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"Chemical Challenges, Sustainable Solutions" global art contest for children and youth to be featured during UN Conference on Sustainable Development

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions cordially invites children and youths to participate in a unique global contest.

 

"Chemical Challenges, Sustainable Solutions" global art contest for children and youth to be featured during UN Conference on Sustainable Development

"Chemical Challenges, Sustainable Solutions" global art contest for children and youth to be featured during UN Conference on Sustainable Development

Geneva, 29 November 2011 – The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions cordially invites children and youths 5 to 20 years of age to participate in a unique global contest highlighting the ways persistent organic pollutants (POPs) enter people’s bodies, change ecosystems, and affect the life of our planet.

The Stockholm Convention’s 10th anniversary global art contest, “Chemical Challenges, Sustainable Solutions” was announced at the 5th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, in May 2011. The Stockholm Convention was adopted on 22 May 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden.

POPs are substances that persist for a long time in the environment. They build up in the bodies of animals and are toxic. By altering hormonal balances and damaging the immune systems of exposed individuals as well as their offspring, POPs can affect generations of humans. Years or even decades after exposure, POPs can also cause cancer and harm a person’s ability to reproduce.

Children are among the most sensitive populations to many types of pollutants, including POPs.

The contest will explore the reasons why the planet’s “chemical temperature” is rising and how people can protect themselves and nature from these harmful substances.

The contest is open to children 5 to 10, youths 11 to 15 and young adults 16 to 20 years of age, working in three art media categories:

  • Drawing
  • Photography
  • Short videos

The contest opens on 1 January 2012 and the deadline for entering the contest is 16 March 2012. National entries are to be submitted through your country’s Official Contact Point. Full details of the contest rules and eligibility may be found at the Stockholm Convention website (in English, French and Spanish).

Each country can submit up to 27 entries (9 per art media category, in which 3 per age category).

Winning entries will be displayed at the European Headquarters of the United Nations during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 20-22 June 2012, as well as appear electronically at the Rio+20 conference venue and in the Stockholm Convention’s Regional Centres across the world.

In celebration of the Stockholm Convention’s 10th anniversary and in recognition of the International Year of Chemistry 2011, the Czech Republic launched its national art contest at the beginning of the academic year 2011-12. The International Year of Chemistry 2011 is a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind proclaimed by the United Nations.

Ms. Kateřina Šebková, an expert on chemicals at the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Environment, said: "We were pleased to see the initiative for the 10th anniversary of the Stockholm Convention, and as the current goals of this contest meet three out of four goals set up for the International Year of Chemistry, we simply had to join to further help raise awareness of the significance of chemicals among the general public. We are a very active Party and also host the Central and Eastern European POPs centre for the Stockholm Convention, so we will also try to pursue the idea regionally. Now is the time to join the contest!"

Contact:

Michael Stanley-Jones, Press Focal Point/Public Information Officer, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, +41-22-917-8668; (m) + 41-79-730-4495, e-mail: msjones@pops.int

 

Launch of InforMEA – the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Geneva, 14 June 2011 - The Multilateral Environmental Agreements Information and Knowledge Management Initiative (MEA IKM), launched today develops harmonized MEA information systems to assist Parties and the environment community at large access information from multiple agreements from one location. Supported by UNEP the initiative currently includes 17 MEAs from 12 Secretariats hosted by three UN organizations and IUCN.

 

Launch of InforMEA – the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Launch of InforMEA – the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

Geneva, 14 June 2011 - The Multilateral Environmental Agreements Information and Knowledge Management Initiative (MEA IKM), launched today develops harmonized MEA information systems to assist Parties and the environment community at large access information from multiple agreements from one location. Supported by UNEP the initiative currently includes 17 MEAs from 12 Secretariats hosted by three UN organizations and IUCN. It is open to observers involved in MEA information and data management.

The first project– InforMEA, the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements – was launched on 14 June at the occasion of the initiative’s 2nd Steering Committee Meeting, attended by Ms. Maria Louisa Silva, Executive Secretary of the Barcelona Convention, Mr. John Scanlon, Secretary General of Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and Mr. Jim Willis, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

“With the launch of InforMEA the global environmental community has taken a major stride forward in making access to information more transparent and easier to apply in solving the complex challenges we face in the Information Age”, Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 

The InforMEA Portal presents Conference of the Parties decisions and resolutions, news, calendars, events, country specific MEA Membership, national focal points, as well as in the near future national reports and implementation plans organized against a set of 200 hierarchical terms taken from MEA Conference of the Parties (COP) Agendas.

In contrast to similar endeavors this project harvests and displays information directly from MEA Secretariats websites and data bases, who remain the custodians of their data. This allows for accurate and timely data availability in a cost effective manner. MEA secretariats individually implement the technical solution identified.

Harmonization of information standards and formats will facilitate the development of many other knowledge tools among conventions. For example, the Convention on Migratory Species and CITES could display the species listed on their respective appendices or the Stockholm Convention may feature decisions related to endangered migratory species threatened by POPs. Once such an application is developed, the tool is maintained at minimal cost.

www.informea.org - Making key MEA information “speak to one another”

For further information please contact: Marcos Silva (CITES) and marcos.silva@cites.org, and Eva Duer (UNEP) eva.duer@unep.org, (respective MEA representative)

 

UN Conventions Seek to Strengthen National Control of International Chemicals and Waste Trade

The first joint consultation of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions with the Basel and Stockholm Convention Regional Centres and FAO and UNEP Regional Offices in Barcelona coordinates actions on hazardous chemicals and waste and the enforcement of the conventions.

