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Announcements

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.

At its seventh meeting, the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention elected a new Bureau and nominated new members of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC). The list of new officers and members of CRC is now available. An overview of the elections of officers and members for the three conventions can be found on the synergies website.

Elections during RC COP-7

 
Parties adopt key decisions at 2015 Triple COPs

Parties adopt key decisions at 2015 Triple COPs

Finishing at 03:45 in the morning of Saturday, 16 May 2015, the Meetings of the Conferences of Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions are over, with several key decisions taken.

Parties adopt key decisions at 2015 Triple COPs

Parties adopt key decisions at 2015 Triple COPs

Geneva, Switzerland - 16 May, 2015

Significant steps were agreed upon early this morning by parties to the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, as the 2015 Triple COPs drew to a close.

Staged under the theme “From Science to Action: Working for a Safer Tomorrow” from 4 to 15 May 2015, almost 1,200 participants from 171 countries converged on Geneva to push forward the chemicals and waste agenda at this biennial event.

A number of technical guidelines for the management of waste under the Basel Convention, four new listings (three under the Stockholm and one under the Rotterdam Conventions - polychlorinated napthalenes, hexachlorobutadiene, and pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters; and methamidophos respectively), and continued and strengthened synergies and implementation arrangements were the highlights of the decisions adopted on the final day. Meanwhile several chemicals considered were not listed, but instead deferred or made subject to special inter-sessional working group focus.

Basel Convention technical guidelines, aimed at assisting Parties to better manage crucial waste streams and move towards environmentally sound management (ESM), were adopted covering mercury waste and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) waste (one general and 6 specific waste-streams). Of high significance is the adoption on an interim basis of the technical guidelines concerning the transboundary movement of e-waste and used electronic and electrical products.

The BC technical guidelines on electronic, or e-waste provide much-needed guidance on how to identify e-waste and used equipment moving between countries, with the aim of controlling illegal traffic. Adoption came just days after UNEP released new data suggesting that as much as 90% of e-waste is dumped illegally, costing countries as much as US 18.8 $ billion annually and posing severe hazards to human health and the environment, particularly in Africa. Designed to provide a level playing field for all parties to the Convention, the guidelines will support and also encourage genuine recovery, repair, recycling and re-use of non-hazardous electronic components and equipment.

Regarding those pesticides where consensus could not be reached for listing, including paraquat and fenthion formulations, and trichlorfon, Clayton Campanhola, FAO Executive Secretary of the Rotterdam Convention, commented that “hazardous pesticides are not helping countries to produce more food with less, on the contrary: if badly managed, they cause negative impacts on natural resources and the health of rural communities and consumers.” In this respect, Parties requested additional technical assistance and support to identify alternatives to the use of hazardous pesticides which – if combined with integrated pest management (IPM) and agro-ecological approaches – form the basis for sustainable agricultural and rural development.

Whilst many Parties expressed their disappointment at the inability to reach consensus required for listing more of the chemicals proposed to be listed under the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the BRS Executive Secretary Rolph Payet stressed the significance of the steps taken in noting that “our Conventions’ joint and mutually reinforcing objective is the protection of human health and the environment, and the Guidelines and additional listings decided upon by Parties during these two weeks continue to move us in this crucial direction. We have to place the sustainable management of chemicals and waste in the context of peoples’ lives, especially the more than 1 billion people on our planet who continue to live in absolute poverty and who strive to better themselves in whatever ways they can. We will never waver in our moral and political responsibilities towards the most vulnerable people in this world, and I believe strongly that the three conventions continue to offer the best framework for moving jointly towards a greener, more inclusive economy, and a safer tomorrow for all”.

Notes for editors:

  • The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the most comprehensive international environmental agreement on hazardous and other wastes and has 183 parties.

  • The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade promotes shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among its 154 Parties.

  • The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact in the environment 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. It has 179 Parties.

  • Polychlorinated napthalenes, Hexachlorobutadiene, and Pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters, are persistent organic pollutants (POPs) posing serious threats to human health and the environment.

  • Methamidophos is an extremely toxic organophosphate insecticide, causing serious adverse effects to human health, particularly to neural, immunity and reproductive systems.

  • E-waste data from the UNEP report “Waste Crime – Waste Risks: Gaps in Meeting the Global Waste Challenge” UNEP and GRID-Arendhal/Nairobi (2015), 67pp, ISBN: 978-82-7701-148-6

For more information, please refer to:

Website: www.brsmeas.org

BRS Secretariat

Kei Ohno Woodall, Programme Officer,

kei.ohno-woodall@brsmeas.org tel: +41-79-2333218

BRS Press

Charlie Avis, Public Information Officer

Charles.avis@brsmeas.org tel: +41-79-7304495

FAO

Christine Fuell, Senior Technical Officer, Rotterdam Secretariat, Rome:

Christine.fuell@fao.org tel: +39-06-57053765

FAO Press

George Kourous, Information Officer, FAO Rome:

George.kourous@fao.org tel: +39-06-57053168

 

Listing of methamidophos into Annex III of the Convention

Listing of methamidophos into Annex III of the Convention

COP-7 decided to make the pesticide subject to the Prior Informed Consent Procedure, allowing for improved information exchanged and shared responsibility on the chemical.

