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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.

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Calendar of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

 

Introduction of the Visa Information System (VIS).

Swiss visas application procedure

Swiss visas application procedure

On 11 October 2011 the Schengen member states introduced the Visa Information System (VIS). The VIS is used to store the biometric data (10 fingerprints and the facial image) of the Schengen visa applicant. All Swiss embassies and consulates are gradually being connected to the VIS system.

A document in several languages explaining the implementation of the VIS system, registration of biometric data and the rollout timetable for Swiss embassies/consulates connected to the VIS system is available by clicking on the following web link: http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm/en/home/themen/einreise/einfuehrung_vis.html

The time needed to obtain a visa depends greatly on local circumstances. Please allow sufficient time for processing of the visa application as per the instructions in the following website: http://www.bfm.admin.ch/content/bfm/en/home/themen/einreise/merkblatt_einreise.html

If Switzerland does not have a consular office in your country you might be required to travel to a neighboring country to process your visa. It is therefore highly recommended to enquire directly with a Swiss embassy/consulate in the applicant’s country of residence or in a neighboring country or to check the appropriate website.

Switzerland has implemented necessary measures to facilitate the issuance of visas for official delegates invited to take part in conferences and international meetings with organizations having concluded a headquarters agreement as well as other persons invited in the framework of good offices.

We would like to remind you that it is the responsibility of each participant to obtain the required entry visa to Switzerland. Please note that at the moment of this writing a Schengen visa is required even for transiting through Schengen zone European Countries. More information on visa is available on the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs at the following link: http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/reps.htm

In some exceptional circumstances Switzerland may issue visas with limited territorial validity (LTV). Please check the following website for details on this procedure and the conditions and limitations for a holder of LTV visas: http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/topics/intorg/un/unge/gepri/manvis/manvi2.html

Staff members of the Secretariat have new standardized e-mail addresses.

 

Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions adopts standardized e-mail addresses

Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions adopts standardized e-mail addresses

As of 15 April 2013, each of our staff members have been assigned a new e-mail address in the standard format firstname.lastname@brsmeas.org. This new format applies to all members of the Secretariat, independently of whether staff are hosted by UNEP or FAO.

In addition to this standardized address, the UNEP staff will continue using e-mail addresses in the format firstname.lastname@unep.org and the FAO staff will continue using e-mail address in the FAO format firstname.lastname@fao.org.

The e-mail addresses in the pic.int and pops.int formats will continue to be functional for six months, to facilitate the transition to the new addresses. Rest assured that messages sent to our former addresses will still be delivered.

Mr. Clayton Campanhola, new Director of FAO’s Plant Protection and Production Division, takes over the role as Executive Secretary for the FAO part of the Rotterdam Convention.

 

New Executive Secretary for the FAO part of the Rotterdam Convention

New Executive Secretary for the FAO part of the Rotterdam Convention

Mr. Clayton Campanhola, new Director of FAO’s Plant Protection and Production Division, takes over the role as Executive Secretary for the FAO part of the Rotterdam Convention.

Mr. Clayton Campanhola, former Director of the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI), graduated in Agronomic Engineering, Clayton Campanhola is a Master in Nuclear Energy in Agriculture, and Doctor in Entomology, by the Texas A&M University – USA. He carried out his postdoctoral training at Universidade de Campinas (Unicamp), in the area of Economical Development and Environment.

As a researcher, Campanhola was the scientific coordinator of the Animal Biology Division, in the Biology Institute of São Paulo. He had also been a professor at Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso (UFMT) and has published eight books and more than 80 articles and summaries in scientific publications.

In the Brazilian Enterprise of Research in Agriculture (EMBRAPA), Campanhola had been a researcher in Rural Development and was nominated president of that institution in 2003.

Mr. Clayton Campanhola took up office in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 2 November 2012.

The September  issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The September 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 September issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The September  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.

Detoxifying  Development: How strengthened sound management of chemicals and wastes contributes to sustainable development

Detoxifying Development: How strengthened sound management of chemicals and wastes contributes to sustainable development

A summary of the United Nations Environment Assembly panel discussion held on 24 June 2014 in Nairobi.

