expertise. In June 2013, the Centre launched the “CETESB SUPERIOR SCHOOL”, with the objective to provide capacity building and transfer of knowledge aiming at strengthening the professionals from public and private sectors.

Since 2012, SCRC Brazil has been conducting annually a Training Program on Chemicals Management with the emphasis on POPs. This is a complete environmental management course that focuses on the POPs issues and the management techniques. The program has provided training to the technicians coming from Brazilian states, Latin American and the Caribbean countries, as well from African countries speaking Portuguese language.

These intensive training courses, approximately a month longer, aimed at strengthening the capacity of countries in the region including various states of Brazil to fulfill their obligations under the Stockholm Convention. Furthermore, since 2014 the training program included mercury in order to expand its scope to cover the Minamata Convention covering 326 professionals, including some specific short training courses, under the Regional Centre Small Grant Program since 2009.

In 2015, the Centre has developed an e-Learning Course on the Stockholm Convention on POPs and various aspects of its implementation and, in its first edition has been attended by 250 participants.

For more information visit: www.cetesb.sp.gov.br.

Your views sought on how to move “From Science to Action”
Secretariat launches online consultation process for enhanced science-policy mainstreaming.

Your views sought on how to move “From Science to Action”

Your views sought on how to move “From Science to Action”
 
Documents available for Stockholm Convention POPs Review Committee meeting (POPRC.12)
Meeting documents for POPRC.12, taking place from 19-23 September 2016 at FAO headquarters in Rome, are now available.

Documents available for Stockholm Convention POPs Review Committee meeting (POPRC.12)

Documents available for Stockholm Convention POPs Review Committee meeting (POPRC.12)
 
Stockholm COP Bureau paves the way for the 2017 COP
The report of the meeting of the COP-8 Bureau held on 28 and 29 June is now available.

Stockholm COP Bureau paves the way for the 2017 COP

Stockholm COP Bureau paves the way for the 2017 COP
 
SCRC Czech Republic - the Regional Centre for Central and Eastern Europe
Read about RECETOX, which assists parties implement the Stockholm Convention in the 23 countries of central and eastern Europe.

SCRC Czech Republic - the Regional Centre for Central and Eastern Europe

SCRC Czech Republic - the Regional Centre for Central and Eastern Europe

The Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Czech Republic (SCRC) is hosted by the Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), which is an independent department operating within the Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic since 2007.

In 2009 at its fourth meeting the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention formally endorsed it as the SCRC Czech Republic.

The Centre provides assistance to the countries located in the Central and Eastern Europe region. However in its area of expertise, for example for environmental monitoring of POPs, the centre has been providing training and capacity building to the countries beyond the geographical region.

The greatest strength of the SCRC Czech Republic at RECETOX is that it provides active science to policy interface and direct services supporting the implementation of the legislation and requirements embedded in multilateral environmental agreements (Stockholm Conveniton, CLRTAP and its protocols, Minamata Convention on Mercury). This involves support to international monitoring programs - AMAP and EMEP by providing data from the RECETOX sampling sites,  as well as it carries out its own research activity covering the whole Europe by ambient air passive sampling network - MONET Europe currently with 34 participating countries (there are both the EU 28 and some additional Eastern European countries), or by developing and operating complex data repositories with visualization tools that are publicly available (www.genasis.cz or www.pops-gmp.org) and can serve as EU-wide or global- awareness raising tools. Both portals also enhance visibility to a range of monitoring activities (one-stop-shop with analytical and visualization tools able to create charts, maps and trends).

In addition to continuous acitivities shown below, a lot of work is also done on demand (i.e. one-off activities further below) and outputs of our research are also provided in research papers or reports.

Continuous activities by SCRC/RECETOX in support to the Stockholm Convention

In addition to the continuous monitoring of POPs through its extensive monitoring network, MONET as mentioned above, the centre undertakes capacity building and training through its International Summer School programme. The international summer school at RECETOX is an intensive six day training supporting implementation of the Stockholm Convention in particular, but it is also valid for other agreements dealing with chemicals. The Summer School brings information on the latest advances in research (environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology, risk assessment), transfers the most effective sampling and analytical techniques, comprises both theoretical and practical courses including hands on in the laboratory works, data management etc.

In addition to the above there is always a special theme that highlights the achievements or brings in the latest scientific challenges and findings: 2005-2009: integrated monitoring of persistent toxic substances in the environment, 2010: bioavailability, fate and behavior of contaminants and passive sampling techniques for pollutants in the air, water, sediment and soil, 2011: climate change impacts on the presence of organic pollutants in the Arctic and their effects on human health, 2012: passive sampling of pollutants in the aquatic environment, 2013: human exposure and risk assessment, 2014: analysis of toxic substances in the environment using isotopes and environmental monitoring data mining in support to the Global Monitoring Plan under the Stockholm Convention, 2015: cyanobacterial blooms and their toxins in water reservoirs and training in data management and analyses in support to the Global Monitoring Plan under the Stockholm Convention, 2016: toxic compounds in the indoor environment.

Besides, the centre has been active in organizing several regional and international conferences and training programmes, and a large number of scientific publications in peer reviewed journals.

For more information please visit: http://www.recetox.muni.cz/rc/.

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