The BRS Blog

Minimize

Announcements

A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2018/19 is now available on the BRS websites.

Concept notes for voluntary financial contributions 2018-19 now available

Concept notes for voluntary financial contributions 2018-19 now available

 

 

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
 

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

BRS staff members show their support for UNEA-3’s message to Beat Pollution

BRS staff members show their support for UNEA-3’s message to Beat Pollution

Whilst key resolutions were adopted at the UN Environment Assembly yesterday in Nairobi on marine litter, air and soil pollution, and environment & health, BRS staff took to social media to show their support.

BRS staff members show their support for UNEA-3’s message to Beat Pollution

BRS staff members show their support for UNEA-3’s message to Beat Pollution
 
Gender in the spotlight at UNEA-3

Gender in the spotlight at UNEA-3

A film premiere in Nairobi on the margins of UNEA-3 will focus on gender and the sound management of chemicals and waste.

Gender in the spotlight at UNEA-3

Gender in the spotlight at UNEA-3
 
BRS Secretariat participates at the third U.N. Environment Assembly as observer

BRS Secretariat participates at the third U.N. Environment Assembly as observer

During an intensive period at UN Environment HQ in Nairobi, the BRS Secretariat has organised a side event together with the governments of Germany, Mauritius and Uruguay.

BRS Secretariat participates at the third U.N. Environment Assembly as observer

BRS Secretariat participates at the third U.N. Environment Assembly as observer

The third session of the Environment Assembly (UNEA-3) will be an important event for the global community to declare strengthened political commitment for beating pollution and to provide directions and innovative solutions to achieve a pollution-free planet.

The theme and agenda of UNEA-3 speaks directly to the core objectives of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions. All three conventions share the aim at protecting human health and the environment from toxic and hazardous substances and wastes.

The BRS Secretariat will take part as an observer in UNEA-3 and provide information on decisions and ongoing work under the conventions that are relevant to the meeting’s deliberations.

To that effect, the Secretariat submitted to UNEA-3 the following background notes on the work of the conventions as it relates to the draft resolutions being considered:

More information about the BRS conventions’ contribution toward tackling pollution can be found at the BRS booth and during the following UNEA-3 events:

Interactive panel discussion at UNEA3 – recording online

Interactive panel discussion at UNEA3 – recording online

If you were not in Nairobi and could not watch it live, you can now view the recording to hear all about new innovations, interventions, questions, and discussions.

Interactive panel discussion at UNEA3 – recording online

Interactive panel discussion at UNEA3 – recording online

If you were not in Nairobi and could not watch it live, you can now view the recording to hear all about new innovations, interventions, questions, and discussions.

Video recording   Photo Album

Annual Joint Regional Centres meeting - October 31-November 2, 2016
Minimize

Activities

Syndicate
BRS Secretariat joins steering committee of UN global body on environment

The BRS Secretariat is proud to be a founder member of the Steering Committee for the UN Global Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment, meeting for the first time at UNEA-3 in Nairobi, 2-3 December.

BRS Secretariat joins steering committee of UN global body on environment

BRS Secretariat joins steering committee of UN global body on environment
 
Use of Stockholm Convention national reporting data informs research on sound management of chemicals

Data collected and submitted by Parties in their national reports can be used in multiple ways, as demonstrated by new research showing declines in DDT production and use.

Use of Stockholm Convention national reporting data informs research on sound management of chemicals

Use of Stockholm Convention national reporting data informs research on sound management of chemicals

Data collected and submitted by Parties in their national reports can be used in multiple ways, as demonstrated by new research showing declines in DDT production and use. An article published in October 2017 in the open-access Malaria Journal, by Gamini Manuweera of the BRS Secretariat, together with researchers from the universities of Wageningen and Copenhagen, shows a steady decline in both the production and use of DDT over the years since the adoption of the Stockholm Convention.

