In the spotlight

Appointment of the new Executive Secretary

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce that the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon,  has recently appointed Dr. Rolph Payet,  Minister for Environment and Energy, Seychelles, as its new Executive Secretary.

Dr. Payet has a Doctorate in Environmental Science, degrees at master level in Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Business Administration (MBA) and Applied Environmental Economics, and an honours degree in Biochemistry.

Appointment of the new Executive Secretary

Appointment of the new Executive Secretary

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is pleased to announce that the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, has recently appointed Dr. Rolph Payet, Minister for Environment and Energy, Seychelles, as its new Executive Secretary.

Dr. Payet has a Doctorate in Environmental Science, degrees at master level in Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Business Administration (MBA) and Applied Environmental Economics, and an honours degree in Biochemistry.

In addition to having been the Seychelles’ Chief Negotiator for the Basel Convention, the Montreal Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Dr. Payet also established important multi-stakeholder platforms, such as the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) and and co-chaired the International Coral Reef Initiative. He was Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third and Fourth Assessments and was elected as Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) in 2007, in recognition of his contributions to marine research. He established the first university in Seychelles in 2009, and is its present ProChancellor. He also holds an associate professorship at the University of Linnaeus in Sweden.

Dr. Payet will take up his new duties in Geneva on 6 October 2014.

Announcements

The Secretariat is pleased to announce the launch of a new online tool for finding its many joint technical and scientific publications. The use of an integrated search engine combines publications from the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Convention processes for the first time, and enables interested browsers to search by keyword, life cycle phase, or chemical/waste name under the Conventions.

The tool aims to better facilitate the sharing of key information about sustainable chemicals management amongst stakeholders, ease the work of Parties and Observers to the three Conventions, is the latest in the ongoing process of harmonisation and improvement of knowledge management within the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions.

New Tool Goes Live for Finding Technical and Scientific Publications

The Secretariat is pleased to announce the launch of a new online tool for finding its many joint technical and scientific publications. The use of an integrated search engine combines publications from the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Convention processes for the first time, and enables interested browsers to search by keyword, life cycle phase, or chemical/waste name under the Conventions.

The tool aims to better facilitate the sharing of key information about sustainable chemicals management amongst stakeholders, ease the work of Parties and Observers to the three Conventions, is the latest in the ongoing process of harmonisation and improvement of knowledge management within the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions.

Calendar of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

 
The October  issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The October issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The Technical Assistance Newsletter provides information on the past, current and upcoming technical assistance activities.

The October issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available

The October  issue of the BRS Technical Assistance Newsletter is now available
The Technical Assistance Newsletter provides information on the past, current and upcoming technical assistance activities.
Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015

Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015

Parties have been officially informed of the back-to-back meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs to be held in Geneva, 4-15 May 2015.

Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015

Preparations intensify for triple conferences of the parties (COPs): Geneva, May 2015
Parties have been officially informed of the back-to-back meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs to be held in Geneva, 4-15 May 2015.
Joint meeting of the bureaux of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs

Joint meeting of the bureaux of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs

The bureaux will meet from 11 to 12 November 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss preparations for the 2015 COPs.

Joint meeting of the bureaux of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs

Joint meeting of the bureaux of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions COPs

The bureaux will meet from 11 to 12 November 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss preparations for the 2015 COPs.

Tenth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee to be held in Rome in October 2014

Tenth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee to be held in Rome in October 2014

The tenth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC-10) will be held from 22 to 24 October 2014 in Rome, Italy.

Tenth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee to be held in Rome in October 2014

Tenth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee to be held in Rome in October 2014
 
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Rotterdam Convention News

Syndicate
Briefing on OEWG2 of SAICM

The objective of this webinar is to inform SAICM stakeholders of the 2nd meeting of the of the SAICM Open-ended Working Group, to enable them to participate fully in the related discussions. This webinar also serves to increase synergies in the implementation of SAICM and the chemicals and waste related conventions, including the Basel, Minamata, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

Briefing on OEWG2 of SAICM

Briefing on OEWG2 of SAICM

Schedule and registration

Date and Time
(Geneva time: UTC/GMT+2 hour)
Please register a few days in advance of the webinar.
To register, please use the following link:
25 November 2014, 10 am
Register
27 November 2014, 4 pm
Register

Objectives

The objective of this webinar is to inform SAICM stakeholders of the 2nd meeting of the of the SAICM Open-ended Working Group, to enable them to participate fully in the related discussions. This webinar also serves to increase synergies in the implementation of SAICM and the chemicals and waste related conventions, including the Basel, Minamata, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

Contents

  1. Introduction 5 min
  2. Presentation by the SAICM secretariat:
    • OEWG2 - 10 mins.
    • Overall Orientation and Guidance and related documents - 10 mins.
    • Other meeting documents - 10 mins.
    • Plans for ICCM4 - 5 mins.
  3. Questions and Answers - 20 mins.

