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:
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
On 15-19 February 2016, delegates from 114 Member States and 42 major groups and stakeholders participated in the second meeting of the open-ended Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR-2) at UNEP’s Nairobi headquarters to prepare for the second United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) in May, the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment. During the week, delegates actively prepared resolutions and decisions, which were grouped in five issues clusters, and would be recommended for adoption UNEA-2.
The BRS Secretariat took part in OECPR-2 as an observer and provided information on decisions and ongoing work under the Conventions that were relevant to the meeting’s deliberations.
At the invitation of UNEP, the BRS Secretariat made a special briefing to the delegates engaged in the working group’s discussions pertaining chemicals and wastes management. The briefing aimed at highlighting the importance of the sound management of chemicals and wastes for the achievement of the 2030 sustainable development agenda. It also presented ongoing efforts undertaken by partners to implement the chemicals and wastes part of the sustainable development agenda.
These information materials have been developed by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, in cooperation with UNEP Chemicals and Waste Branch, including the interim secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury and the secretariat of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management.
A series of regional consultations are being held in preparation for the seventh session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee on mercury (INC7), scheduled to be held in the Dead Sea Area in Jordan, from 10 to 15 March 2016. For more information, please visit the Minamata Convention website.
In line with relevant mandates, the BRS Secretariat cooperates and collaborates with the interim secretariat of the Minamata Convention in areas of mutual interest with a view to fostering policy coherence, where appropriate, and maximizing the effective and efficient use of resources at all levels.
In the framework of these regional meetings, the BRS Secretariat provides inputs pertaining to the BRS conventions that are relevant to the upcoming INC-7 discussions. For instance, experience gained under the BRS conventions will be shared with the participants on topics, such as: mercury wastes, financial mechanism, national reporting, financial rules, rules of procedure, BAT&BEP and monitoring.
Best wishes and thanks to all of our parties, partners, donors and stakeholders and looking forward to a fruitful 2016.
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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.
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27 November 2014 – The United Nations today released details of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 2014 in the latest edition of Moving Towards a Climate Neutral UN.
The report provides details on the emissions from 65 UN system organizations, covering more than 250,000 staff and hundreds of locations worldwide. Greenhouse gas emissions totaled 2 million tonnes CO2eq across the UN system, equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions from 191,019 homes in the United States or from consuming 4,868,772 barrels of oil.
A total of 18 UN system organizations report having an Emission Reduction Strategy in place and at least nine are implementing an Environment Management System or have reached the highest standards in building management.
A total of 21 organizations have gone further and become climate neutral through the purchase of carbon credits, with one further agency offsetting emissions from its headquarters. These offsets amount to 676,997 tonnes CO2eq or 32% of the UN’s total reported emissions for 2014.
The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) is pleased to report on its CO2 emissions for 2014:
“Since 2012, the BRS Secretariat has been climate neutral through a carbon offset programme and has reduced its carbon footprint by 22%, most notably due to promoting video conferencing and more systematic scheduling of back-to-back meetings. We are committed to continue to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions through all means possible” said Mr. Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.
Through the recent promotion of the use of video conferencing and more systematic scheduling of back-to-back meetings, reductions in GHG emissions have been achieved over the period 2010-2014.
The total Secretariat’s GHG emissions have decreased by 29% in 2011, 50% in 2012, 23% in 2013 and 61% in 2014 compared to the 2010 baseline. In absolute values, the total BRS GHG emissions have represented: 924 tCO2eq in 2010, 661 tCO2eq in 2011, 460 tCO2eq in 2012, 697 tCO2eq in 2013 and 354 tCO2eq in 2014.
Furthermore, since 2012, the BRS Secretariat has been climate neutral through a carbon offset programme implemented as part of the UNEP Climate Neutral Initiative.
The work on sustainability is a continuous process to which the BRS Secretariat is committed to contribute to, while taking into account best practices and tools put in place by other United Nations organizations in their strategies toward better environmental performance.
More details on the greener practices implemented in the Secretariat is available at Greening the Blue.
The report provides an update on progress in implementing the 2007 UN Climate Neutral Strategy, which was approved by the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) and committed the UN Secretariat and all UN agencies, funds and programmes to move towards climate neutrality within the wider context of greening the UN.
Specifically, the Strategy requires UN bodies to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions, to undertake efforts to reduce their emissions to the greatest extent possible and to analyse the cost implications of purchasing carbon offsets.
The emissions calculations in the report were compiled using internationally recognized guidance based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a widely used methodology developed by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The UN greenhouse gas inventory includes emissions from all activities that are under the direct financial control of the organization, such as the heating and cooling of buildings and the travel of its staff members.
To download the report and for more information please visit Greening the Blue.