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Announcements

The second round of applications is now open for 4 months. The deadline for all applications to be submitted to the Special Programme secretariat is Wednesday 20th June 2017 at midnight.

Call for 2nd round of applications in the context of the Special Programme to support institutional strengthening

 

The report of the first meeting of the new informal Basel Convention partnership on household waste, held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from 2 to 4 August 2016, is now available online.

Report now online from Montevideo meeting on household waste

Report now online from Montevideo meeting on household waste
 

A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2016/17 is now available on the BRS websites

Concept notes for voluntary financial contributions 2016-17 now available

Concept notes for voluntary financial contributions 2016-17 now available

 

 

The Secretariat hands over the signed BRS Geneva Gender Parity Pledge to Mr. Michael Moller, UNOG Director General.

Geneva Gender Parity Pledge

Geneva Gender Parity Pledge

On 2 December 2015, during the United Nations Oath of Office ceremony at the Palais des Nation, the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat (BRS) handed over to Mr. Michael Moller, UNOG Director General, the signed BRS Geneva Gender Parity Pledge. 

The Geneva Gender Parity Pledge aims to strive for gender parity in all discussions in International Geneva and in panels where BRS staff is involved. Further, the Secretariat commits to provide gender training sessions for its staff members to enable them to liaise with other United Nations colleagues and to beacon gender aspects; to include gender related sessions in the agenda of workshops organized by the BRS Secretariat to further strengthen the mainstreaming of gender equality in projects and programmes under the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions; and to update the BRS Gender Action Plan on a yearly basis.

Contact: Matthias Kern at matthias.kern@brsmeas.org and Tatiana Terekhovap at tatiana.terekhovap@brsmeas.org

New BRS App available for all your #Detox info needs

New BRS App available for all your #Detox info needs

Experts attending the forthcoming scientific meetings of the Rotterdam & Stockholm conventions can download our updated App.

New BRS App available for all your #Detox info needs

New BRS App available for all your #Detox info needs
 
Stakeholders invited to share opinions on knowledge management needs

Stakeholders invited to share opinions on knowledge management needs

The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management – SAICM - invites all stakeholders to share their views through an online survey on information needs.

Stakeholders invited to share opinions on knowledge management needs

Stakeholders invited to share opinions on knowledge management needs
 
Info on Minamata and SAICM meetings now accessible through BRS clearing house mechanism

Info on Minamata and SAICM meetings now accessible through BRS clearing house mechanism

The joint clearing house mechanism’s searchable calendar now features key dates from the Minamata and SAICM processes

Info on Minamata and SAICM meetings now accessible through BRS clearing house mechanism

Info on Minamata and SAICM meetings now accessible through BRS clearing house mechanism

 

Online training available on sound management of chemicals and waste

Online training available on sound management of chemicals and waste

UNITAR, the UN’s training and research institute, and the BRS Secretariat, together offer a range of online training modules of relevance for implementing the conventions.

Online training available on sound management of chemicals and waste

Online training available on sound management of chemicals and waste
 
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Activities

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Science for Sustainable Oceans meeting held in Geneva

BRS is contributing to GESAMP – the UN-wide, global scientific initiative on protecting the marine environment – reflecting the mandate to work on marine litter given at the last COPs.

Science for Sustainable Oceans meeting held in Geneva

Science for Sustainable Oceans meeting held in Geneva
 
Regional focus switches to Indonesia

Read about the BRS regional centre for South-East Asia, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Regional focus switches to Indonesia

Regional focus switches to Indonesia
 
Connecting the sound management of chemicals and waste, children’s rights, and the environment

The BRS Secretariat contributed to the recent consultation on human rights and the environment, organised alongside the June session of the Human Rights Council.

Connecting the sound management of chemicals and waste, children’s rights, and the environment

Connecting the sound management of chemicals and waste, children’s rights, and the environment

On 22nd -23rd June 2017, in parallel to the June session of the Human Rights Council, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, Prof. John Knox, held consultations on children’s rights and the environment, in view of his next report to the Human Rights Council, at which the BRS Secretariat contributed. These consultations were co-organised by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR), UNICEF and Terre des Hommes.

