Organizational Issues in the Field

Coordination at the national level and programmatic cooperation in the field: technical assistance and capacity building

The secretariats of the three conventions prepared a publication of success stories on synergies based on national or regional projects with the view of offering information on ways of coordinating the implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and other international frameworks in the hazardous wastes and chemicals cluster. The publication was presented at the 19th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development in 2011.

Between 2010 and 2011, national and regional workshops on synergies were held to raise awareness on the opportunities for increased collaboration and coordination of the three Conventions in China, Cuba, El SalvadorFiji, Senegal, South Africa, Slovakia and Uruguay.

The three secretariats took part in training activities in the framework of the Green Customs Initiative (GCI) in an effort to support the coordinated implementation of the three conventions at the national level. Joint training tools were developed and joint representation of the three secretariats was ensured during the workshops. The three secretariats, often represented by a Basel Convention or Stockholm Convention Regional Centre, took part in national or regional GCI training workshops that were held in Antigua and Barbuda, China, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Maldives, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Malawi, Mongolia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkmenistan, Viet Nam and United Arab Emirates..

Two pilot projects on the environmentally sound management of asbestos waste resulting from natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific region were undertaken by the Secretariats of the Rotterdam and Basel Conventions, in collaboration with the regional centers for training and technology transfers for South East Asia (located in Indonesia) and for the Asia-Pacific Region (located in China). These aimed at strengthening the ability of countries in the region to safely manage and dispose of hazardous industrial chemicals, in particular asbestos.

Further work on industrial chemicals management was undertaken through three regional awareness-raising workshops organized in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean in cooperation with the secretariat of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, the German society for international cooperation (GIZ), the Center for International Environmental Law, UNEP Chemicals and the World Health Organization.

Since 2009, the Basel Convention Regional Centre for French-speaking countries in Africa has been  implementing a project in Côte d’Ivoire with support from the Secretariat of the Basel Convention to assess the implementation and enforcement of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

In 2011, the three secretariats initiated the development of integrated training tools for Customs officials (a comprehensive manual and an e-learning tool in cooperation with the World Customs Organization) and for police officers (an e-learning tool in cooperation with Interpol).

The conferences of the Parties of the three conventions further invited  the secretariats to undertake in 2012-2013 cross-cutting and joint  technical assistance activities, in particular to:

  • Develop tools to support countries in implementing the conventions (S1)
  • Undertake  capacity building programmes at the regional level (S2)
  • Support to the sound chemicals and wastes management at the national level (S3); and
  • Develop partnerships with other MEAs (S4).

Coordinated use of regional centres: regional centres and south-south cooperation

A small grants programme was established to support projects presented and implemented by Stockholm and Basel regional centres, with a view of assisting Parties in implementing the three conventions. Thanks to this programme, activities on the three conventions were undertaken through centres in China, Kenya, India, Panama, Russia and Slovakia.

The Basel and Stockholm Convention regional centres as well as UNEP and FAO regional offices have contributed to the delivery of technical assistance at the regional level in a project on the destruction of Persistent Organic Pollutants and Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS), carried out by the Basel Convention Regional Centre in El Salvador.

In 2010, a regional centre workshop and joint consultations were held in Barcelona, Spain, to enhance cooperation and collaboration among the regional centres, FAO regional and subregional offices and UNEP regional offices.

In the Caribbean, the Basel Convention Secretariat coordinated a project to strengthen the legislative, regulatory and enforcement capacity of Small Island Developing States to implement and comply with international obligations under the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions.

The secretariats supported the implementation of the joint UNEP-European Commission’s MEA Programme for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The secretariats have also provided inputs to needs assessment meetings for the African, Caribbean and Pacific hubs.

The conferences of the Parties of the three conventions further invited the secretariats to undertake in 2012-2013 cross-cutting and joint regional activities, in particular to:

  • Work with regional liaison offices in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe (S5);
  • Increase cooperation and coordination between regional centres and FAO and UNEP regional offices (S8); and
  • Promote South-South Cooperation (S9).