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Announcements

The Secretariat hands over the signed BRS Geneva Gender Parity Pledge to Mr. Michael Moller, UNOG Director General.

Geneva Gender Parity Pledge

Geneva Gender Parity Pledge

 

The Secretariat has been made aware that emails were recently sent using abusively for instance the name of the Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions or other staff as its author, a misleading sender’s name, or a misleading email address. Please read the Secretariat’s communication about this issue.

Abusive emails

The Secretariat has been made aware that emails were recently sent using abusively for instance the name of the Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions or other staff as its author, a misleading sender’s name, or a misleading email address. Please read the Secretariat’s communication about this issue.

Watch the latest BRS science video

Watch the latest BRS science video

New film shows how science underpins decision-making for the 3 BRS conventions.

Watch the latest BRS science video

Watch the latest BRS science video
 
Call for views on compliance

Call for views on compliance

The President of the COP invites Parties to share their views on outstanding issues, by 15 April 2016.

Call for views on compliance

Call for views on compliance
 
Information collection on definitions of pesticides and final regulatory action

Information collection on definitions of pesticides and final regulatory action

Parties are invited to respond to two questionnaires to provide information sought by the Conference of the Parties.

Information collection on definitions of pesticides and final regulatory action

Information collection on definitions of pesticides and final regulatory action
 
Concept notes for voluntary financial contributions 2016-17 now available

Concept notes for voluntary financial contributions 2016-17 now available

A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2016/17 is now available on the BRS websites.

Concept notes for voluntary financial contributions 2016-17 now available

Concept notes for voluntary financial contributions 2016-17 now available
 
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Rotterdam Convention News

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Institutional strengthening for implementation of the BRS Conventions

The Executive Board of the UNEP Special Programme holds its first meeting on 2 to 3 February 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Institutional strengthening for implementation of the BRS Conventions

Institutional strengthening for implementation of the BRS Conventions
 
Yun Zhou explains the implications of the recent CRC11 meeting

The latest in the BRS interview series explores what happened, and what's next, for the Rotterdam Convention after CRC11.

Yun Zhou explains the implications of the recent CRC11 meeting

Yun Zhou explains the implications of the recent CRC11 meeting
 
Final report of COP-7

The meeting report of COP-7 is now available in languages.

Final report of COP-7

Final report of COP-7
 
PIC Circular now available

PIC Circular XLII December 2015 is now available.

PIC Circular now available

PIC Circular now available
 
Sub-regional dialogue advances in Portugal

Five African Lusophone countries gather at the FAO Representation in Portugal to identify key actions on social and environmental impact of pesticide use.

Sub-regional dialogue advances in Portugal

Sub-regional dialogue advances in Portugal

 

FAO staff mobility boosts Convention delivery in North Africa

BRS Agriculture Officer Mohamed El Hady Sidatt has re-located to the Sub-Regional Office for North Africa as Tunisia passes laws to ratify the Rotterdam Convention.

FAO staff mobility boosts Convention delivery in North Africa

FAO staff mobility boosts Convention delivery in North Africa

Mohamed El Hady SIDATT, an Agricultural Officer in the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat in Rome, took the opportunity under FAO’s mobility policy to move to the FAO sub-regional office for North Africa, in Tunis, on 1 November 2015. He continues to work full-time on Rotterdam Convention issues, in particular focusing on delivery of technical assistance in countries in Africa and the Near East.

On 20 October 2015 the Tunisian parliament adopted and published a law to ratify the Rotterdam Convention, a key step in the ratification process. “We look forward to welcoming Tunisia as the 155th party to the Rotterdam Convention!” noted Bill Murray, Executive Secretary of the Rotterdam Convention. “This has come about in part because of good collaboration between the Secretariat and colleagues in the Regional Office for the Near East. El Hady is well placed to support Tunisia’s implementation of the Rotterdam Convention. His presence in Tunis will strengthen contact with countries, both in encouraging ratification among non-Parties and in better understanding and responding to the need of Parties in the implementation of the Convention. This includes on key issues such as the identification of alternatives to candidate chemicals.”

