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UN Oceans Conference side event highlights plastic waste trade regime under Plastic Waste Amendments
The event will take place on 28 June, 16:00 Lisbon time. Speakers will include ministers and high-level officers from the Seychelles Zimbabwe and Kenya as well as NORAD and SPREP, and the panel discussion among the representatives from the regional government of Sweden, SPREP, UNODC, and UNCTAD.

UN Oceans Conference side event highlights plastic waste trade regime under Plastic Waste Amendments

UN Oceans Conference side event highlights plastic waste trade regime under Plastic Waste Amendments
 
Nominations for the 2022 Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards are open until 30 June!
The Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards publicly recognize and celebrate excellence in enforcement by government officials and institutions or teams combating transboundary environmental crime. This year, for the first time, the Awards are supported by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and S...

Nominations for the 2022 Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards are open until 30 June!

Nominations for the 2022 Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards are open until 30 June!
 
UN Palais des Nations shines bright during the BRS COPs Plastics Forum
With the campaign slogan “Plastic is Forever, so it’s time to get clever about managing it!”, the BRS Conventions highlight the need to manage plastic waste in environmentally sound ways.

UN Palais des Nations shines bright during the BRS COPs Plastics Forum

UN Palais des Nations shines bright during the BRS COPs Plastics Forum

The BRS COPs Plastics Forum spotlights the need to manage plastic waste in environmentally sound ways.

How long is forever? More than a lifetime? The life cycle of plastic is measured in hundreds of years. Plastic bottles, for example, take up to 450 years to decompose in landfills. But even when it decomposes, plastic actually becomes more resilient in terms of dissemination, breaking down into microplastics and nanoplastics that get carried across the globe by air and sea, permeating our ecosystems and food supplies. We eat plastic, we breathe plastic; plastic particles have even been detected in placentas!

On the other hand, however a real and present danger plastic pollution may be, it doesn’t negate the fact that plastic has revolutionized the way we consume products and look after ourselves, by providing a cost-effective and durable material used for food containers, medical supplies and protective gear, among countless other applications. Two things can be true: plastic is very useful, and it is taking over the planet in the worst ways possible.

Plastic is Forever, so it’s time to get clever about managing it! The slogan of the latest campaign by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS Conventions) signals that the way out of the plastic pollution crisis is through the environmentally sound management of plastic waste. This is the principle that guides the Plastic Waste Amendments, currently the sole legally binding international agreement on plastics waste.

Having entered into effect in January 2021, the Plastic Waste Amendments ensure that all 189 Parties of the Basel Convention trade plastics waste only between consenting countries that have the capacity to manage it in environmentally sound ways. Moreover, the Plastic Waste Amendments are a steppingstone towards an even more ambitious goal: the development of an international legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution.

The relevant historic resolution was adopted last March in Nairobi, during the Fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, and was welcomed by world leaders, NGOs and youth representatives. The BRS Conventions will have a key role in informing the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee that aims to complete a draft of the agreement by the end of 2024. In the meantime, the Plastic Waste Amendments provide a singular guiding post for the environmental governance of plastic waste.

The Plastic is Forever campaign was launched in 2021 with the vernissage of a hybrid exhibition, showcasing the finalists of the Plastic Waste Partnership (PWP) photo competition. The competition invited people to highlight the role that plastic waste plays in their daily lives, and the results were quite staggering. The peak of the Plastic is Forever campaign is scheduled to coincide with the Plastics Forum, a three-day multistakeholder event, which takes place in Geneva from 8 to 10 June, during the meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the BRS Conventions (BRS COPs).

Held face-to face for the first time in three years under the theme “Global Agreements for a Healthy Planet: Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste”, the BRS COPs have brought together over 1500 participants to address the impact of hazardous chemicals and wastes on human health and the environment.

The Plastics Forum offered an interactive platform focused on the urgent issue of plastics pollution. It featured more than 20 side events by actors, such as the United Nations Environment Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Government of Norway, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Programme, the European Investigation Agency, the International Pollutants Elimination Network, and many more. Most of the Plastics Forum’s side events are being streamed via a dedicated virtual platform, which also features a three-dimensional depiction of the Forum’s exhibition booths and stage area, as well as of the Centre International de Conférences Genève, the venue where the BRS COPs are being held.