Listing of methamidophos into Annex III of the Convention

Listing of methamidophos into Annex III of the Convention

COP-7 unanimously listed the pesticide methamidophos, which has been heavily used - and is still used in some countries - as insecticide and acaricide on pome fruit, stone fruit, tomato, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, cotton, soybean, potato, cereals, sugar beet, tobacco and other crops. According to the International Development Research Centre, methamidophos is used in great quantities in ricefields.

Methamidophos is an extremely toxic organophosphate which causes serious adverse effects to human health.

Furthermore acute and long-term risks were identified for aquatic invertebrates and for beneficial arthropods. A risk to birds and mammals from consumption of dead insects and possibly other routes of exposure were also identified.

It is classified as a WHO Toxicity Class 1b.

The World Health Organization names four toxicity classes:

  • Class 1 – a: extremely hazardous
  • Class 1 – b: highly hazardous
  • Class 2: moderately hazardous
  • Class 3: slightly hazardous

The system is based on LD50 determination in rats, thus an oral solid agent with an LD50 at 5mg or less/kg bodyweight is Class I-a, at 5-50 mg/kg Class I-b, at 50-500 mg/kg Class II, and at more than 500 mg/kg Class III. Values may differ for liquid oral agents and dermal agents.

The draft decision guidance document for methamidophos that formed the basis for the decision during the 7th meeting of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention can be downloaded here.

Re-live the COPs with the new BRS videos

Re-live the COPs with the new BRS videos

A new summary video film captures the 2015 Triple COPs experience and summarises key data and outcomes.

Re-live the COPs with the new BRS videos

Re-live the COPs with the new BRS videos
 
Triple COPs Follow-up

Triple COPs Follow-up

Call for information and follow-up to the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention: request letter now available.

Triple COPs Follow-up

Triple COPs Follow-up
 
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Rotterdam Convention News

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Alternatives to Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)

The objectives of the webinar are to enhance understanding of the uses of PFOS, its related chemicals and their alternatives and to raise awareness about the recommendations of POPRC on these alternatives.

Alternatives to Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)

Alternatives to Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)

 

Chemicals under Review by the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC)

The objectives of the webinar are to raise awareness of the candidate persistent organic pollutants (POPs) currently under review by the POPs Review Committee and to share information on decabromodiphenyl ether, dicofol and short-chained chlorinated paraffins. This webinar also aims to promote participation of Parties and observers in the work of POPRC.

Chemicals under Review by the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC)

Chemicals under Review by the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC)
 
Chemicals under review by the Chemicals Review Committee of the Rotterdam Convention (CRC)

The objective of the webinar is to share information on the intersessional work of the CRC between the tenth and eleventh meeting. This includes new notifications of final regulatory action for chemicals under review of to be reviewed and new proposals for the inclusion of SHPFs in Annex III of the Convention.

Chemicals under review by the Chemicals Review Committee of the Rotterdam Convention (CRC)

Chemicals under review by the Chemicals Review Committee of the Rotterdam Convention (CRC)
 
Bridging information under the Rotterdam Convention

This webinar aims to introduce a case study on bridging information, using a risk evaluation from another country or international body as the basis for a national decision to ban or severely restrict a chemical. In addition the session will introduce the Chemical Review Committee policy guidance on bridging information under the Rotterdam Convention.

Bridging information under the Rotterdam Convention

Bridging information under the Rotterdam Convention

 

Awards at COPs honour outstanding practitioners

Representatives from Cote d’Ivoire, Jamaica, Kenya, Phillipines and Nigeria receive practitioner awards at COPs.

Awards at COPs honour outstanding practitioners

Awards at COPs honour outstanding practitioners
 
Global media coverage of the 2015 Triple COPs

More than 130 articles from more than 40 countries: view the articles online.

Global media coverage of the 2015 Triple COPs

Global media coverage of the 2015 Triple COPs
 
Triple COPs on track amid calls for action

The second week of the Triple COPs is underway as parties respond to calls, including from UNEP Chief Achim Steiner, for action on urgent waste and chemicals issues

Triple COPs on track amid calls for action

Triple COPs on track amid calls for action
 
Science Fair takes COPs back to basics

Dozens of events, hundreds of partners, and thousands of conversations: the Science Fair was closed by donor partner Finland on saturday having underlined the scientific basis for the three conventions

Science Fair takes COPs back to basics

Science Fair takes COPs back to basics
 
Side events demonstrate the diversity of COPs issues

Stakeholders and partners highlight the range of relevant issues throughout the two-week COPs, as debates and ideas flourish for sustainable management of chemicals and waste

Side events demonstrate the diversity of COPs issues

Side events demonstrate the diversity of COPs issues
 
BRS App: the COPs in the palm of your hand

Use the interactive BRS App for keeping up with the debates and events

BRS App: the COPs in the palm of your hand

BRS App: the COPs in the palm of your hand
 
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