News Features

 

Highlights of the 2019 BRS COPs captured on video
Watch key parts of the Triple COPs, including the moment Parties decided, by consensus, to amend the Basel Convention to tackle plastic wastes.

Highlights of the 2019 BRS COPs captured on video

Highlights of the 2019 BRS COPs captured on video

Click below for video coverage of the meetings of the Conferences of Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm conventions, held in Geneva from 29 April to 10 May 2019.

- Film of the moments that the 19th Basel Convention COP adopted decisions relating to plastic waste, via the Geneva Environment Network facebook account;
- Film of the BRS Triple COPs Closing Press Conference, via the UN TV (Geneva) network;
- Films of each day of the Triple COPs (by the BRS video consultant, Jenni Hamilton);
- Radio interview with Explorer/Broadcaster Paul Rose, reflecting on the COPs, via the UN Radio (Geneva) service.

Commercial TV channels also broadcasted newspieces on the Triple COPs including Al Jazeera (Qatar); ARD (Germany); CCTV (China); and CNN (USA) to mention just a few.


Global experts on marine litter meet at BRS Secretariat in Geneva
First plastics meeting since the COP decision to amend the Basel Convention sees GESAMP experts assess risks associated with plastics in the marine environment.

Global experts on marine litter meet at BRS Secretariat in Geneva

Global experts on marine litter meet at BRS Secretariat in Geneva
 
Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions 2019 COPs - Day 10
Watch the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions daily wrap video for highlights of Day 10 of the Conferences of the Parties.

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions 2019 COPs - Day 10

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions 2019 COPs - Day 10
 
Plastic Wastes: A World Problem
Plastic waste and especially marine plastic litter is an environmental problem occurring on a global scale today. The ubiquitous transboundary movement of plastic wastes and microplastics is becoming a major concern as their property of durability makes their particles remain for long period of time...

Plastic Wastes: A World Problem

Plastic Wastes: A World Problem
 
Electronic waste on the agenda of global summit in Geneva, 8 to 12 April 2019
BRS co-hosts workshop with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) on the circular economy, e-waste, and the SDGs during the 2019 World Summit on the Information Society.

Electronic waste on the agenda of global summit in Geneva, 8 to 12 April 2019

Electronic waste on the agenda of global summit in Geneva, 8 to 12 April 2019
 
Bring your own bottle to reduce the footprint of the 2019 Triple COPs – for a Clean Planet, Healthy People!
To reduce plastic waste at the meetings of the conferences of the Parties, arrangements have been made with the venue and catering service to minimize the use of plastic take-out containers, sandwich bags, cutlery and cups. Delegates are therefore invited to bring reusable drinking containers (mugs,...

Bring your own bottle to reduce the footprint of the 2019 Triple COPs – for a Clean Planet, Healthy People!

Bring your own bottle to reduce the footprint of the 2019 Triple COPs – for a Clean Planet, Healthy People!
 
Preventing Marine Litter: technical workshop in Barcelona pushes for environmentally sound management of plastic wastes
Experts converge on the Stockholm Regional Centre for the Mediterranean in Barcelona 3 to 6 April, to share and develop best practices on ESM of plastic waste, with thanks to Sweden for funding support.

Preventing Marine Litter: technical workshop in Barcelona pushes for environmentally sound management of plastic wastes

Preventing Marine Litter: technical workshop in Barcelona pushes for environmentally sound management of plastic wastes
 
Regional meetings in Brno and Montevideo continue Triple COPs preparations
With thanks to Norway and Switzerland for funding support, BRS regional preparatory meetings continue this week in Brno, Czech Republic and in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Regional meetings in Brno and Montevideo continue Triple COPs preparations

Regional meetings in Brno and Montevideo continue Triple COPs preparations
 
Briefing on the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention, the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention and the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention
The online briefings will provide Party representatives, observers and other stakeholders with an overview of the issues that will be considered by the next meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions to promote a "Clean Planet, Healthy People: Sound ...

Briefing on the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention, the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention and the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention

Briefing on the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention, the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention and the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention
 
30 years of the Basel Convention celebrated by International Geneva
Switzerland, the BRS Secretariat, and the Geneva Environment Network, co-host a special event in the UN Palais des Nations, 22 March 2019 at 16:00, to mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention’s adoption.

