News Features

 

Journalists and communicators, sign up for the 2022 BRS COPs media training workshop!
The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is organising a media training workshop to inform members of the press and communication specialists on the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the Conventions (BRS COPs). Sessions will take place from 27 to 28 April 2022, and will ...

Journalists and communicators, sign up for the 2022 BRS COPs media training workshop!

Journalists and communicators, sign up for the 2022 BRS COPs media training workshop!
 
Save the date: the High-level Segment of the BRS COPs will be held in connection with the Stockholm+50 meeting on 1 June 2022.
The High-level Segment of the meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions will be held in connection to the Stockholm+ 50 at the Stockholm Exhibition & Convention centre at Älvsjö, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Save the date: the High-level Segment of the BRS COPs will be held in connection with the Stockholm+50 meeting on 1 June 2022.

Save the date: the High-level Segment of the BRS COPs will be held in connection with the Stockholm+50 meeting on 1 June 2022.
 
Tentative schedule of work for the BRS COPs is available now!
The tentative schedule of work for the face-to-face segment of the meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (BRS COPs) has been issued. The 2021/2022 BRS COPs will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 7 to 16 June 2022.

Tentative schedule of work for the BRS COPs is available now!

Tentative schedule of work for the BRS COPs is available now!
 
Asia-Pacific preparatory meetings held in the lead-up to the triple COPs
The Asia-Pacific regional preparatory meeting for the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions take place from 27 to 29 March in Bali, back-to-back with the 4th meeting of the Conference of Parties of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Asia-Pacific preparatory meetings held in the lead-up to the triple COPs

Asia-Pacific preparatory meetings held in the lead-up to the triple COPs
 
Put forward your proposals for Small Grants Programmes on plastic waste!
The call for the third round of projects to be implemented under the Small Grants Programmes on Plastic Waste will remain open until 25 May 2022. The BRS Secretariat will facilitate the implementation of regional, subregional and national projects based on the respective business plans or workplans ...

Put forward your proposals for Small Grants Programmes on plastic waste!

Put forward your proposals for Small Grants Programmes on plastic waste!
 
Submit your proposal for side events in the upcoming BRS COPs!
Join us in Geneva from 6 to 17 June for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Conference of Parties, and support the role of multilateral environmental agreements in protecting human health and our planet. Deadline for event submissions is 22 April 2022.

Submit your proposal for side events in the upcoming BRS COPs!

Submit your proposal for side events in the upcoming BRS COPs!
 
Rolph Payet speaks on the science of chemicals and wastes
BRS Executive Secretary gave an interview on UNEP’s decision to establish a science-policy panel that will further contribute to the sound management of chemicals and waste.

Rolph Payet speaks on the science of chemicals and wastes

Rolph Payet speaks on the science of chemicals and wastes
 
Happy International Women’s Day 2022!
Today we celebrate our colleagues and all the women and girls around the world who act as powerful change-makers, fighting for a sustainable, more equal future.

Happy International Women’s Day 2022!

Happy International Women’s Day 2022!
 
Celebrating 35 years of compliance mechanisms under the UNEP-administered MEAs
Held on the margins of the United Nations Environment Programme’s 50th anniversary, the event explored ways of keeping environmental governance effective under the Multilateral Environmental Agreements.

Celebrating 35 years of compliance mechanisms under the UNEP-administered MEAs

Celebrating 35 years of compliance mechanisms under the UNEP-administered MEAs

The role of compliance mechanisms under the eight global Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) took center stage today during the United Nations Environmental Assembly Special Session to commemorate UNEP’s 50th anniversary. The side event was co-organised by the secretariats of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS), the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals, the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.

Kicking off the discussion, the President of the Implementation Committee of the Montreal Protocol, Ms. Guo Xiaolin, remarked on the positive impact of the Protocol, which has prevented damages to human health, ecosystems, agriculture, animals and materials from the harmful UV radiation and ultimately contributed to the avoidance of global warming by 1°C. “The compliance regime of the Protocol facilitates, promotes and enforces conformity with commitments by the Parties through cooperative, non-judicial and non-confrontational processes,” elaborated Guo.

Adopted in 2013, the Minamata Convention is perpetuating the legacy of compliance mechanisms. Executive Secretary Ms. Monika Stankiewicz explained that “Through print and electronic reporting, Minamata presents Parties with opportunities to share not only challenges in the implementation, but also other inputs and feedback on the Convention, all of which help to facilitate compliance.”

Former Chair and Vice-Chair of the Compliance Committee under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, Ms. Jimena Nieto Carrasco, who joined the discussion online from Colombia, highlighted the similar procedures and mechanisms between the Compliance Committees under the Cartagena Protocol and the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources, including reviewing compliance of national reports by Parties every four years.

Next to take the floor was Ms. Amy Fraenkel, the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Migratory Species, which was adopted in 1979. She stated: “We are the only legally binding agreement that deals with the conservation and the habitat of migratory species, and our compliance mechanism is based on dialogue,” adding that “Its goal is not to punish Parties but to look at what is happening on the ground, where there are issues, and investigate what can be done to solve problems.”

UNEP Executive Director Ms. Inger Andersen addressed participants as a guest speaker, and  underlining the importance of compliance by making a connection with the recent historic resolution endorsed by 175 nations to end plastic pollution through the forging of an international legally binding agreement by 2024. Currently, the Basel Convention and its Plastic Waste Amendments is the only MEA addressing plastic waste, legally binding 189 Parties to minimize the generation of plastic wastes, to manage it an environmentally sound manner and strictly control its international trade so that it only take place between consenting nations who can manage it in environmentally sustainable ways.