Detoxifying Development: How strengthened sound management of chemicals and wastes contributes to sustainable development

Detoxifying  Development: How strengthened sound management of chemicals and wastes contributes to sustainable development

Detoxifying Development

FOCUS / BRIEF DESCRIPTION / MAJOR ISSUES DISCUSSED:

While chemicals contribute significantly to our well‐being, they can also pose a threat to human health and the environment if they are not managed well. Their potentially adverse impacts, combined with the limited capacity in many countries to deal with these impacts, make the sound management of chemicals and waste a key issue that cuts across many areas of our lives. In Johannesburg in 2002 governments agreed that, by 2020, chemicals should be used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment. The 2020 target was further recognized in the Rio+20 outcome “The Future We Want”. The 2006 Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) also reaffirmed the Johannesburg 2020 goal.

Chemicals and waste management is traditionally considered an environmental issue. However, it also has significant benefits for the economic and social objectives of sustainable development. These benefits are demonstrated by a number of efforts and initiatives, e. g. the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paints, sound management of electrical and electronic waste, promotion of alternatives to highly hazardous pesticides, to name just a few.

Sound management of chemicals and wastes has the potential of supporting progress in a wide range of thematic areas: poverty eradication, health, agriculture, water, industrial growth, and employment. It therefore has a catalyzing potential to support relevant sustainable development goals (SDGs) currently under development.

This can be done through the full and effective implementation of the existing agreed frameworks in the chemicals and waste cluster, including legally binding and voluntary instruments, efforts and initiatives, such as the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the Minamata Convention on Mercury and SAICM – all contributing to sustainable development and the protection of human health and the environment. SDGs need to reflect the importance of international commitments, including those made in multilateral environmental agreements and to stress the need of the Post‐2015 framework to be consistent with and build on these commitments.

In order to positively contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, it is important to enable and require the effective coordination of local, national, regional and global environmental policy and legal frameworks for effective implementation and enforcement of their provisions. These coordinating efforts are expected to strengthen institutional frameworks and policy coherence. At the national level, implementation can be strengthened by enhanced cooperation and coordination among relevant stakeholders. For example, Nigeria established a national committee on chemicals management which engages relevant ministries and key NGOs. Mainstreaming of chemicals and wastes into the national development agenda is another opportunity for linking it to the sustainable development process.

In addition to actions taking place at the international and national levels, regional efforts have a catalyzing role to play for implementation of existing MEAs and promotion of coherent chemicals and waste management.

OUTCOME / WAY FORWARD:

  • Recognize that the sound management of chemicals and waste contributes to the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development.
  • Promote efforts for the coordinated implementation of the existing global policy and legal regimes in the chemicals and waste management cluster.
  • Ensure that chemicals and waste management is properly reflected in the SDGs, including as targets under the SDGs on health, sustainable agriculture, poverty reduction, sustainable production and consumption, industrialization, water and sustainable cities.

CONCLUSIONS / RECOMMENDATIONS:

Effective implementation of the existing international, regional and national legal and policy regimes addressing chemicals and wastes supports sustainable development, and help realize the future sustainable development goals. By striving for policy coherence and efficiency at the national level, and through improved use of resources and greater coordination among the key stakeholders for the implementation of the national legal framework, we can make strides towards achieving sustainable development.

UNEA should send a signal to the decision‐makers engaged in New York in the negotiations of the SDGs about the crucial potential that can be brought by the sound management of chemicals and wastes for the achievement of SDGs. At the moment, the integration of sound management of chemicals and waste into SDGs is an opportunity for the international community which should not be missed.

DD shouts out for Home Recycling on World Environment Day 2014

DD shouts out for Home Recycling on World Environment Day 2014

Luxembourg singer/songwriter Daniel Depienne’s Statement of Responsibility on how becoming a ‘Recycling Freak’ helps protect nature from electronic and other wastes.

