News Features

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, deadline 31 August 2016.

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/.

Dr. Kateřina Šebková on how more science is needed in policy-making
Our latest interviewee highlights the rapidly developing CEE region and also reflects on women in science.

Dr. Kateřina Šebková on how more science is needed in policy-making

Dr. Kateřina Šebková on how more science is needed in policy-making
 
Synergies review: e-surveys launched
E-surveys are now available online to gather data and feedback on the synergies process.

Synergies review: e-surveys launched

Synergies review: e-surveys launched
 
UN member states agree 25 resolutions at UNEA2
Resolutions on the sound management of chemicals and waste, marine litter, and the role of MEAs among resolutions agreed by UN member states at UNEA in Nairobi, 23 - 27 May 2016.

UN member states agree 25 resolutions at UNEA2

UN member states agree 25 resolutions at UNEA2
 
Information required on Stockholm Convention technical assistance needs
Official Contact Points from developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition are invited to fill in an online questionnaire to provide information sought by the Conference of the Parties, by 10 June 2016.

Information required on Stockholm Convention technical assistance needs

Information required on Stockholm Convention technical assistance needs
 
Senegal transmits its revised Stockholm Convention NIP
Reflecting amendments adopted at COP4, COP5, and COP6, Senegal has transmitted its revised National Implementation Plan.

Senegal transmits its revised Stockholm Convention NIP

Senegal transmits its revised Stockholm Convention NIP
 
Pacific workshops assist towards updating Stockholm Convention NIPs and GMP implementation
Suva, Fiji, was the recent venue for two workshops assisting Pacific parties with updating their National Implementation Plans, and on continuous implementation of the Global Monitoring Plan for POPs.

Pacific workshops assist towards updating Stockholm Convention NIPs and GMP implementation

Pacific workshops assist towards updating Stockholm Convention NIPs and GMP implementation

Suva, Fiji, was the venue for two back-to back workshops: the Regional Workshop on National Implementation Plans, held from 4 to 6 April 2016, and the Inception Workshop of the GMP Pacific Islands GEF, project held from 6 to 8 April 2016. Featuring 18 participants from 14 Pacific Islands Countries, jointly organized by the University of the South Pacific, BRS Secretariat and UNEP Chemicals and Waste Branch, the workshop was financially supported by the GEF GMP Pacific project and the NIP project executed by UNEP.  

The Pacific region is extremely diverse and parties to the Stockholm Convention experience a very wide range of challenges for implementation, including management of E-waste and pesticides.  These issues and more were discussed by the NIP workshop participants during two days which covered inventory taking, addressing priorities and writing effective action plans.

The project “Continuing Regional Support for the POPs Global Monitoring Plan under the Stockholm Convention” aims to measure the presence of POPs in the Pacific sub-region and to strengthen countries’ capacity for POPs monitoring. Discussed were details on the activities and responsibilities of principal actors and relevant stakeholders in project implementation, including a detailed workplan, timetable and budget.

Next steps for parties in the region include continued work on national inventories and setting of priorities as well as following up on the workplan to implement the agreed GMP activities.

For more information on Stockholm Convention NIPs see the BRS website or contact Ms.Katarina Magulova at Katarina.magulova@brsmeas.org.

For information on the project “Continuing Regional Support for the POPs Global Monitoring Plan under the Stockholm Convention” visit the UNEP website, or contact Ms. Jacqueline Alvarez at Jacqueline.alvarez@unep.org.

Lao PDR transmits its updated NIP
Pursuant to Article 7 of the Stockholm Convention and responding to COP4 amendments, Lao PDR has transmitted its updated National Implementation Plan.

Lao PDR transmits its updated NIP

Lao PDR transmits its updated NIP
 
Bosnia and Herzegovina transmits NIP
Pursuant to Article 7 of the Stockholm Convention, Bosnia and Herzegovina has transmitted its National Implementation Plan.

