News Features

 

BRS in the 10th Green Standards Week
BRS Deputy Executive Secretary will open the High-level Dialogue on Sustainable E-waste Management and Circular Economy in Latin America. Register here.

BRS in the 10th Green Standards Week

BRS in the 10th Green Standards Week
 
Launch of the Stockholm Convention Electronic Reporting System for 5th reporting cycle
The questionnaire, which has been revised to include reporting on additional chemicals, is now available to Parties through in all six UN official languages. Join one of our webinars on 6 or 8 December to learn more about it!

Launch of the Stockholm Convention Electronic Reporting System for 5th reporting cycle

Launch of the Stockholm Convention Electronic Reporting System for 5th reporting cycle
 
New Greening the Blue report highlights steps taken to lessen UN family’s environmental footprint, and impact of COVID-19
The BRS Secretariat, one of 56 UN entities included in the report, is carbon neutral for the 8th year in a row.

New Greening the Blue report highlights steps taken to lessen UN family’s environmental footprint, and impact of COVID-19

New Greening the Blue report highlights steps taken to lessen UN family’s environmental footprint, and impact of COVID-19

Greening the Blue Report 2021 reveals impacts of COVID-19 on UN system’s environmental footprint

Greening the Blue Report 2021 - The UN system’s environmental footprint and efforts to reduce it, is the first edition to reveal impacts on the UN system’s environmental footprint due to COVID-19. The annual report provides UN system-wide data on the environmental impact areas and management functions identified in the Strategy for Sustainability Management in the United Nations System 2020-2030, Phase I: Environmental Sustainability in the Area of Management. The 2021 edition of the Report, which provides 2020 data, was launched on Monday 8 November. The full Report and UN entity-specific data are available online at www.greeningtheblue.org.

The Report focuses on the environmental impacts of over 315,000 personnel in Headquarters, field offices and operations on the ground. Data from 56 UN system entities is included in the Report. Highlights include:

Greenhouse gas emissions and offsetting

With significant worldwide travel restrictions and large portions of UN personnel working from home, the UN system generated approximately 25 per cent fewer GHG emissions than in 2019. The steep reduction in GHG emissions reflects the sudden and dramatic adaptations in operations that had to be made throughout 2020, as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, the UN system produced ~1.5 million tonnes CO2eq, with per capita emissions of 5 tonnes CO2eq. The UN system’s emission by source were 32% from air travel, 55% from facilities, and 12% from other forms of travel. Of the reported 2020 emissions 99% were offset.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on many entities’ a radical change in work and travel patterns. This has however also highlighted the opportunity the UN system has to revisit its working and travel modalities and come closer to the ambitious emissions reductions’ targets that it has set for itself for 2030.

BRS performance

In 2020, the BRS Secretariat, through its operations and facilities, emitted 53 tCO2eq in total or 0.76 tCO2eq per capita – much lower the UN average. When breaking down emissions by source, 74% came from air travel and the remaining 26% came from our facilities.

The Secretariat is also pleased to announce its climate neutrality for the 8th year in a row, meaning that it offsets 100% of its greenhouse gas emissions.

For further details, please visit Greening the Blue where you will find more information relating to activities at the UN system level as well as in the BRS Secretariat. Please also consult the Secretariat’s sustainability webpage.

More information

For more information on the methodologies and data collection used, and for the full Greening the Blue report 2021 please visit the Greening the Blue website.

For more information on the methodology related to travel emissions provided by the International Civil Aviation Organisation please visit the ICAO website.

For information on climate neutrality, please visit the UNFCCC website.

For more information, please contact:

UN Environment Programme

E-mail: unepnewsdesk@unep.org.

UN Palais des Nations in Geneva turns green as key climate change talks begin at COP-26, 1 November 2021
Landmark building illuminated by Basel Convention green to highlight links between climate change and chemicals and waste, including plastic waste.

UN Palais des Nations in Geneva turns green as key climate change talks begin at COP-26, 1 November 2021

UN Palais des Nations in Geneva turns green as key climate change talks begin at COP-26, 1 November 2021
 
Grenada becomes a Party to the Basel, Rotterdam, & Stockholm Conventions
Basel, Rotterdam & Stockholm Conventions continue to move towards universal coverage as Grenada deposits its instruments of accession, with entry into force on 13 January, 2022.