Background

The 2nd meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG2) on the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management will be held in Geneva at the Centre International de Conference Genève (CICG) from 15 to 17 December 2014, with technical briefings and informal regional and other group meetings on Sunday 14 December 2014.
The OEWG2 meeting is in response to the request of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) in its resolution II/6 that established the Working Group as its subsidiary body which would meet a few months prior to the Conference.
The Working Group is to consider the implementation, development and enhancement of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, including by:
  1. Reviewing and prioritizing proposals for emerging policy issues in preparation of the next session of the Conference;
  2. Continuing discussion on work on emerging policy issues;
  3. Considering proposals for the inclusion of new activities in the Global Plan of Action;
  4. Considering initiatives that are being undertaken and addressing progress and gaps in achieving the goal that, by 2020, chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment;
  5. Considering the outcomes of regional meetings;
  6. Identifying priority issues for consideration for inclusion in the agendas of the sessions of the Conference;
  7. Undertaking such other activities as the Conference may direct;
A significant part of the agenda will be dedicated to discussing progress towards the 2020 goal and contributing to the ‘Overall Orientation and Guidance towards the 2020 Goal’, an expected strategic policy outcome of the fourth session of the ICCM.

Target group

SAICM stakeholders, including nominated SAICM National, Regional, IGO and NGO Focal Points, Basel Convention focal points, Rotterdam Convention focal points, Stockholm Convention national focal points and other BRS stakeholders.

Equipment requirements

The internet-based software, Webex, will be used for the video/teleconference session which allows for sharing voice and data, such as PowerPoint presentations. Webinar participants would need to use the following items: a computer, preferably a headset or a microphone and speakers and a good internet connection, or otherwise a phone.

Additional information

For more information, please contact:
For aspects related to the agenda and content of the webinar
The SAICM secretariat
Email: saicm.chemicals@unep.org
For IT and organisational aspects of the webinar
Technical Assistance Programme
Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
Email: technical.assistance@brsmeas.org
Outcome of the tenth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC) and the tenth meeting of the POPs Review Committee (POPRC)

The objective of this webinar is to inform Parties to the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, observers and other stakeholders on the outcome of the tenth meetings of the CRC and POPRC.

Outcome of the tenth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC) and the tenth meeting of the POPs Review Committee (POPRC)

Outcome of the tenth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC) and the tenth meeting of the POPs Review Committee (POPRC)

Schedule and registration

Date and Time
(Geneva time: UTC/GMT+2 hour)
Please register a few days in advance of the webinar.
To register, please use the following link:
Tuesday, 11 November, at 10 am
Register
Thursday, 13 November at 4 pm
Register

Objectives

The objective of this webinar is to inform Parties to the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, observers and other stakeholders on the outcome of the tenth meetings of the CRC and POPRC.

Contents

  1. Introduction - 5 min.
  2. Presentations by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions:
    • Outcome of the tenth meeting of the CRC - 15 min.
    • Outcome of the tenth meeting of the POPRC - 15 min.
  3. Questions and answers – 25 min.

Background

The tenth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC-10) of the Rotterdam Convention took place at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, from 22 to 24 October 2014. The tenth meeting of the CRC included in its agenda the review of new notifications of final regulatory action received from Parties on short-chained chlorinated paraffins, tributyltin compounds and polychlorinated naphthalenes, for inclusion in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention and the consideration of draft Decision Guidance Documents on methamidophos and fenthion (ultra low volume (ULV) formulations at or above 640 g active ingredient/L), for submission to the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, in May 2015.
The tenth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC-10) of the Stockholm Convention was held at the same venue, from 27 to 30 October 2014. During this meeting, the Committee reviewed the draft risk management evaluation on pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters, the draft risk profile on decabromodiphenyl ether, and the proposal for listing dicofol in Annexes A, B, and/or C to the Stockholm Convention and undertook other tasks assigned to it by the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention.

Target group

Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions national focal points, official contact points, designated national authorities, permanent missions and interested stakeholders, POPRC members, CRC members and members of the Basel Convention Small Intersessional Working Group (SIWG) on POPs guidelines.