The opening day of the Plastics Forum saw the launch of the Plastic is Forever social media challenge, an initiative that uses playfulness to involve the youth in the fight against plastic pollution. The challenge has two versions – plastic in the sea and plastic on mountains – and is available on Facebook and Instagram.

Running in parallel to the Plastics Forum side events was the Plastic is Forever hackathon, an event that bought together innovators from different backgrounds, challenging them to produce and pitch to the Forum audience prototype solutions that will help speed up R&D in the field of plastic waste management. The Plastic is Forever hackathon is organized in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, Open Geneva, and the University of Geneva.

On the last day of Plastics Forum, the PWP photo competition winners and the hackathon favourites were announced during a special ceremony. Afterwards, participants joined media and the public at Geneva’s Place des Nations, where they enjoyed an illuminations show on the façade of the United Nations Palais des Nations. This show marked phase two of the Plastic is Forever illuminations project. Phase one took place during the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in November, when the Palais was illuminated in shades of the Basel Convention’s signature green colour. The initiative signaled the interlinkages between the three environmental planetary threats: climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. Phase two consisted of animated projections providing a visual interpretation of the plastic waste crisis impacts.

Seven billion tonnes of plastic waste have been generated globally since the early 1950s, but less than 10 per cent of them has been recycled. Now the world is finally sensitized to the real potential of plastic. It’s time to use the tools provided to us by global governance and science to learn how to manage plastic, so that it ceases its gripping hold on us and our planet.

Voices from the Field explain how they fight against the plastic waste crisis
The video series showcases stories from the development and implementation of SGP and PWP pilot projects.

Voices from the Field explain how they fight against the plastic waste crisis

Voices from the Field explain how they fight against the plastic waste crisis
 
BRS COPs are reconvening in Geneva until 17 June!
The face-to-face segment of the Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS COPs) picks up where the High-level Segment left off last week in Stockholm.

BRS COPs are reconvening in Geneva until 17 June!

BRS COPs are reconvening in Geneva until 17 June!
 
Plastic is Forever campaign underway during the BRS COPs Plastics Forum!
The campaign, which hails the positive impact of the Basel Convention Plastic Waste Amendments, includes a PSA video, a hackathon event, a social media challenge, subsequent publications from the PWP photo competition, and the illumination of Geneva’s Palais des Nations.

Plastic is Forever campaign underway during the BRS COPs Plastics Forum!

Plastic is Forever campaign underway during the BRS COPs Plastics Forum!
 
Learn all about the 40+ side events during the BRS COPs!
Side events will be held during the face-to-face segment of the meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, from 6 to 17 June 2022, in Geneva.

Learn all about the 40+ side events during the BRS COPs!

Learn all about the 40+ side events during the BRS COPs!
 
The Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund pledges 30 million NOK to support the BRS Conventions handling plastic waste in developing countries
The BRS Conventions Executive Secretary, Rolph Payet, visited Norway to sign the agreement with the Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund acting CEO, Eirik Oland.

The Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund pledges 30 million NOK to support the BRS Conventions handling plastic waste in developing countries

The Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund pledges 30 million NOK to support the BRS Conventions handling plastic waste in developing countries

The BRS Conventions Executive Secretary, Rolph Payet, visited Norway to sign the agreement with the Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund acting CEO, Eirik Oland.

On 27 April, the Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions, Rolph Payet, visited Norway to sign a contract with the Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund (Handelens Miljøfond), which expands technical assistance and capacity-building for developing countries to strengthen the implementation of the BRS Conventions in favour of the environmentally sound management of plastic waste.

The funding marks the second time that Handelens Miljøfond has financed the work of the BRS Secretariat, rounding up the total of funds received to 33 million Norwegian Krone. Handelens Miljøfond acting CEO, Eirik Oland, remarked on the “incredibly important job that the BRS Secretariat does putting in place systems for plastic waste handling in countries that face major environmental challenges.” The plastics project supported by Handelens Miljøfond will help build a bridge between the BRS Conventions and the new global plastics agreement, which was announced in March during the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi.