View the full article here: https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12936-017-2050-2

The article highlights several limitations in implementation of the Stockholm Convention with regard to DDT, some of which may also apply to other POPs, including in particular deficiencies in reporting, with a low response rate and inaccurate or incomplete information contained in many submitted reports. In particular, the assessment and reporting on obsolete stocks, waste and disposal of DDT should be improved. Similarly, the response rate to the DDT Questionnaire has so far been inadequate, with several countries for which independent information sources indicate ongoing use of DDT failing to fulfill this specific requirement under the Convention. There are indications that deficiencies in the quality of reporting (e.g. on dates, DDT amounts, and formulations) are an impediment for the comprehensive evaluation of the continued need for DDT by the Conference of Parties.

For more information on the BRS Secretariat work on DDT, see: http://chm.pops.int/Implementation/PesticidePOPs/DDT/Overview/tabid/378/Default.aspx

BRS Secretariat’s environmental performance featured in UN-wide “Greening the Blue” Report

Measuring waste and offsetting emissions are two of the indicators in latest UN sustainability initiative report, now online.

BRS Secretariat’s environmental performance featured in UN-wide “Greening the Blue” Report

BRS Secretariat’s environmental performance featured in UN-wide “Greening the Blue” Report
 
UN scientists recommend listing of 5 more chemicals

The Rotterdam and Stockholm scientific subsidiary bodies’ meetings - CRC13 and POPRC13 - successfully concluded recently in Rome, and the official Press Release is now online.

UN scientists recommend listing of 5 more chemicals

UN scientists recommend listing of 5 more chemicals

FAO and UNEP experts pursue sound chemicals management to promote human and environmental health

Rome: 30 October 2017 In keeping with recent calls for commitments from all to contribute towards a pollution-free planet, experts and observers joined members of the Rotterdam (RC) and Stockholm (SC) Conventions’ chemical review committees for back-to-back meetings in Rome in recent days and reviewed a record number of chemicals for inclusion in annexes of the two Conventions, both of which aim to protect human health and the environment. Discussions concluded on 26th October and three more chemicals are recommended for inclusion in the Rotterdam Convention, whilst two more are recommended for inclusion in the Stockholm Convention.

More than 250 experts and observers in total, from all regions of the world, gathered at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome to conduct back-to-back meetings focussed on the review of scientific information on toxic chemicals, with a view to recommending inclusion in the annexes of the two conventions, thus becoming regulated by international law.

According to the latest FAO data, international pesticide sales are valued at up to USD 480 billion a year. UNEP estimates that as many as three percent of those working in agriculture worldwide suffer from acute pesticide poisoning, with adolescents facing a higher risk.

The Rotterdam Convention - which currently has 159 Parties - provides an early warning on the trade of certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides, through the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure, a mechanism that requires Parties to take informed decisions on the future import of these chemicals.

The 13th meeting of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC) of the Rotterdam Convention, which was held back-to-back with POPRC and which concluded on 26 October, successfully recommended to the COP the listing of phorate, acetochlor and hexabromocyclododecane in Annex III of the Convention. 

Acetochlor, a selective herbicide, has been used on maize in Sahelian west African countries. It poses a high risk to aquatic organisms as well as long-term risks to herbivorous birds and to humans.

Phorate, a pesticide, has been used for example in Brazil as an insecticide in cotton, potato, coffee, beans and corn and is considered one of the most toxic organophosphate AChE inhibitors.

Hexabromocyclododecane - is a brominated flame retardant already listed in the Stockholm Convention in Annex A and used as a flame retardant additive to provide fire protection during the service life of vehicles, buildings or articles, as well as protection while stored and in selected electronic products. 

In reflecting on keys to the successful meetings, William Murray, Executive Secretary of the Rotterdam Convention (RC) for FAO, concluded that “National capacity-building has contributed substantially to sound chemicals management, which is essential to sustainable agriculture and, ultimately, food security”.

“Notwithstanding the scientific and technical aspects of the work of the CRC, the outcomes are felt at a much wider spectrum of the global chemicals and wastes management agenda, including implications for human and environmental health, sustainable development, food security and socio-economic considerations” said Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions for UNEP. “These decisions will further protect human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and will guide the international community towards not just a pollution-free planet, but also towards implementing the SDGs through the sound management of chemicals and waste” he added.