Grenada becomes a Party to the Basel, Rotterdam, & Stockholm Conventions

Grenada becomes a Party to the Basel, Rotterdam, & Stockholm Conventions
 
Drowning in Plastics: Marine Litter and Plastic Waste Vital Graphics
This compilation of eye-catching graphics, developed by UNEP, GRID-Arendal and the BRS Secretariat, aims to provide a complete overview of the global challenges related to marine litter and plastic waste through a condensed descriptions of key thematic areas and eye-catching graphics.

Drowning in Plastics: Marine Litter and Plastic Waste Vital Graphics

Drowning in Plastics: Marine Litter and Plastic Waste Vital Graphics
 
E-waste in the context of a sustainable digital transformation in Africa and in Latin America: webinars 28-30 September 2021
Join these webinars, organized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), UNECE, BRS and other partners, discuss challenges and opportunities offered by a digital transformation.

E-waste in the context of a sustainable digital transformation in Africa and in Latin America: webinars 28-30 September 2021

E-waste in the context of a sustainable digital transformation in Africa and in Latin America: webinars 28-30 September 2021
 
BRS highlights interactions between plastic waste and food through social media campaign
Click to view the new social media cards, produced as a contribution to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, 23 to 24 September, in New York and online.

BRS highlights interactions between plastic waste and food through social media campaign

BRS highlights interactions between plastic waste and food through social media campaign
BRS Chief addresses plastic waste crisis on UN News
Listen to the latest installment of Dateline Geneva, featuring an exclusive interview by the BRS Executive Secretary Rolph Payet, and interventions by Plastic Is Forever photo exhibition finalists.

BRS Chief addresses plastic waste crisis on UN News

BRS Chief addresses plastic waste crisis on UN News
 
Online Segment of 2021 Triple COPs successfully concludes with key decisions adopted
More than 1,300 representatives from more than 160 countries agree key decisions to keep work towards sound management of chemicals and waste on track.

Online Segment of 2021 Triple COPs successfully concludes with key decisions adopted

Online Segment of 2021 Triple COPs successfully concludes with key decisions adopted

Geneva & Rome, 30 July 2021

Despite the ongoing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Parties to the   Basel, Rotterdam, & Stockholm (BRS) conventions met this week in a virtual format, taking essential decisions aimed at continuing work of the conventions, which together protect human health and the environment from the harmful effects of hazardous chemicals and waste. Over 160 Parties and 1,300 participants attended the meetings.

The outcomes of this week’s online segment of the 2021 meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam, & Stockholm conventions (Triple COPs) include the adoption of an interim budget for 2022, and a decision to resume discussions during a face-to-face segment of the meetings in Geneva, from 6 to 17 June 2022.

An important step was reached under the Rotterdam Convention, with the first-ever elections of the members of the Compliance Committee, whose mandate is to assist individual Parties to resolve their compliance difficulties and also review systemic issues of compliance.

Under the Stockholm Convention, it was decided to forward two important outcomes to the Global Environment Facility (The GEF, the Stockholm Convention’s financial mechanism) given ongoing negotiations for its eight replenishment, namely the fifth review of the financial mechanism; and the report of the full assessment of the funding necessary and available for the implementation of the Stockholm Convention for the period 2022–2026. According to the needs assessment report, US$4.9 billion are needed to address persistent organic pollutants, out of which US$2.39 billion are needed to address polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Under the Stockholm Convention, the election of the members to the effectiveness evaluation committee marks the initiation of the second evaluation of the effectiveness of the Convention, to assess whether the Convention is succeeding in achieving its objective of protecting human health and the environment from POPs.

Side events on various topics were organized and attended by numerous participants, including on plastic waste pollution, following the adoption of the Basel Convention Plastic Waste Amendments and the establishment of the Plastic Waste Partnership in 2019.

Speaking at today’s planned adjournment of the Triple COPs, Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary (UNEP) of the three conventions, said that “I’m proud that this week, Parties to the three Conventions have reached agreement on all agenda items prioritized for this online segment. This means that despite the financial, human resource, and operational constraints resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the crucial work of the three conventions can move forward seamlessly, enabling governments and other stakeholders around the world to better protect people and environment.”