DD shouts out for Home Recycling on World Environment Day 2014

DD shouts out for Home Recycling on World Environment Day 2014
Luxembourg singer/songwriter Daniel Depienne’s Statement of Responsibility on how becoming a ‘Recycling Freak’ helps protect nature from electronic and other wastes.
Agencies and partners join forces to promote the implementation of environmental law through enhanced knowledge sharing and new tools

Agencies and partners join forces to promote the implementation of environmental law through enhanced knowledge sharing and new tools

The Multilateral Environment Agreements and Knowledge Management Initiative seeks to develop harmonised information systems among 18 MEAs.

Agencies and partners join forces to promote the implementation of environmental law through enhanced knowledge sharing and new tools

Agencies and partners join forces to promote the implementation of environmental law through enhanced knowledge sharing and new tools
The Multilateral Environment Agreements and Knowledge Management Initiative seeks to develop harmonised information systems among 18 MEAs.
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Resource mobilization for the 2014-15 biennium takes off with concept notes for voluntary financial contributions

A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2014/15 is now available.

 

Resource mobilization for the 2014-15 biennium takes off with concept notes for voluntary financial contributions

Resource mobilization for the 2014-15 biennium takes off with concept notes for voluntary financial contributions

A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2014/15 is now available.

 

Training Manual for Chairs released

The manual was developed for potential Chairs and Presidents of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions’ meetings.

Training Manual for Chairs released

Training Manual for Chairs released
 
A Brief Historical Perspective on International Progress in the Sound Management of Chemicals and Wastes
Jim Willis guest article published in IISD Chemicals and Wastes Policy & Practice on 28 March 2014.

A Brief Historical Perspective on International Progress in the Sound Management of Chemicals and Wastes

A Brief Historical Perspective on International Progress in the Sound Management of Chemicals and Wastes
Jim Willis guest article published in IISD Chemicals and Wastes Policy & Practice on 28 March 2014.
First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste
INTERPOL and the BRS Secretariat launch e-learning module to help law enforcement officers identify and prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes

First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste

First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste
INTERPOL and the BRS Secretariat launch e-learning module to help law enforcement officers identify and prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes
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.
Gender mainstreaming initiative underway at the Secretariat
The BRS Gender Action Plan provides the blueprint for actions to promote gender mainstreaming.

Gender mainstreaming initiative underway at the Secretariat

Gender mainstreaming initiative underway at the Secretariat
The BRS Gender Action Plan provides the blueprint for actions to promote gender mainstreaming.
United Nations reports on its 2012 greenhouse gas emissions
BRS progress on reducing CO2 emissions shows commitment to improving sustainability performance - 27 February 2014

United Nations reports on its 2012 greenhouse gas emissions

United Nations reports on its 2012 greenhouse gas emissions

The United Nations today released details of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 2012 in the 5th annual edition of the publication - Moving Towards a Climate Neutral UN.

The report provides details on the emissions from 64 UN system organizations, covering more than 220,000 staff and hundreds of locations worldwide. Greenhouse gas emissions totaled 1.71 million tonnes CO2eq across the UN system in 2012.

As in previous years, over 50 percent of emissions are from air travel (0.87 million tonnes CO2eq), meaning this remains the biggest challenge to the organization in achieving climate neutrality.

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) is pleased to report on its CO2 emissions for 2012:

  • Total emissions were 462 tonnes CO2eq;
  • Air travel is the main source of CO2 emissions, representing 98% of total emissions. Other emissions are attributed to office operations;
  • Per capita footprint is 7.57 tCO2eq/ staff member, below the UN average of 7.63 tCO2eq/ staff member.

Significant efforts have been made over the last years towards improving BRS sustainability performance, and reducing BRS CO2 emissions. The following achievements should be highlighted:

  • Total BRS GHG emissions have decreased by 29% in 2011 and 50% in 2012 compared to the 2010 levels;
  • Staff travel has decreased by 13%, from 2011 to 2012.
Over the next few years we will make further progress. The Secretariat will take active steps towards becoming climate neutral. CO2 emissions will be offset for the 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 bienniums, through purchasing of carbon units via the UNEP Climate Neutral Strategy.

