National reporting under the Basel and Stockholm conventions was one of the areas recommended by the Ad Hoc Joint Working Group (AHJWG) on enhancing cooperation and coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions in 2008. Based on this recommendation the conferences of the Parties (COPs) to the Basel, Rotterdam and the Stockholm conventions took an substantively identical decisions on enhancing cooperation and coordination among these conventions, which is also known as "synergies decisions". National reporting was one of the three technical issues identified to advance cooperation and collaboration among the three conventions by these decisions. The decisions requested the secretariats of the Basel and Stockholm conventions to prepare, for consideration by their respective conferences of the Parties, proposals:
- To synchronize the submission of Party reports under the two conventions in those years when the Parties to both conventions are to submit such reports;
- To develop joint capacity-building activities to assist Parties in coordinated data and information collection and management at the national level, including quality control, to enable them to fulfil their reporting obligations;
- To streamline their respective reporting formats and processes with a view to alleviating the burden of reporting, taking into account relevant activities by other bodies, including the United Nations Environment Programme;
In February 2010, a simultaneous extraordinary meetings of the COPs (ExCOPs) of all three conventions was held for the first time. Substantively identical "omnibus decisions" were adopted simultaneously by the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions. Among others, it encouraged Parties to undertake cooperative and coordinated activities to implement the synergies decision, including by strengthening national process and mechanisms that involve the focal points and designated national authorities for the three Conventions.
In 2011, the conferences of the Parties to the three conventions took substantively identical synergies decisions, which among others, approved a joint activity and workplan on reporting entitled "National reporting: revise the reporting systems of the Basel and Stockholm conventions and identify possible areas for streamlining". A detailed workplan to implement this decision has been prepared and is under implementation.