FAO hosted a side event attended by more than 240 participants to discuss scientific data and experiences from African, Caribbean and Pacific Islands with highly hazardous pesticides and alternatives. Rémi Nono Womdim, Executive Secretary (FAO) of the Rotterdam Convention, commented: “FAO ensures its commitment to continue supporting parties in their efforts to reduce the risk from these and other pesticides”, adding: “Due to COVID-19, discussions on listing of further hazardous chemicals and pesticides to Annex III of the Convention will only take place in 2022.”

The three conventions constitute a coordinated, life-cycle approach to the environmentally sound management of chemicals & waste across the world. The legally binding BRS conventions share a common goal of protecting human health and the environment from the hazards of chemicals and waste, and have almost universal coverage with 188, 164, and 184 Parties respectively.

The Basel Convention, has, since 1st January 2021, included additional provisions for curbing the proliferation of plastic waste. A number of new publications on plastic waste were launched this week, including an interactive Storymap:

(https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/63f88d8da65841f3a13ba4018d26361d), and a new series of infographics “Drowning in Plastics: Marine Litter and Plastic Waste – Vital Graphics”, published together with UNEP and GRID-Arendal, Norway, and soon available on www.basel.int.

The Rotterdam Convention provides a structured information exchange procedure based on prior informed consent to international trade (the PIC Procedure), enabling Parties to take informed decisions on future imports of hazardous pesticides and industrial chemicals, achieve sound management, and ultimately lower the risk of harmful impacts on health and the environment. Through this, the Convention’s implementation contributes to better production, a better environment, better nutrition, and a better life. For more info see www.pic.int.

The Stockholm Convention, covering the elimination and reduction of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), celebrates twenty years since its adoption. Coinciding with this landmark, the recently published third regional monitoring reports mark an important milestone towards the second effectiveness evaluation, with an enhanced information basis to support the assessment of trends in concentrations of POPs measured over time. Overall, the reports confirm the previously observed declining trends of POPs in the environment and in human populations, and show that, if measures are implemented to reduce or eliminate releases, the concentrations measured in humans and in the environment will follow, and continue to decrease. . For more info:

https://chm.pops.int/Implementation/GlobalMonitoringPlan/MonitoringReports/tabid/525/Default.aspx

The BRS Secretariat thanks the donors whose support allowed the organization of the online segment of the COPs, as well as the regional preparatory meetings, and under such extraordinary circumstances: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. The online segment will be followed by a face-to-face segment, scheduled from 6 to 17 June 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Note for Editors:

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, or BRS Secretariat, supports Parties implement the three leading multilateral environment agreements governing chemicals and waste management, in order to protect human health and the environment. See www.brsmeas.org for more information and follow the @brsmeas twitter feed for daily news.

The BRS Secretariat recently published two reports focussed on chemicals and wastes and climate change, and on chemicals and waste and biodiversity, which explore these key interlinkages further and which provide a forward-looking investigation of opportunities for enhanced cooperation to better address these complex challenges. These landmark reports are available online:

https://www.brsmeas.org/Implementation/Publications/ScientificandTechnicalPublications/tabid/3790/language/en-US/Default.aspx

For more information, please contact:

For industrial chemicals: Kei OHNO WOODALL, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (UNEP),  Geneva: +41-79-2333218, kei.ohno@un.org

For pesticides: Christine FUELL, Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention (FAO), Rome: +39-06-57053765, christine.fuell@fao.org

For media enquiries: Charlie AVIS, Public Information Officer (BRS, UNEP), Geneva: +41-79-7304495, charles.avis@un.org

For FAO: FAO media relations office, Rome: +39-06-57053625, FAO-Newsroom@fao.org

2021 Triple COPs convened online with more than 1,000 delegates, 26 to 30 July
Read the official press release as more than 150 countries join the online segment of the 2021 meetings of the Conferences of Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam, & Stockholm conventions.

2021 Triple COPs convened online with more than 1,000 delegates, 26 to 30 July

2021 Triple COPs convened online with more than 1,000 delegates, 26 to 30 July

Geneva & Rome
26 July 2021

With an estimated 2 million lives lost annually due to exposure to hazardous chemicals & waste,[1] and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic underlining the importance of environmentally sound management of chemicals and waste, key negotiations go ahead this week online to take decisions on time-sensitive issues, including the adoption of a budget for the Basel, Rotterdam, & Stockholm (BRS) conventions for 2022 and providing advice to the Global Environment Facility.

