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Geneva chemicals and wastes workshop focuses on national implementation of SDGs
Governments, international organisations, civil society and the private sector come together to plan delivery of the SDGs, 11 - 13 April 2016.

Geneva chemicals and wastes workshop focuses on national implementation of SDGs

Geneva chemicals and wastes workshop focuses on national implementation of SDGs

Stakeholders from different part of the worlds representing governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, academia and civil society will meet  at the International Expert and Stakeholder Workshop on the Integrated National Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and International Chemicals and Waste Agreements to seek common understanding, commitment and action to effectively integrate sound management of chemicals and wastes into national implementation of SDGs and development planning and, through this, minimize the adverse effects of hazardous chemicals and waste on human health and the environment.

The workshop is jointly organized by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Chemicals and Waste Branch, Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC). It will take place on 11-13 April 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.

China Regional Centre in the spotlight
A news series highlights the vital work of the Basel and Stockholm regional centres, starting with the joint RC in Beijing, China.

China Regional Centre in the spotlight

China Regional Centre in the spotlight

The BRS network of 23 Regional Centres (RCs) for the Basel and Stockholm Conventions facilitates the provision of technical assistance and the transfer of technologies in order to assist developing country parties and parties with economies in transition to implement their obligations under the two conventions.

In its decision BC-III/19, the Conference of the Parties of the Basel Convention selected China as a site to establish a BCRC for Asia Pacific region in 1997. Soon after the adoption of the decision the Centre was established within the School of Environment of the Tsinghua University in Beijing. However only in May 2011 a framework agreement between the Government of China and the Secretariat of Basel Convention was signed for its establishment. In November 2007 the Centre was nominated to serve also as a Stockholm Convention centre and was later endorsed in 2009  by  the Stockholm Convention COP4 as a regional centre for capacity building and technology transfer under the Stockholm Convention for four years. Recently, the Stockholm Convention COP7 endorsed it again for another term of four years. The Centre covers not just China but also a very wide and diverse number of countries including Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Cook Islands, DPR Korea, India, Lao PDR, Maldives, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Niue, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.

The China RC runs a large number of projects, in particular focussing on the sound management of POPs and on electronic waste, or E-waste. Highlights include the development and launch of an interactive “E-waste Information Platform” and the annual organisation of the International Conference on Waste Management and Technology (ICWMT), together with a host of other important national and regional fora, symposia, workshops, and training events. By August 2015 the BCRC/SCRC Centre had successfully completed more than 150 regional and international workshops featuring more than 4,000 representatives, for more than 60 countries. The RC implements these events, alongside information-sharing, communications, training and internships, and the provision of communities of practice on key issues, in order to overcome the identified problems and constraints in the region, which include lack of capacity, inadequate communication and cooperation between parties, to name a few. The Centre scored full marks on the performance evaluation undertaken by the conferences of the parties to the Basel and Stockholm Conventions in 2015.

A monthly newsletter is published detailing key policy developments from the region and globally, best practices and latest advances in scientific methods and research on chemicals and wastes, and updates on RC activities. The excellent website contains international and regional news, meetings highlights, technical assistance platforms and a wealth of information on the parties served in the region.

In addition, and crucially, the RC is the implementation agency for a number of high-profile initiatives including on the phase out of POPs, a sub-regional action plan for PBDEs management and reduction, and the feasibility of eliminating BDEs and PFOS in developing countries.

Led by Professor Li Jinhiu as Executive Director for BCRC for SCRC, the RC has institutional experience of more than 20 years on hazardous chemicals and wastes, and participates and leads very activiely across the global, regional, and national Chinese policy and research landscapes.

For more information on the RC, please go to the Regional Centres homepages.

Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Convention Presidents meet in Jordan
SC President Sam Adu-Kumi, Ghana; Rolph Payet, BRS Executive Secretary; RC President Franz Perrez, Switzerland; and BC President Mohammed Khashashneh, Jordan, met at Minamata Convention INC7.

Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Convention Presidents meet in Jordan

Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Convention Presidents meet in Jordan
 
New consultancy opportunities at BRS
Short-term consultants are sought for key Stockholm Convention assignments, deadline for applications 30 March.

New consultancy opportunities at BRS

New consultancy opportunities at BRS
 
Geneva has many inspiring women working for a better environment
BRS and GEN mark International Women’s Day by celebrating some of inspiring women working on environment in Geneva.

Geneva has many inspiring women working for a better environment

Geneva has many inspiring women working for a better environment

BRS and GEN mark International Women’s Day by celebrating some of the inspiring women working on environment in Geneva

On the occasion of 8 March 2016, International Women’s Day, the BRS Secretariat and the Geneva Environment Network (GEN) launched an exhibition and awards ceremony to recognize inspirational women in Geneva working to protect the environment. 

The Charter of the United Nations, signed in 1945, was the first international agreement to affirm the principle of equality between women and men. Since then, the UN has played a strong part of the efforts to advance the status of women worldwide. While it is essential that gender equality is promoted and ensured through internationally-agreed strategies, standards, programmes and goals such as the SDG number 5, the greatest impact is achieved through the daily on the ground work that both men and women do.   

With this notion in mind, a call for nominations of inspirational women in Geneva working to protect the environment was made in February 2016. As a result, a total of 160 submissions were received all of which deserved to be recognized. 20 nominees were selected by the committee to be part of an exhibition celebrating their achievements. The majority of them originally come from Europe and Northern America, however all UN regions were represented.

These 20 inspirational women represent a rich diversity of organizations, sectors, functions and nationalities. Some of these dynamic and enthusiastic women are from intergovernmental organizations: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Secretariat of the Aarhus Convention, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN REDD+), United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), International Trade Center (ITC), International Organization for Migration (IOM), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Civil society is represented by passionate and dedicated women from the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF International), International Institute on Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Hard working, motivated women are also from the private sector, namely World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Transparency. The committee also acknowledged the important contribution of hardworking and insightful visionaries from the University of Geneva and the Swiss Parliament.

Here is the list of awardees:

  1. Ann-Kathrin Zotz, International Trade Center
  2. Berta Pesti, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation/United Nations Development Programme
  3. Cristina Buetti,  International Telecommunication Union
  4. Dina Ionesco, International Organization for Migration
  5. Elena Manaenkova, World Meteorological Organization
  6. Emily Bradley, United Nations Institute for Training and Research
  7. Fiona Marshall, Secretariat of the Aarhus Convention, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  8. Isabella Marras, Sustainable UN Facility,  United Nations Environment Programme
  9. Isabelle Boutillon, World Intellectual Property Organization
  10. Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, University of Geneva
  11. Lisa Mazzone,  Verts genevois,  Swiss Parliament
  12. Maria Mendiluce, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  13. Maria Neira, World Health Organization
  14. Monika Linn, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  15. Nathalie Bernasconi, International Institute on Sustainable Development
  16. Nawal Ait-Hocine, Transparence SA
  17. Sarah Price, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification
  18. Sheila Logan, Chemicals and Waste Branch, United Nations Environment Programme
  19. Silja Halle, Post Conflict and Disaster Management Branch, United Nations Environment Programme
  20. Susan Brown, Worldwide Fund for Nature

As a result of its success, it is hoped that this initiative will become an annual event to celebrate dedicated, hard-working and passionate women working to protect the environment. 

For more information about the exhibition, please visit the GEN homepages: http://www.genevaenvironmentnetwork.org/?q=en/women2016

 

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