The Stockholm Convention - which currently has 181 Parties - aims to eliminate or restrict the use of chemicals referred to as “Persistent Organic Pollutants” (POPs), which are among the most toxic substances found on earth and thus posing serious threats to human health and the environment. The next step will be for the respective Conferences of the Parties to decide whether to formally list these chemicals at their next meetings in Geneva in April 2019.

The 13th meeting of the Stockholm Convention’s Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) met from 17 to 20 October, and recommended listing by the next COP of two highly toxic chemicals, namely dicofol, and PFOA, its salts & PFOA-related compounds, in respectively, Annex A and Annex A or B to the Convention. On PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related compounds, further work is expected by the Committee at its next meeting to define the need for possible specific exemptions for certain applications in the view of strengthening its recommendation to the COP. 

Dicofol is an organochlorine pesticide structurally similar to DDT. Often used as a foliar spray on agricultural crops and ornamentals, and in or around agricultural and domestic buildings for mite control.

PFOA - or pentadecafluorooctanoic acid -, its salts and PFOA-related compounds are used in a wide variety of applications and consumer products across many sectors, e.g. semiconductor industry, imaging and printing industry, textiles, fire-fighting foam, medical devices.

The Committee was also satisfied that the proposal submitted for listing PFHxS, its salts and PFHxS-related compounds to the annexes of the Convention met the required criteria, moving this group of substances to the next stage of the listing process, which requires the development of a risk profile. PFHxS are used as a surfactant to make fluoropolymers and as water- and stain protective coatings for carpets, paper and textiles.

Stressing that the listing of chemicals into the Conventions’ annexes contributes to the broader international push for a pollution-free planet, BRS Deputy Executive Secretary Carlos Martin-Novella noted that such scientific processes  “inform the global high-level political commitment on pollution, which will be negotiated at the forthcoming UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, 4-6 December. This meeting, UNEA-3, has as its overarching vision a “world without pollution” and the sound management of chemicals and wastes feature as one of 6 sub-themes. Work from Committees such as this provides the foundation, the building blocks, for such grand and noble statements.”

The next meetings of the Conferences of Parties (COPs) for both conventions, together with that of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, will be held in Geneva in April 2019.

ENDS

----------------------------------------------------------

Note for editors:

The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade creates legally binding obligations for its currently 155 parties. It currently covers 50 chemicals, pesticides and pesticide formulations.

The Chemical Review Committee consists of thirty-one scientific experts appointed by the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention charged with undertaking scientific review of chemicals proposed for listing. 

More information on all the chemicals currently listed, or proposed and/or under review for listing, can be found on the Rotterdam Convention homepages www.pic.int  or by contacting:

  • Christine FUELL, Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention (FAO), Rome: + 39-06-5705-3765, christine.fuell@fao.org

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, or POPs, creates legally binding obligations for its 181 Parties and currently includes 26 chemicals listed within its annexes.

The POPs Review Committee consists of thirty-one scientific experts appointed by the Conference of the Parties charged with undertaking scientific review of chemicals proposed for listing. 

More information on all the chemicals currently listed, or proposed and/or under review for listing, can be found on the Stockholm Convention homepages at www.chm.pops.int or by contacting:

  • Kei OHNO WOODALL, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (UNEP), Geneva: +41-79-2333218, +41-22-917-78201, kei.ohno-woodall@brsmeas.org 
  • Charlie AVIS, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (UNEP), Geneva: +41-79-730-4495, charles.avis@brsmeas.org

 

Join one million others in making a pledge to Beat Pollution

The third UN Environment Assembly, in Nairobi in December, focusses on how to secure a pollution-free planet. Make your commitment here.

Join one million others in making a pledge to Beat Pollution

Join one million others in making a pledge to Beat Pollution
 
New report shows progress on gender in chemical conventions’ decision-making and planning

Together with IUCN, the BRS Secretariat publishes new research showing progress on mainstreaming gender into the work of the 3 chemical conventions.

New report shows progress on gender in chemical conventions’ decision-making and planning

New report shows progress on gender in chemical conventions’ decision-making and planning
 
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
 
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
 
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
 
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
 
Minimize

Upcoming meetings

Minimize

Recent meetings