Whereas human rights law imposes specific duties on States with respect to those particularly vulnerable to environmental harm, children being among the most vulnerable; the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions aim at “protecting human health and the environment” against harmful effects of hazardous chemicals and wastes. These objectives are crucial as the World Health Organization estimates, in its recent 2017 reports, that of the 5.9 million deaths of children under five each year, 26% are attributable to environmental causes, including due to unsound management of hazardous chemicals and wastes. Air pollution alone kills 570,000 children under five every year. Unhealthy environments interfere with the enjoyment of many fundamental rights enshrined in essential long-standing UN legal instruments – e.g. the UN Charter, the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the 1966 Covenants on civil and political rights and on economic and social rights, the 1992 Convention on the Rights of the Child, etc.: these rights include right to life, health and development, as well as many other rights, such as rights to housing, food, and clean water, etc. Climate change, as well as the unsound management of hazardous chemicals and wastes, poses a threat to the realization of many if not all of the rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Negotiated well after the rise of the environmental movement, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, now with 191 Parties, is one of the few human rights instruments that explicitly require States to take steps to protect the environment for children. The threat of environmental harm indeed affects children today and future generations.

For more information:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Environment/SREnvironment/Pages/SRenvironmentIndex.aspx

11 individuals honoured recently as #Detox Gender Pioneers

Ten women and one man were honoured at the recent 2017 Triple COPs, recognising their outstanding contributions towards mainstreaming gender into the sound management of chemicals and wastes

11 individuals honoured recently as #Detox Gender Pioneers

11 individuals honoured recently as #Detox Gender Pioneers

 

BRS Secretariat contributes to system-wide approach on e-waste

Part of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) process, the recent Geneva meeting highlighted challenges to data collection on electronic waste, a key focus area of the Basel Convention

BRS Secretariat contributes to system-wide approach on e-waste

BRS Secretariat contributes to system-wide approach on e-waste

As part of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2017 The thematic workshop “Addressing the global e-waste challenge. The Global e-Waste Statistics Partnership” was held on 16 June 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. Moderated by the Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Rolph Payet, the event was organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations University (UNU) and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) to highlight current challenges in the area of e-waste and introduce the global e-waste statistics partnership. It was emphasized that we are facing a lack of data on e-waste since only about 40 countries in the world collect national e-waste statistics and there is an urgent need to build statistical capacities in the developing countries.  In this regard coordination at the national level for establishing policy frameworks and data on e-waste is critical and it communication and ICT ministries should work with ministries of environment at the national level to produce better e-waste policies and data.

For more information on WSIS and e-waste, please click here.

Now online: all photos of the 2017 Triple COPs

Browse and download the BRS photos of the chemical conventions Triple COPs, including side events, plenary, and high-level segment

Now online: all photos of the 2017 Triple COPs

Now online: all photos of the 2017 Triple COPs

 

Briefings on the outcomes of the 2017 Triple COPs to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

The online briefings will provide an overview of the main outcomes and decisions of the recent meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions that were held from 24 April to 5 May 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Briefings on the outcomes of the 2017 Triple COPs to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Briefings on the outcomes of the 2017 Triple COPs to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
 
Human rights, agriculture, environment emphasised at COPs High-Level Segment

Speeches from UNHCHR, UN FAO, and the GEF are now online

Human rights, agriculture, environment emphasised at COPs High-Level Segment

Human rights, agriculture, environment emphasised at COPs High-Level Segment

 

New members of bureaux and subsidiary bodies elected at Triple COPs

At their 2017 meetings, the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions elected new members of bureaux and subsidiary bodies under the conventions.

New members of bureaux and subsidiary bodies elected at Triple COPs

New members of bureaux and subsidiary bodies elected at Triple COPs
 
#DETOX Outcomes: Additional chemicals listed, new partnership on household waste established, mandate given to tackle marine plastics

Countries make important progress towards goal of a safer planet.

#DETOX Outcomes: Additional chemicals listed, new partnership on household waste established, mandate given to tackle marine plastics

#DETOX Outcomes: Additional chemicals listed, new partnership on household waste established, mandate given to tackle marine plastics

Countries make important progress towards goal of a safer planet

May 5, Geneva – Significant steps were agreed upon by parties to the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions (BRS), as the 2017 Triple COPs drew to a close in Geneva this week. Hosted under the headline, “A future detoxified: sound management of chemicals and waste,” participants reached consensus over a range of issues at the largest ever meeting of the Conventions to-date, attended by around 1,300 participants from more than 170 countries. Eighty ministers took part in high-level talks on the final days of the two-week-long event, which began on April 24.

The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions share the common objective of protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes. All three Conventions made good progress on their stated targets of reducing dependence on toxic substances and promoting ecologically sound alternatives to pest control, paving the way towards a safer world. “We have seen a surge in positive commitments from governments. The relevance and importance of the BRS Conventions is therefore central to achieving sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and a peaceful and fair world. The sustainable management of chemicals and waste must be met, in order for our health and that of our children to be protected, wherever we live, and whatever our job, whatever our gender, nationality or income,” said UNEP’s Executive Secretary of the three Conventions, Rolph Payet.  