“Improving our sustainability performance is a commitment we are taking for the long-term as part of the wider process of strengthening synergies between the chemicals and waste conventions” said Jim Willis, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

The work on sustainability in the BRS Secretariat is a continuous process that encompasses various environmental aspects, e.g. waste management, energy and water, sustainable travel, etc. This work is undertaken by a team of staff volunteers.

For more information on sustainability in the BRS Secretariat, click here.
Chemicals and waste MEAs cross synergies milestones
2013 was marked by a year of achievements for the three conventions

Chemicals and waste MEAs cross synergies milestones

Chemicals and waste MEAs cross synergies milestones

In a milestone of the synergies process between multilateral environmental agreements, the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions held their first ever jointly held ordinary meetings of the parties in April and May 2013 to foster cooperation and collaboration between the conventions.

The conferences of the parties of the three conventions worked in joint contact groups to promote implementation and strengthen the management of harmful substances throughout their life-cycle. The COPs took more than 50 substantive decisions to fortify protection to health and environment offered by the conventions.

 The Parties to the Stockholm Convention agreed to list hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in Annex A to the Convention with specific exemptions for expanded polystyrene and extruded polystyrene in buildings. HBCD is set to become the 23rd persistent organic pollutant to be listed under the Stockholm Convention. The Parties to the Basel Convention adopted a framework for the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes and other wastes, and agreed to develop technical guidelines on transboundary movements of electronic and electrical wastes, or e-waste, the fastest growing hazardous waste stream globally.

The Parties to the Rotterdam Convention agreed to add the pesticide Azinphos-methyl and the industrial chemicals PentaBDE, OctaBDE and PFOS to Annex III of the Convention. This triggers an exchange of information between Parties and helps countries make informed decisions about future import and use of the chemicals. The addition of four substances is the largest number to be added to the Convention's prior informed consent procedure by any conference of the parties since the adoption of the Convention in 1998.

Call sounded for development of an international panel on chemicals

On 9 May 2013, over 80 ministers and vice-ministers met in a high level segment to consider the theme “Synergies and the implementation of the chemicals and wastes conventions at the national, regional and global levels” and to share their national experiences. Participants noted that the synergies process was not a time-finite event but a continuing process: synergies meant cost savings and those savings should be channeled into improving implementation at the national level.

Ministers called for the development of an international panel on chemicals integrating scientific expertise from industry, the private sector and academic institutions, similar to the International Panel on Climate Change, which could form the basis for a stronger science-policy interface. Existing models for monitoring networks could be expanded globally. 

The decisions of the joint COPs provide a solid foundation for the next two years of implementation of the three leading global chemicals and wastes instruments.

Strengthening the Conventions' Science-Policy Interface

The first joint meeting of the Rotterdam Convention Chemical Review Committee and the Stockholm Convention Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee took place in Rome on 20 October 2013, to promote synergies between the conventions by strengthening their science-policy interface.

Combating illegal traffic gets ENFORCEment boost

Under the Basel Convention, the newly established Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic (ENFORCE) was launched in 2013 to prevent and combat illegal traffic in hazardous and other wastes through better implementation and enforcement of national legislation. 

Secretariat Acts to Promote Sustainability, Green Practices, gender and regional balance

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions decreased its carbon footprint by 50% from 2010 to 2012, part of its concerted effort towards becoming climate neutral.
The Secretariat's senior management team achieved both gender and regional balance during 2013, with three men and three women currently serving as branch chiefs or as executive officers drawn from across all five major UN regions. A Gender action plan was also adopted.

Secretariat acts to promote Sustainability and Green Practices
The Secretariat has decreased its carbon footprint by 50% from 2010 to 2012, and takes active steps towards becoming climate neutral.

Secretariat acts to promote Sustainability and Green Practices

Secretariat acts to promote Sustainability and Green Practices
The Secretariat has decreased its carbon footprint by 50% from 2010 to 2012, and takes active steps towards becoming climate neutral.
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