Currently, the Basel Convention is the only global legally binding agreement that specifically addresses plastic waste through its Plastic Waste Amendments. As such, it has been instrumental in generating the required momentum to launch negotiations for a new treaty to end plastic pollution.

“Our project, implemented at the national level in Nepal, Rwanda and Zambia, will leverage international policy to ensure that good practices are taken up for tackling plastic waste in these local communities,” noted Rolph Payet. The BRS Executive Secretary went on to exalt the initiative shown by a donor, such as Handelens Miljøfond. “We believe that players like Handelens Miljøfond can help prepare the ground for other stakeholders from the private sector to contribute to the important work of reducing the environmental problems associated with the use of plastic,” he said.

The BRS Conventions drive the environmentally sound management of plastic waste and chemicals in plastics by strengthening legal and institutional frameworks, providing technical guidelines and guidance, as well as by building on infrastructure, human and financial resources, availability of data, and increased awareness.

See photos from the meetings between BRS Secretariat and Handelens Miljøfond here.  

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS Secretariat) brings together the three leading multilateral environmental agreements that share the common objective of protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes. http://www.brsmeas.org/.

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal aims to protect people and the environment from the negative effects of the inappropriate management of hazardous wastes worldwide. http://www.basel.int/

The Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund (Handelens Miljøfond) is the Norway's largest private environmental fund, and support national and international projects that reduce plastic pollution, increase plastic recycling and reduce the consumption of plastic bags. https://handelensmiljofond.no/en/

Contacts

For questions on the BRS funding and donors: Frank Moser, Head of the Programme Resources and Oversight Unit, frank-michael.moser@un.org

For technical questions on the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions: Kei Ohno Woodall, BRS Programme Management Officer, kei.ohno@un.org.

For media inquiries: Marisofi Giannouli, BRS Associate Public Information officer, marisofi.giannouli@un.org.

Inspirational success stories from the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
A selection of case studies where projects implemented by the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions have led to successful outcomes for human health and the environment.

Inspirational success stories from the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Inspirational success stories from the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
 
Impact of COVID-19 on BRS meetings <span class='attentionNote'>(Updated 11 April 2022)</span>

Impact of COVID-19 on BRS meetings (Updated 11 April 2022)

Impact of COVID-19 on BRS meetings <span class='attentionNote'>(Updated 11 April 2022)</span>

Geneva, 11 April 2022

Through this webpage, the Secretariat wishes to provide regular updates on the latest developments regarding upcoming BRS meetings, in light of the current situation related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Secretariat is keeping the situation under review taking into account the information and guidance from the United Nations Department of Operational Support, the WHO, the Swiss authorities, the Italian authorities, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the United Nations Office at Geneva that is received and updated regularly.

Please find below an update on the status of BRS meetings that have been either postponed or planned to be held online:

Dates

Location

Meeting

Status

20-22 April 2020

Geneva (online)

First meeting of the small intersessional working group on the strategic framework for the implementation of the Basel Convention for 2012-2021

Held

7 May 2020

Rome (online)

Orientation for new members of the Chemical Review Committee

Held

9 June 2020

Geneva (online)

Meeting of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention

Held

10 June 2020

Geneva (online)

Meeting of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention

Held

25-26 June 2020

Geneva (online)

Meeting of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention

Held

29 June-3 July 2020

Geneva (online)

Fourteenth meeting of the Basel Convention Implementation and Compliance Committee (ICC-14) (part I)

Held

1-3 September 2020

Geneva (online)

Online segment of the twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG-12), followed by an additional face-to-face segment tentatively scheduled to take place in March 2021 in Nairobi

Held

8-11 September 2020

Rome (online)

Sixteenth meeting of the Rotterdam Convention Chemical Review Committee

Held

21-25 September 2020

Geneva (online)

Fourteenth meeting of the Basel Convention Implementation and Compliance Committee (ICC-14) (part II)