More than 1,200 representatives from governments, business, and civil society will participate in the 2021 meetings of the Conferences of Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) conventions, online segment from 26 to 30 July 2021.

The three conventions constitute a coordinated, life-cycle approach to the environmentally sound management of chemicals & waste across the world. The legally binding BRS conventions share a common goal of protecting human health and the environment from the hazards of chemicals and waste, and have almost universal coverage with 188, 164, and 184 Parties respectively.

Welcoming delegates to the online segment, the Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam & Stockholm Conventions (UNEP), Mr Rolph Payet, said that “these meetings demonstrate the great political will which exists to tackle chemicals and waste issues, given that the pollution crisis is, by now, together with climate change and biodiversity loss, an existential threat to our societies and peoples’ well-being.”

Mr Qu Dongyu, the Director-General of FAO (which co-administers the Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention), referring to the newly-adopted FAO Strategic Framework, called upon countries to “renew and strengthen our commitment to keep addressing chemicals, pesticides and waste high on the international agenda, to protect human health and the environment, while transforming our agri-food systems, to eradicate hunger and malnutrition.”

The Basel Convention, covers hazardous waste and other wastes requiring special consideration, including medical waste, household waste, and electronic waste, and has, since 1st January 2021, included additional provisions for curbing the proliferation of plastic waste. A number of new publications on plastic waste will be launched this week, including an interactive Storymap and a new series of infographics “Drowning in Plastics: Marine Litter and Plastic Waste – Vital Graphics”, published together with UNEP and GRID-Arendal. These will be available on www.basel.int.

The Rotterdam Convention provides a structured information exchange procedure based on prior informed consent to international trade (the PIC Procedure), enabling Parties to take informed decisions on future imports of hazardous pesticides and industrial chemicals, achieve sound management, and ultimately lower the risk of harmful impacts on health and the environment. Through this, the Convention’s implementation contributes to better production, a better environment, better nutrition, and a better life.

The Stockholm Convention, covering the elimination and reduction of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as PCB and DDT, celebrates twenty years since its adoption. Coinciding with this landmark, the recently published third regional monitoring reports show that POPs concentrations in the environment and in human populations continue previously observed declining trends. While the presence of POPs is ubiquitous, if measures are implemented to reduce or eliminate both intentional and unintentional releases, the concentrations measured in humans and in the environment will continue to decrease. Insights from the third regional monitoring reports also point at the role of the POPs monitoring work in supporting assessment processes beyond chemicals and wastes issues, towards better understanding of changes in biodiversity, and climate change effects on ecosystem function and structure. For more info:

https://chm.pops.int/Implementation/GlobalMonitoringPlan/MonitoringReports/tabid/525/Default.aspx

This week, the conferences of the Parties to the Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions are also expected to kick start the work of the Compliance Committee of the Rotterdam Convention and the Effectiveness Evaluation Committee of the Stockholm Convention. The three conferences of the Parties are also expected to adopt programmes of budget to enable the conventions to continue their important work in 2022. Finally, the Stockholm Convention Conference of the Parties will also seek to adopt an important decision on the Convention’s financial mechanism. This would include the forwarding of needs assessment reports for 2022 to 2026 and the 5th review of the financial mechanism to the Global Environment Facility, for consideration during the negotiations of the eighth replenishment of the Facility’s trust fund. 

The BRS Secretariat recently published two reports focussed on chemicals and wastes and climate change, and on chemicals and waste and biodiversity, which explore these key interlinkages further and which provide a forward-looking investigation of opportunities for enhanced cooperation to better address these complex challenges. These landmark reports are available online:

https://www.brsmeas.org/Implementation/Publications/ScientificandTechnicalPublications/tabid/3790/language/en-US/Default.aspx

The BRS Secretariat thanks the donors whose support allowed the organization of the online segment of the COPs, as well as the regional preparatory meetings, and under such extraordinary circumstances: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. The online segment will be followed by a face-to-face segment.