El Hady has hit the ground running, during his first days in Tunis, he delivered a presentation on the work of the Convention and pesticides management, to journalists from Algeria, Morocco , Mauritania and Tunisia. We are looking forward to receiving more positive news from the sub-regional office in due course.

Kyrgyzstan workshop seeks integrated approaches

Government, FAO, and UNEP participants met in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 16 to 18 November 2015 to discuss synergies and integrated approaches for the sound management of pesticides and chemicals.

Kyrgyzstan workshop seeks integrated approaches

Kyrgyzstan workshop seeks integrated approaches
 
Rotterdam Convention press release summarises outcomes of CRC11

The 11th meeting of the Chemicals Review Committee, 26 - 28 October 2015 made recommendations to list in Annex III the pesticides carbofuran and carbosulfan.

Rotterdam Convention press release summarises outcomes of CRC11

Rotterdam Convention press release summarises outcomes of CRC11

Assisting governments to make informed decisions concerning pesticide and industrial chemical use, the Rotterdam Convention’s Chemicals Review Committee held its 11th meeting at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Headquarters in Rome, 26-28 October 2015.

The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, is jointly administered by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Convention encourages nations to help each other to safely manage chemicals in international trade.

The Rotterdam Convention does not introduce bans but facilitates the exchange of information among member governments on hazardous chemicals and pesticides, and their potential risks. The information can be used to improve national decision making. In addition, through the Prior Informed Consent or PIC Procedure, it provides a legally binding mechanism to support national decisions on the import of selected chemicals and pesticides in order to minimize the risk they pose to human health and the environment.

During its meeting this week the Chemical Review Committee (CRC), a subsidiary body of the Convention, recommended the inclusion of two additional pesticides in Annex III of the Convention. The decision to list carbofuran, one of the most toxic carbamate pesticides, and carbosulfan, a highly toxic pesticide, will be taken at the next Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (COP), in 2017. The Committee also finalized the draft Decision Guidance Documents for short-chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCP), and for tributyltin compounds (TBT) and agreed to submit them to the COP with a view to their adoption at its eighth meeting, together with the recommendations by the Committee to list the chemicals in Annex III to the Convention.

Kerstin Stendahl, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (UNEP), noted that the CRC provides the Rotterdam Convention with a “very solid scientific and technical basis. Through the work of the CRC we have seen hazardous chemicals and pesticides added to the PIC information procedure, thereby allowing governments to make informed decisions on the import of these. The meeting this week proved that CRC in its work is guided by scientific rigour and a commitment to the protection of human health and environment.”

The decisions this week on TBT and SCCP are an important step towards strengthening countries’ capacity to take action against unwanted imports of these chemicals,” William Murray, Executive Secretary of the FAO part of the Rotterdam Convention. “Of the pesticides considered by the Committee it is important to recognize that three were supported by notifications prepared and submitted by African countries. This is evidence that the capacity development programme of the Secretariat, working in collaboration with FAO, is having an impact and that increasingly the Convention is meeting the needs of developing counties”.

“The Chemical Review Committee has always been working in a very transparent and inclusive manner, conducting its work independently and on science-based information only” Jürgen Helbig, the current chair of the CRC noted. “I am pleased with the outcome of this eleventh CRC meeting which paves the road to the next COP. We are all working together to achieve an even stronger Rotterdam Convention and if all goes well, we will have probably more than 50 chemicals and pesticides subject to the PIC procedure by 2017.”

The meeting of the Chemicals Review Committee followed back-to-back the Stockholm Convention’s POPs Review Committee 11th meeting, 19-23 October 2015, at the same venue. 

Note for Editors: 

The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade creates legally binding obligations for its currently 154 parties. Its Annex currently comprises 47 chemicals and pesticides.

The Chemical Review Committee consists of thirty-one scientific experts appointed by the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention charged with undertaking scientific review of chemicals proposed for listing. 

The pesticide carbofuran is a WHO class Ib pesticide and used to control insects in a wide variety of field crops, including potatoes, corn and soybeans. It is extremely toxic via the oral route and by inhalation (LD50 2 mg/kg in mice[1]) . The systemic insecticide is also highly toxic to freshwater invertebrates and extremely toxic to birds.