Held

30 September-2 October 2020  Geneva (online)  Annual joint meeting of the regional centres under the Basel and Stockholm conventions Held
5-9 October 2020  Geneva (online)  Fourth meeting of the Expert Working Group on the review of Annexes
Held
13-23 October 2020  Geneva (online)  Meeting of the coordination group for the Global Monitoring Plan for POPs under the Stockholm Convention  Held
21 October 2020  Geneva (online)
Second online meeting of the small intersessional working group on PCB under the Stockholm Convention Held
22 October 2020 Geneva (online) Second meeting of the small intersessional working group on the strategic framework for the implementation of the Basel Convention for 2012-2021 Held
27-28 October 2020 and 3-4 November 2020 Geneva (online) Meeting of the small intersessional working group on technical specially engineered landfill (D5) and incineration on land (D10) and energy recovery (R1) Held
27 October-6 November  Geneva (online)   Expert meeting on Best Available Techniques and Best Environmental Practices under the Stockholm Convention Held
9-12 November 2020  Geneva (online)
Eighth Expert Group Meeting on DDT under the Stockholm Convention Held
16-19 November 2020 Geneva (online)
Meeting of the small intersessional working group on technical guidelines on persistent organic pollutants as wastes Held
24-25 November 2020 Geneva (online) Meeting of the small intersessional working group on D5, D10 and R1 technical guidelines - Part III Held 
7 December 2020 Geneva (online) Fourteenth meeting of the Basel Convention Implementation and Compliance Committee (ICC-14) (part III) Held
8-11 December 2020 Geneva (online)   Meeting of the small intersessional working group on technical guidelines on mercury wastes Held
14-18 December 2020 Geneva (online) Meeting of the small intersessional working group on the technical guidelines on plastic wastes Held
11-16 January 2021 Geneva
(online)
Sixteenth meeting of the Stockholm Convention Persistent Organic Pollutants Committee  Held
21-22 January 2021 Geneva (online) Third Meeting of the expert working group on the e-waste technical guidelines Held
25-26 January 2021  Geneva (online)  Meeting of the small intersessional working group on D5, D10 and R1 technical guidelines - Part V Held
26-27 January 2021 Geneva (online) 5th Meeting of the Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic (ENFORCE) Held
26 January 2021  Geneva (online)  Joint meeting of the Presidents of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions Held
27-29 January 2021  Geneva (online) Joint meeting of the bureaux of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions  Held
28 January 2021
Geneva (online) Third meeting of the PCB Small intersessional working group Cancelled
1-3 February 2021   Geneva (online)  Fourth meeting of the Expert Working Group on the review of Annexes - (Part II)   Held
8-12 February 2021  Geneva (online)  Meeting of the small intersessional working group on D5, D10 and R1 technical guidelines - Part V
Held
17-18 February 2021  Geneva (online)  Meeting of the SIWG on POPs wastes technical guidelines (Part II) Held
5-6 May
2021
Geneva (online)
Africa regional preparatory meeting for the online segment of the BRS COPs
Held
11-12 May 2021
Geneva (online)
Eastern Europe regional preparatory meeting for the online segment of the BRS COPs
Held
17-21 May 2021
Geneva (online)
Fourth meeting of the Expert Working Group on the review of Annexes, supplementary sessions (part III)
Held
31 May-1 June 2021
Geneva (online)
GRULAC regional preparatory meeting for the online segment of the BRS COPs
Held
8-9 June 2021
Geneva (online)
Asia-Pacific regional preparatory meeting for the the online segment of the BRS COPs
Held
14-16 June 2021
Geneva (online)
2nd meeting of the Plastic Waste Partnership working group
Held
26-30 July 2021  Geneva (online) Online segment of the meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (BC COP-15, RC COP-10, SC COP-10) Held
20-24 Sept 2021  Rome (online)
Seventeenth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee of the Rotterdam Convention  Held
11-15 Oct 2021  Geneva (online)  Fourth meeting of the Expert Working Group on the review of annexes, supplementary sessions (part IV)  Held
15-18 Nov 2021
Geneva (online) Fourteenth meeting of the Basel Convention Implementation and Compliance Committee (part lV)
Held
23-24 Nov 2021 Geneva (online) Annual joint meeting of the regional centres under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions Held
13-17 Dec 2021 Geneva (online) Second meeting of the SIWG on plastic waste technical guidelines Held
13 Jan 2022 Geneva (online) Fourth meeting of the Expert Working Group on the review of annexes, supplementary sessions (part V) of the Basel Convention Held
17-19 January 2022 Geneva (online) Second meeting of the SIWG on plastic waste technical guidelines (Part II) Held
24-28 Jan 2022 Geneva or online Seventeenth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee of the Stockholm Convention  Held
1-2 February 2022 Geneva and online Joint bureaux meeting Held
7-9 February 2022 Geneva (online) Second meeting of the SIWG on plastic waste technical guidelines (Part III) Held
27-29 March 2022 Bali, Indonesia and online Regional preparatory meeting for the 2022 face-to-face segment of the BRS COPs for the Asia-Pacific region Held
4-6 April 2022 Nairobi, Kenya and online Face to face segment of twelfth meeting of Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG-12) Held
7-9 April 2022 Nairobi, Kenya Regional preparatory meeting for the 2022 face-to-face segment of the BRS COPs for the African region Held
12-14 April 2022 Geneva and online First meeting of the effectiveness evaluation committee Confirmed
3-5 May 2022 Montevideo, Uruguay Regional preparatory meeting for the 2022 face-to-face segment of the BRS COPs for the Latin American and the Caribbean region Confirmed
6-17 June 2022 Geneva, Switzerland
Face-to-face segment of the meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (BC COP-15, RC COP-10, SC COP-10) Confirmed
9-10 May 2022  Prague, Czech Republic Regional preparatory meeting for the 2022 face-to-face segment of the BRS COPs for the Eastern Europe (and Central Asian) region Confirmed
1 June 2022 Stockholm, Sweden High-level segment of the meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BC COP-15, RC COP-10, SC COP-10) Confirmed
19-23 Sept. 2022
Rome, Italy Eighteenth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee of the Rotterdam Convention Tentative
26-30 Sept. 2022  Rome, Italy Eighteenth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee of the Stockholm Convention Tentative