Note for Editors:

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the most comprehensive international environmental treaty on hazardous and other wastes and is almost universal, with 188 Parties. With an overarching objective of protecting human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes, its scope covers a wide range of wastes defined as hazardous based on their origin and/or composition and characteristics, as well as three types of waste defined as “other wastes”, namely household waste, residues arising from the incineration of household wastes ash and certain plastic wastes requiring special consideration. For more information on the Basel Convention, please see www.basel.int

The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure (PIC) for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, is jointly administered by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The 164 Parties to this legally-binding Convention share responsibility and cooperate to safely manage chemicals in international trade. To date 52 hazardous chemicals and pesticides are listed in its Annex III, making their international trade subject to a prior informed consent (PIC) procedure. The Rotterdam Convention facilitates information exchange among Parties on hazardous chemicals and pesticides and about their characteristics, by providing for a national decision-making process on their import and export and by disseminating these decisions to Parties – it does not constitute a ban on trade in chemicals. In addition, through its PIC Procedure, the Convention provides a legally binding mechanism to support national decisions on the import of certain chemicals and pesticides in order to minimize the risk they pose to human health and the environment. More information is available at: www.pic.int

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), adopted in 2001 and entered into force in 2004, is a global treaty requiring its Parties to take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of POPs into the environment, to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have harmful impacts on human health or on the environment. Exposure to POPs can lead to serious adverse health effects including certain cancers, birth defects, dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems, greater susceptibility to disease and damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems. Given that these chemicals can be transported over long distances, no one government acting alone can protect its population or its environment from POPs. For more information on the Stockholm Convention and POPs, see: www.chm.pops.int

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, or BRS Secretariat, supports Parties implement the three leading multilateral environment agreements governing chemicals and waste management, in order to protect human health and the environment. See www.brsmeas.org for more information and follow the @brsmeas twitter feed for daily news.

For more information, please contact:

For industrial chemicals: Kei OHNO WOODALL, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (UNEP), Geneva: +41-79-2333218, kei.ohno@un.org.

For pesticides: Christine FUELL, Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention (FAO), Rome: +39-06-57053765, christine.fuell@fao.org.

For media enquiries: Charlie AVIS, Public Information Officer (BRS, UNEP), Geneva: +41-79-7304495, charles.avis@un.org.

For FAO: FAO media relations office, Rome: +39-06-57053625, FAO-Newsroom@fao.org.


[1] World Health Organisation, 2021, “New data on the public health impact of chemicals: knowns and unknowns” online at: https://www.who.int/news/item/06-07-2021-new-data-on-the-public-health-impact-of-chemicals-knowns-and-unknowns

Story map: Plastic waste and the Basel Convention
Follow the plastic waste crisis as it unfolds around the world, with our dynamic data visualization map, and find out more about the role of the Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments in minimising and managing plastic waste.

Story map: Plastic waste and the Basel Convention

Story map: Plastic waste and the Basel Convention
 
BRS Triple COPs: Technical trials for registered participants of the online segment of the COPs, ahead of the meetings
Officially registered participants are invited to join technical trials on 21 July and 22 July to become familiar with the use of the meeting platforms.

BRS Triple COPs: Technical trials for registered participants of the online segment of the COPs, ahead of the meetings

BRS Triple COPs: Technical trials for registered participants of the online segment of the COPs, ahead of the meetings
 
Triple COPs 2021: Working documents, including budget documents for consideration by the COPs, available online in the 6 UN languages
Pre-session documents for the online segment of the Triple COPs, including the proposed interim programmes of work & proposed budgets for the conventions for 2022, now available.

Triple COPs 2021: Working documents, including budget documents for consideration by the COPs, available online in the 6 UN languages

Triple COPs 2021: Working documents, including budget documents for consideration by the COPs, available online in the 6 UN languages
 
Journalists: Cover the 2021 Triple COPs on the sound management of chemicals and waste
Accreditation process now open for correspondents seeking to attend the meetings of the Conferences of Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam & Stockholm conventions, (online segment) from 26 to 30 July 2021.

Journalists: Cover the 2021 Triple COPs on the sound management of chemicals and waste

Journalists: Cover the 2021 Triple COPs on the sound management of chemicals and waste
 
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