Carbosulfan is a broad-spectrum carbamate insecticide used to control various insects, including locusts and different types of grasshoppers, mites and nematodes mainly on potatoes, sugar beet, rice, maize and citrus. The main metabolite of carbosulfan in plants is carbofuran[2]. This cholinesterase inhibitor is highly toxic to birds, aquatic invertebrates and bees[3]

For more information, please contact:

For CRC/Rotterdam Convention: www.pic.int 

For POPRC/Stockholm Convention: www.pops.int

  • Kei OHNO WOODALL, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (UNEP), Geneva: +41-79-2333218, +41-22-917-78201, kei.ohno-woodall@brsmeas.org 
  • Charlie AVIS, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (UNEP), Geneva: +41-79-730-4495, charles.avis@brsmeas.org

------------------------------------------

[1] Extoxnet (consulté le 2 /05/ 2012)

[2] http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/y5221e/y5221e08.htm

[3] Footprint PPDB, 2014

Experts meet to protect human health and the environment

FAO Rome hosts the 11th meeting of the Chemicals Review Committee, 26 - 28 October 2015 to consider draft guidance documents, final regulatory actions, and new listings.

Experts meet to protect human health and the environment

Experts meet to protect human health and the environment
 
Big step of 14 South African countries to implement the Rotterdam Convention

14 countries came together in Harare, Zimbabwe, recently to agree on a strategic action plan to reduce health and environmental risks from pesticides.

Big step of 14 South African countries to implement the Rotterdam Convention

Big step of 14 South African countries to implement the Rotterdam Convention

The Rotterdam Convention Secretariat joined forces with the FAO Pesticide Management Team as well as international partners in holding a strategic planning workshop for members of the Southern African Pesticide Regulators’ Forum (SAPReF) in Harare from 27 – 30 July. The objective of the workshop was to come up with a strategic action plan to reduce health and environmental risks associated with the use, trade and disposal of pesticides.

Established in 2011, the SAPReF is a group of pesticide regulators from Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member countries who are working together on matters related to pests and pesticide management. The major challenge so far has been the lack of an agreed plan of action towards reducing the risks posed by pesticides and how to strengthen their regulation and management.

The meeting saw 52 participants from 14 (out of 15 SADC) countries, representing Ministries of Agriculture, Environment and Health including five Designated National Authorities (DNAs) to the Rotterdam Convention, as well as partners including the Africa Institute, Africa Union (AU), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), FAO regional and country offices, the Inter-Africa Phytosanitary Council (IAPSC), Kemikalieninspektionen Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI), Southern African Development Community (SADC), University of Cape Town (UCT), and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The meeting strengthened regional cooperation and communication among participants and raised awareness of the Rotterdam Convention in the region. It provided parties with technical assistance to follow up on their obligations under the Convention and facilitated the mainstreaming of the Convention work into national activities on pesticide risk reduction.

Participants were extremely motivated and included the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention as a priority in the SAPReF Action Plan for 2015-2016. Apart from setting long term goals, concrete results were also achieved during and shortly after the workshop.

Two countries provided lists of banned pesticides during the meeting, and others are set to follow-up. All DNA contact details were reviewed and updated as necessary and three countries were supported in the nomination of new DNAs. Christine Fuell, Coordinator of the Rotterdam Secretariat in FAO, underlined the importance of, “Keeping the contact details for DNAs up to date as a means to ensure close cooperation between the Secretariat and the countries and the provision of best possible support”

The hands on training on import responses yielded success and several countries already submitted missing import responses. “After the workshop we are following-up with countries in particular to assist them with their obligations and also for them to make best use of their opportunities, such as the possibility to signal specific pesticide formulations that may be causing problems. We expect more import responses, notifications and even an SHPF proposal to be submitted as a result of the workshop ”, Christine Fuell said.

All but two countries are already parties to all three Conventions and information regarding the ratification of the Conventions was provided to the non-Parties.

For more information, please contact:
Christine Fuell
Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
E-mail: Christine.fuell@fao.org

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