Bosnia and Herzegovina transmits NIP

Bosnia and Herzegovina transmits NIP
 
Focus on Regional Centres switches to Africa
The second feature in our series on regional implementation highlights the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Focus on Regional Centres switches to Africa

Focus on Regional Centres switches to Africa

The Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Kenya (SCRC-Kenya) is hosted by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), in Nairobi. 

The icipe, founded in 1970, was nominated by the Africa region to serve as a Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in July 2010.Its primary objective is to research and develop alternative and environmentally friendly pest and vector management strategies that are effective, selective, non-polluting, non-resistance inducing, and which are affordable to resource-limited rural and urban communities. The Centre was endorsed by COP5 in 2011 as a regional and sub-regional centre for capacity building and the transfer of technology for a period of four years. Further, in 2015 the COP7 evaluated the performance of SCRC-Kenya; took note of its excellent performance and endorsed it for another term of four years. The Centre provides assistance mainly to almost all the African countries but could also support countries in other continents having similar issues.

Being hosted in icipe, SCRC Kenya focuses at undertaking research and development for non-chemical alternatives to the use of hazardous pesticides including persistence organic pollutants (POPs) for management of pests and disease vectors. It also promotes capacity-building and transfer of technology to farmers and other stakeholders. Alternative technologies and conservation efforts contribute to reduction in the use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other hazardous chemicals in vector and pest control in Africa, and thus reduce their negative impacts. The activities of the SCRC-Kenya are particularly important because most of the POPs that are listed under the Stockholm Convention are pesticides.

A key solution to reducing the impact of hazardous synthetic pesticide substances is to shift to the use of non-chemical alternatives for control of pests and disease vectors. In Africa however, many countries face major barriers to the accomplishment of the shift to the use of non-chemical alternatives that include inadequate expertise, resources, relevant information, technology, and development assistance and policies.

SCRC-Kenya has a long tradition of collaboration, with over 100 partner institutions in Africa and elsewhere in the world that include National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS), NGOs, universities, other international organizations. The Centre’s R&D work involves rural communities and  members, farmers and farmer groups, national extension service providers and community-based organizations. SCRC-Kenya has formulated innovative approaches through Public-Private Community Partnerships (PPCPs) to create better and more effective products, processes, services and technologies

SCRC-Kenya works in a holistic and integrated approach through a 4-H paradigm comprising “Human Health, Animal Health, Plant Health and Environmental Health”. Research and development has led to a number of effective alternatives that are contributing to reduction in the use of hazardous pesticides including persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Africa. Some of the most successful initiatives taken by the centre that led to significant reduction in the use of chemical based pesticides include:

  • ‘Push–pull’ habitat management strategy
  • Biopesticides
  • Fruit-fly Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  • Diamondback moth biological control
  • Classical biological control against the spotted stemborer Chilo partellus
  • Tsetse repellent collars; traps for control of tsetse flies
  • Habitat management for mosquito control; solar-powered mosquito traps; plant-derived mosquito control products
  • Honeybees; African Reference Laboratory for Bee Health
  • Training of African scientists
  • Training of rural community members in Africa

For more information on these initiatives and other information relating to icipe SCRC-Kenya please visit the website: www.icipe.org and for more on other Regional Centres, see http://synergies.pops.int/Implementation/TechnicalAssistance/RegionalCentres/tabid/2636/language/en-US/Default.aspx

New DDT Toolkit on sound management now available
Visit the one-stop shop for resources on the life-cycle management of DDT, within the context of the chemicals and waste conventions and pulling together information from WHO, FAO and others.

New DDT Toolkit on sound management now available

New DDT Toolkit on sound management now available
 
Special Programme on Chemicals and Waste: Call for Proposals Open
Aiming to strengthen national institutions and to promote the mainstreaming of sound management of chemicals and wastes, the 1st Call for Proposals is open until 4 July 2016.

Special Programme on Chemicals and Waste: Call for Proposals Open

Special Programme on Chemicals and Waste: Call for Proposals Open
 
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