30 years of the Basel Convention celebrated by International Geneva

30 years of the Basel Convention celebrated by International Geneva

Click here or the image to download the invitation in PDF format.

BRS Technical Assistance: Draft monitoring and evaluation strategy published online
The strategy will be discussed at the forthcoming 2019 Triple COPs, to be held in Geneva from 29 April to 10 May under the theme “Clean Planet Healthy People”.

BRS Technical Assistance: Draft monitoring and evaluation strategy published online

BRS Technical Assistance: Draft monitoring and evaluation strategy published online
 
Regional preparations for Triple COPs continue with African meeting in Nairobi, Kenya
With thanks to Norway and Switzerland for funding support, African countries come together in Nairobi, 18 to 20 March, to prepare for the 2019 Triple COPs.

Regional preparations for Triple COPs continue with African meeting in Nairobi, Kenya

Regional preparations for Triple COPs continue with African meeting in Nairobi, Kenya
 
Read the Invisible News, which is proving popular at UNEA-4
Aiming to make the invisible, visible, this special 8-issue newspaper is brought to you by the BRS Secretariat, Minamata Convention, SAICM, and UN Environment (Chemicals & Waste) Branch.

Read the Invisible News, which is proving popular at UNEA-4

Read the Invisible News, which is proving popular at UNEA-4

A special set of “newspapers” produced for the Fourth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4), in Nairobi, reveal the hidden hazards in everyday objects, and also the safer alternatives which exist for safeguarding your household, your health, and the environment.

Jointly produced by the BRS Secretariat, the Minamata Convention, SAICM, & UN Environment Chemicals & Health Branch, the newspapers have proven popular with delegates eager to rest at the UNEA-4 chemicals and waste lounge installation “Making the Invisible, Visible”, located between the two main conference rooms. The lounge, made locally from recycled materials, has hosted special events – such as an informal gathering of dignatories and stakeholders to mark the 30th anniversary of the Basel Convention – as well as networking opportunities, and – frequented by hundreds of visitors every day - numerous conversations.

Invisible News, a special set of 8 editions aiming to raise awareness concerning the need for sound management of chemicals and waste, highlights the hazards found in a typical lounge, bathroom, bedroom, children’s room, kitchen and also on one’s dinner plate, as well as linking these to the wider environment, impacted by tosic chemicals and waste.

Invisible News notes the gender dimension in recognising that women and children are disproportionately more vulnerable to he adverse effects of toxic chemicals and waste than are men.

UN Environment Assembly marks 30 years of the Basel Convention
A speech by the UNEA President on day one, and an informal gathering of dignatories and stakeholders in day two, mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention’s adoption.

UN Environment Assembly marks 30 years of the Basel Convention

UN Environment Assembly marks 30 years of the Basel Convention

Adopted on 22 March 1989, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted in Basel, Switzerland, in response to a public outcry following the discovery, in the 1980s, in Africa and other parts of the developing world of deposits of toxic wastes imported from abroad. The overarching objective is to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes. Covering a wide range of wastes defined as “hazardous” based on their origin and/or composition and their characteristics, as well as two types of “other” waste namely household waste and incinerator ash.

Entering into force in 1992, by 22 March 2019 – the 30th anniversary of its adoption - the Convention had 187 Parties, giving it almost universal coverage. A series of events in Geneva and Nairobi were staged in order to mark this milestone, starting with the Fourth UN Environment Assembly, UNEA-4, in Nairobi from 11 to 15 March 2019, including:

UNEA-4 Opening Session statements, 11 March 2019: Speech by the UNEA President, Minister Siim Valmar Kiisler, outlining the achievements of the Basel Convention, with a response by the Basel Convention Executive Secretary, Rolph Payet. For more on this event, including photos, see: https://twitter.com/brsmeas/status/1105039320325459969 and http://enb.iisd.org/unep/oecpr4-unea4/11mar.html

Informal Cake-Cutting Reception at UNEA-4 and Speeches, 12 March 2019: Hosted by Rolph Payet and staged in the joint BRS, Minamata Convention, SAICM & UN Environment Chemicals & Health Branch lounge installation “Making the Invisible, Visible”, an informal lunchtime happening brought together dignatories and stakeholders from all UN regions, from government and from civil society, to share reflections and insights on the 30 years of implementing the Convention. More than 20 individuals took to the microphone. For more on this event, including photos, see: https://twitter.com/brsmeas/status/1105425159635288064 and https://twitter.com/brsmeas/status/1105413021835411456

These events are followed by special events in Geneva, on March 22 and during the 2019 Triple COPs. More details will follow in due course.