The Basel Convention agreed a number of important decisions including the establishment of a new public-private Partnership on Household Waste, to assist countries deal with this issue of growing concern, and gave a mandate to begin tackling marine litter, a key challenge of our time.

By consensus, the Rotterdam Convention (RC) added three new chemicals to Annex III. These are two pesticides, carbofuran and trichlorfon, and one industrial chemical, short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) – traces of which have been found in air, waterways and sediments. The addition of these highly toxic substances brings the total number of chemicals listed under the RC to fifty one. The COP also added tributyltin (TBT) under industrial chemicals category in addition to pesticides category. No agreement was reached, however, on chrysotile asbestos, carbosulfan, and pesticide formulations paraquat dichloride formulations and fenthion, although many Parties expressed their willingness to do so in order to ensure the best information exchange on these hazardous chemicals. Listing does not constitute a ban, but does however enable Parties to make informed decisions on future imports of these chemicals, based on a structured information exchange, also called the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure.

“It is clear that agriculture in 2017 and beyond must produce more, while at the same time protecting and enhancing the underlying natural resources on which it is based. The need for more varied, specialized and innovative approaches, that draw on traditional knowledge and advances in science and technology will only be addressed through greater collaboration and cooperation at all levels,” said FAO’s Executive Secretary of the Rotterdam Convention (RC), William Murray. Achieving global food security and improved livelihoods for all requires a sustainable approach to the intensification of agricultural production. Healthy soil, clean water supplies and biologically diverse ecosystems are essential components in building a detoxified future.

The Stockholm Convention succeeded in listing all of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) which had been recommended, namely decaBDE and short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) in Annex A and hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) in Annex C. In listing, these substances will now be reduced and eliminated, for the benefit of current and future generations.

The safe management of chemicals and wastes are essential for the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on poverty reduction, health, gender, water, cities, oceans, food and sustainable consumption and production.

The role of the private sector was prominent throughout, including at the first ever Technology Fair which showcased solutions for implementing the three conventions. Parties renewed their commitment to work together, enhance efficient implementation of the conventions and strengthen synergies for a detoxified future.

For more information

For technical information: Kei Ohno-Woodall (+41 79 233 3218), kei.ohno-woodall@brsmeas.org

For technical information on the Rotterdam Convention: Christine Fuell (+39 06 5705 3765) christine.fuell@fao.org 

For general info, to arrange interviews, etc:  Charlie Avis (+41 79 730 4495), charles.avis@brsmeas.org

Notes to editors on the listed chemicals:

Newly-listed under the Rotterdam Convention

Carbofuran: an insecticide with trade name Furadan used to control soil insects in fruit and vegetable production, with negative impacts upon the environment including on birds, small mammals, and bees.

Trichlorfon: an insectide or pesticide with trade name Cekufon 80 SP in Europe, Dipterex in Brazil and others, used on fruits and vegetables causing acute neurotoxic and carcinogenic effects and impacts on human reproduction and the endocrine system.

Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs): an industrial chemical with numerous trade names including Chlorowax, A70 (wax) and Chlorofo, used as a softener in paints, plastics fillers and coatings and as a flame inhibitor in rubber, plastics and textiles - traces of which have been found in air, waterways and sediments posing particular risks to soil and water-dwelling organisms.

Tributyltin compounds (TBT): a pesticide/industrial chemical with trade name Biomet and Intersmooth, used most commonly in anti-fouling paints for ship hulls, and as biocide in wood preservatives

Newly-listed under the Stockholm Convention

Decabromodiphenyl ether (commercial mixture, c-DecaBDE): an intentionally produced chemical used an additive flame retardant including in plastics, textiles, adhesives, sealants, coatings and inks. C-decaBDE containing plastics are used in electrical and electronic equipment, wires and cables, pipes and carpets, transported over long-range and with significant adverse human health and environmental effects, including adverse effects to reproductive health and output in a number of species as well as developmental and neurotoxic effects, and endocrine disruption.

Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs): see above as per Rotterdam Convention.

Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD): a Persistent Organic Pollutant already listed under Annex A of the Stockholm Convention, now additionally listed under Annex C, most commonly used as a solvent for other chlorine-containing compounds causing systemic toxicity following exposure via oral, inhalation, and dermal routes. Effects may include fatty liver degeneration, epithelial necrotizing nephritis, central nervous system depression and cyanosis.

 

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