“We, at UNEP, are tremendously proud to be the host of a number of MEAs. The fact that we have been entrusted with this role represents an understanding not that these Conventions do not have a life and a governance of their own, but that they are stronger when woven into what I often refer to as the ‘broader tapestry’ that UNEP offers,” remarked Andersen.

An interactive dialogue followed between all panellists, also featuring an intervention by H.E. Franz Perrez, Ambassador for the Environment and Head of the International Affairs Division in Switzerland’s Federal Office for the Environment. He noted that “MEAs are at the heart of the international structure that helps us protect the environment”, and went on to attribute their importance to the fact that they are able to advance policies and ensure that these policies are implemented: Ambassador Perrez concluded by saying that “Compliance is in the self-interest of each MEA Party, as it is there to protect the integrity of the system and support implementation.”

Mr. Rolph Payet , Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions served as moderator for the event. In his closing statement, he emphasized the role of compliance mechanisms in promoting policy coherence and enhancing collaboration: “MEAs are global treaties, and there are a lot of countries, interests, needs and gaps as far as they are involved. For that reason, it is important that we build and maintain compliance mechanisms in the Conventions to ensure that we measure their effectiveness, and keep them alive and relevant.”

More information on the event, including a recording, can be accessed here.

BRS Secretariat Chief speaks at the UNEA-5 Leadership Dialogue with MEAs
Rolph Payet discussed how strengthening action by multilateral environmental agreements can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

BRS Secretariat Chief speaks at the UNEA-5 Leadership Dialogue with MEAs

BRS Secretariat Chief speaks at the UNEA-5 Leadership Dialogue with MEAs
 
UNEA-5.2: Leadership Dialogue with MEAs
Join the UNEA-5.2 Leadership Dialogue with MEAs to hear exchanges of views and experiences on ways to contribute to enhanced environmental governance, including through coherent implementation of the MEAs.

UNEA-5.2: Leadership Dialogue with MEAs

UNEA-5.2: Leadership Dialogue with MEAs
 
UNEP@50: MEAs celebrate 35 years of compliance mechanisms
Join the side event during the special session of the UNEA, co-organized by the eight UNEP-administered Multilateral Environmental Agreements.

UNEP@50: MEAs celebrate 35 years of compliance mechanisms

UNEP@50: MEAs celebrate 35 years of compliance mechanisms
 
All for one and one for all!
Celebrating ten years of collaboration in the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

All for one and one for all!

All for one and one for all!

Celebrating ten years of collaboration in the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

The BRS Secretariat is ten years young today, yet it’s difficult to imagine a time when the missions of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions were not intertwined. From the Basel Convention’s broad mandate to minimize the generation of hazardous and other wastes, ensure their environmentally sound management and control their transboundary movements, to the Rotterdam Convention providing countries with a first line of defence against unwanted imports of hazardous chemicals, and the Stockholm Convention’s work on prohibiting or restricting the production, use, international trade, release and storage of persistent organic pollutants, all three agreements share the common objective of protecting human health and the environment.

The BRS Secretariat is essentially a functional representation of the synergistic relationship that exists between the three Conventions. As Executive Secretary Rolph Payet puts it, “In more ways than one, we serve as the hazardous chemicals and wastes nexus, always working to further enhance international environmental governance and cooperation. I am proud to serve an entity that continues to be the flagship of efforts to improve international environmental governance.

One of the principal functions of the BRS Secretariat is the preparation and management of the BRS Conference of the Parties (BRS COPs), the highest decision-making body under each Convention. Drawing on guidance provided by the Bureaux of the Conferences of the Parties, the Secretariat organises the BRS COPs on a biannual basis. This year will signal the first time that all Parties will have the opportunity to meet again in Geneva since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, marking what is described by Deputy Executive Secretary Carlos Martin-Novella as an auspicious occasion: “2022 is a milestone year for multilateral cooperation with respect to the environment. The United Nations Environment Programme is turning 50 years old, the international community is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, and the BRS Secretariat is completing a decade of successful work.” The 2022 BRS COPs, which will be held from 7 to 16 June is Geneva, are a great opportunity for world leaders, experts and decisionmakers to meet face-to-face for the first time in the post-pandemic era and agree on new solutions to bring forward positive change in the environmental world.

Having been with the BRS Secretariat since day one, Senior Policy and Strategy Advisor Maria Cristina Cardenas has a well-rounded perspective about the ways the Secretariat’s work has been advancing cooperation on global environmental issues over the years. “Considering that the BRS Conventions are not only legally binding but also enjoy nearly universal coverage, decisions taken over these past ten years to address major issues like plastic waste management, toxic chemicals and biopesticides, all have a lasting and substantial effect on all of our lives and the planet”, she remarks.

Such environmental issues certainly don’t exist in a vacuum. The Secretariat provides a platform for their assessment, taking into account scientific as well as socioeconomic considerations, and thereby feeding into the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030. With ten years down and hopefully many more to come, there’s definitely room for more ambition and further progress to be made ahead.

 

Disclaimer: The BRS 10th anniversary refers to the day when all the BRS Secretariats administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (the Basel Convention Secretariat, the Stockholm Convention Secretariat, and half of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat) came under joint management on 18 February 2011.

 

Rolph Payet joins world leaders in discussing plastic waste management
In the lead-up to UNEA-5.2, BRS Secretariat Executive Secretary addresses the positive impact of the Plastic Waste Amendments on curbing plastic pollution.

Rolph Payet joins world leaders in discussing plastic waste management

Rolph Payet joins world leaders in discussing plastic waste management
 
Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!
Join us in the fight against gender bias that holds girls back from studying STEM, and impedes women from pursuing successful careers in science fields.

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!
 
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