BRS Secretariat contributed to UNEA-4 in promoting sound management of chemicals and wastes
The Secretariat participated in more than 10 events, submitted numerous background documents, and staged 2 exhibitions throughout the 4th UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, 11 to 15 March.

BRS Secretariat contributed to UNEA-4 in promoting sound management of chemicals and wastes

BRS Secretariat contributed to UNEA-4 in promoting sound management of chemicals and wastes

The fourth session of the Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) took place in Nairobi from 11 to 15 March 2019. With its theme on Innovative Solutions to Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production, it pointed to the need for innovation in dealing with the complexity of the different environmental challenges we are facing, in particular the poverty and natural resources nexus and the promotion of a circular economy and sustainable business models.

The theme and agenda of UNEA-4 speak to the core objectives of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, which are the protection of human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes. By facilitating the delivery of assistance to Parties to manage chemicals and wastes in an environmentally sound manner at different stages of their life-cycle, the conventions directly contribute to shifting our economies towards circularity and sustainability.

Written Submissions

The BRS Secretariat took part in UNEA-4 as an observer 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-4 the following background notes relating to the draft resolutions under consideration:

  • Briefing note on the work of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions as it relates to the promotion of sound chemicals and waste management;
  • Briefing note on the work of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions as it relates to sustainable consumption and production in a circular economy;
  • Briefing note on the work of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions as it relates to plastic wastes, including marine litter and microplastics;
  • Briefing note on the work of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions as it relates to the Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law;
  • Briefing note on the work of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions as it relates to the promotion of gender equality.

Active participation

The BRS delegation, led by Rolph Payet (Executive Secretary) and Carlos Martin-Novella (Deputy Executive Secretary) will participated throughout the week as speaker, panelist, moderator and contributor at the following Side Events and special events:

  • Opening Plenary of the UN Environment Assembly; announcing the 30th Anniversary of the Basel Convention (Monday 11 March, 10.00-13.00);
  • SIE Panel Session II on Legal Empowerment: Leaving No-one Behind in Decision-making on Sustainability (Monday 11 March, 15.00-16.00);
  • Environment Management Group Nexus Dialogue on Sustainable Food Systems: Ensuring Food Security for Future Generations (Tuesday 12 March, 15.00-18.00);
  • Meeting with the Heads of the Secretariat of MEAs (Tuesday 12 March, 15.00-17.00) (closed);
  • Marine litter in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) (Wednesday 13 March, 10.00-11.00);
  • The High Ambition Alliance on Chemicals and Waste (Wednesday 13 March, 10.30-12.30) (closed);
  • Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) Networking Luncheon (Wednesday 13 March, 13.00-15.00);
  • Elevating Electrics and Electronics to the Forefront of Circular Economy – an Integral and Multi-disciplinary Approach (Wednesday 13 March, 16.30-17.30);
  • Advancing the Sustainability of Chemicals Throughout the Life Cycle (Thursday 14 March, 18.15-19.45).
  • BRS Secretariat official statement, by the Executive Secretary, to UNEA-4 Plenary, (Friday 15 March 10.00 – 13.00)

Information-sharing

Additionally, the Secretariat was present throughout the week at two exhibitions located near to the main convention rooms, namely:

  • Making the Invisible, Visible: lounge installation with information news-sheets detailing household hazards from chemicals and wastes, together with outlines of safe alternatives;
  • BRS Information Booth: display stand with copies of BRS factsheets on marine litter and household waste, and copies of the three convention texts (English only).

More details on all of these events and exhibitions can be found on the UNEA-4 App, downloadable use the link at page 6 of the interactive UNEA-4 Programme of Events.

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