Please kindly consult our online calendar for more regular updates.

Africa preparatory meeting held in the lead-up to the triple COPs
The Africa regional preparatory meeting for the upcoming Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions takes place from 7 to 9 April in Nairobi, following the twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG-12).

Africa preparatory meeting held in the lead-up to the triple COPs

Africa preparatory meeting held in the lead-up to the triple COPs
 
12th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention is underway
The face-to-face segment of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention will be held from 4 to 6 April 2022, in the United Nations Office at Nairobi.

12th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention is underway

12th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention is underway
 
Journalists and communicators, sign up for the 2022 BRS COPs media training workshop!
The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is organising a media training workshop to inform members of the press and communication specialists on the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the Conventions (BRS COPs). Sessions will take place from 27 to 28 April 2022, and will ...

Journalists and communicators, sign up for the 2022 BRS COPs media training workshop!

Journalists and communicators, sign up for the 2022 BRS COPs media training workshop!
 
Save the date: the High-level Segment of the BRS COPs will be held in connection with the Stockholm+50 meeting on 1 June 2022.
The High-level Segment of the meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions will be held in connection to the Stockholm+ 50 at the Stockholm Exhibition & Convention centre at Älvsjö, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Save the date: the High-level Segment of the BRS COPs will be held in connection with the Stockholm+50 meeting on 1 June 2022.

Save the date: the High-level Segment of the BRS COPs will be held in connection with the Stockholm+50 meeting on 1 June 2022.
 
Tentative schedule of work for the BRS COPs is available now!
The tentative schedule of work for the face-to-face segment of the meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (BRS COPs) has been issued. The 2021/2022 BRS COPs will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 7 to 16 June 2022.

Tentative schedule of work for the BRS COPs is available now!

Tentative schedule of work for the BRS COPs is available now!
 
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