 

UN Conventions Seek to Strengthen National Control of International Chemicals and Waste Trade

UN Conventions Seek to Strengthen National Control of International Chemicals and Waste Trade

The first joint consultation of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions with the Basel and Stockholm Convention Regional Centres and FAO and UNEP Regional Offices in Barcelona coordinates actions on hazardous chemicals and waste and the enforcement of the conventions

Barcelona, Spain, 4 October 2010 – A joint consultation held for the first-time between the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO), United Nations Environment Programme and regional centres established under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions has concluded with an agreement on a plan to strengthen national coordination for control of international trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes.

The national governments have assumed great commitments to implement hazardous materials and wastes environmental agreements and the FAO and UNEP are enhancing their cooperation and coordination so that these commitments can be achieved.

One way of increasing the delivery of technical and financial support is the use of dynamic green global network taping into communication technology and exchange of experiences and information. The network of 14 Basel Centres, 15 Stockholm Centres and FAO and UNEP Regional offices in all regions of the world are a powerful green network. This network is open to different actors of civil society like NGOs, industry, academia, a winning proposition to save the planet and to foster sustainable development.

"In the face of mounting pressure on the environment and public health, UNEP, FAO and the Regional Centres from across the globe have joined forces in Barcelona to strengthen management of transboundary wastes and the trade in hazardous chemicals," said Nelson Sabogal, Chief Convention Services and Governance Unit with the Secretariat of the Basel Convention.

The joint effort to promote interregional cooperation and coordination on enforcement of the three conventions and improve their implementation at national level brought more than 60 representatives from all the regions of the world together at the "Joint Consultation of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention with the Basel and Stockholm Regional Centres and FAO and UNEP Regional Offices", held in Barcelona, from 27 September to 1 October 2010.

The consultative meeting was hosted in Barcelona by the Regional Activity Centre for Cleaner Production (CP/RAC), a Regional Centre under the Stockholm Convention, in the facilities of the Waste Catalan Agency. The Director of the Agency, Genoveva Català, highlighted the importance of hosting the meeting. "The Waste Catalan Agency is very proud to host this event and contribute to enhance the global situation concerning the use of hazardous chemical substances, as waste is the end-of-pipe, but to achieve good results we have to address too the beginning of the production line", he said.

The joint consultative meeting followed up on the historic synergy decisions about the collaboration of the Stockholm, Basel and Rotterdam Conventions reached at the simulataneous extraordinary meetings of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions in Bali, last February.

Experts agreed to establish a structured exchange of information on implementation at national level and between the regional centres. The clearing house mechanism under the Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions, undergoing expansion in cooperation with the Basel Convention, serves as a key component in the strategy to strengthen the exchange of information on the control of international trade in chemicals and wastes and enforcement of the three treaties.

The workshop also benchmarked the performance of regional centres and developed individual actions for each aimed at strengthening enforcement. The agreement builds on specific areas of expertise identified among the centres of each region in which they will lead in the provision of technical assistance and capacity building. A training session for the Centres on ways to improve the delivery and sustainability of Green Customs Initiative workshops also took place.

The weeklong event included parallel sessions in which the Third Workshop of the Stockholm Convention Regional and Subregional Centres, the Sixth session of the Consultative Meething of the Basel Convention Regional and Coordinating Centres and the Sixth Session of the Consultative Meeting of the FAO Sub-Regional Officers were held.

The joint meeting applied an approach to international conventions pioneered in the Mediterranean Action Plan of the Barcelona Convention for the Protection against Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea.

Note to Editors:

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal seeks to control the movement of hazardous wastes across international frontiers to protect human health and the environment. It establishes criteria for environmentally sound management of the wastes and promotes the lifecycle approach and minimization of hazardous waste generation. The Convention was adopted in 1989 and entered into force on 5 May 1992.

The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for certain hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in international trade promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts in the international trade of hazardous chemicals to protect human health and the environment from potential harm. The Convention was adopted in 1998 and entered into force on 24 February 2004.

The Stockholm Convention targets certain hazardous pesticides and industrial chemicals that can kill people, damage the nervous and immune systems, cause cancer and reproductive disorders and interfere with normal infant and child development. It seeks the elimination or restriction of production and use of all intentionally produced persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and the continuing minimization of the releases of unintentionally produced POPs such as dioxins and furans. The Convention was adopted in 2001 and entered into force on 17 May 2004.

The Regional Activity Centre for Cleaner Production in Barcelona is one of six Regional Activity Centres within the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP). The goal of the Centre is the promotion and dissemination of preventoin and the reduction of pollution at the source in the industrial, agriculture and tourism sectors.

Further information:

Contact:

Nelson Sabogal, Chief Convention Services and Governance Unit, Secretariat to the Basel Convention, UNEP, +41 22 917 8212, e-mail: Nelson.Sabogal@unep.ch

Michael Stanley-Jones, Press Focal Point/Public Information Officer, Joint Services of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, +41-22-917-8668; (m) + 41-79-730-4495, e-mail: SafePlanet@unep.org

 

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