Equipment requirements

The internet-based software, Webex, will be used for the video/teleconference session which allows sharing voice and data, such as PowerPoint presentations. Webinar participants would need to use the following items: a headset (preferred) a computer, a phone, a microphone, speakers and a good internet connection.

Additional information

For more information, please contact:
Technical Assistance Programme
Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention
Email: technical.assistance@brsmeas.org
First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste

INTERPOL and the BRS Secretariat launch e-learning module to help law enforcement officers identify and prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes.

First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste

First e-learning tool launched to prevent illegal trade in hazardous chemicals and waste
 
Georgia submits record number of import responses for all Annex III pesticides

Georgia has recently submitted import responses for all pesticides listed in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention.

Georgia submits record number of import responses for all Annex III pesticides

Georgia submits record number of import responses for all Annex III pesticides

Georgia has recently submitted import responses for all pesticides listed in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention.

This submission follows Georgia’s participation as one of 10 countries in a workshop that took place from 7 to 11 of July 2014 in Tbilisi, Georgia, and convened under the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Union (EU) partnership project “Improved pesticides and chemicals management in the former Soviet Union”. Implementing partners include Blacksmith Institute, Green Cross Belarus and Switzerland, Milieukontakt International, the International HCH and Pesticide Association, Pesticide Action Network UK, and the Secretariat of Rotterdam Convention.

“This is a meaningful step by Georgia in satisfying its obligations under the Rotterdam Convention and we encourage other Parties that have not done so, to submit import responses” Christine Fuell, Senior Technical Officer responsible for the FAO part of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat said. “With this national decision a country decides to either consent to imports of a specific hazardous chemical or pesticide as listed in Annex III of the convention, not to consent to import or to consent subject to specified conditions.”

Exporting Parties shall take appropriate legislative or administrative measures to ensure that exporters within their territories comply with the decisions in each import response provided by Georgia. They shall also advise and assist importing Parties, upon request and as appropriate to obtain further information to help them to take action and to strengthen their capacities and capabilities to manage chemicals safely during their life-cycle. All this reduces considerably the risk posed by hazardous chemicals and pesticides through appropriate knowledge and information exchange.

If a final decision cannot (yet) be taken, a country should at least submit an interim response, including an interim decision to import or not to import, a statement that a final decision is under consideration, a request for further information and/or a request for assistance in evaluating the chemical.

Parties that have not yet submitted import responses for all annexed chemicals may wish to contact the secretariat or communicate with other Designated National Authorities from countries like Georgia for guidance. Information relevant to import responses including the form for submission can be found on the website of the convention.

The Secretariat is now looking forward to receiving import responses for the listed industrial chemicals as well as notifications of final regulatory action from Georgia. Notifications of final regulatory action are the means by which Parties inform the Secretariat of their national actions to ban or severely restrict a chemical for human health and environmental reasons.

Georgia ratified the Rotterdam Convention and became a Party on 27 February 2007.

3rd Orientation workshop for members of the Chemical Review Committee attracts new members

Orientation workshop attended by 24 CRC members took place from 19 to 21 May 2014 in Rome, Italy.

3rd Orientation workshop for members of the Chemical Review Committee attracts new members

3rd Orientation workshop for members of the Chemical Review Committee attracts new members

The new term for 17 members of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC) under the Rotterdam Convention started on 1 May 2014. To familiarize new members with the mandate and tasks of the Committee, an orientation workshop took place from 19 to 21 May in Rome, Italy. The workshop was attended by 24 of the 31 CRC members.

The participants reviewed working procedures and policy guidance developed to facilitate the work of the Committee, and examined in detail the work of the intersessional task groups for the preliminary review of candidate chemicals as well as that of the drafting groups established to prepare decision guidance documents. The meeting provided an opportunity to foster working relationships among the members and for the existing members to share their experience with the new members.

Participants expressed their appreciation and were optimistic that the orientation would contribute to the effective operation of the Committee.

Rotterdam Convention Bureau discussed preparation for the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties

The report of the meeting, which took place on 4-5 June 2014 in Rome, Italy, is now available.

Rotterdam Convention Bureau discussed preparation for the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties

Rotterdam Convention Bureau discussed preparation for the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties
 
The Rotterdam Convention joins in celebrating the International Year of SIDS 2014

Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Rotterdam Convention’s Entry into Force and the International Year of Small Island Developing States 2014.

The Rotterdam Convention joins in celebrating the International Year of SIDS 2014

The Rotterdam Convention joins in celebrating the International Year of SIDS 2014
The Rotterdam Convention joins in celebrating the International Year of International Year of Small Island Developing States 2014.
Resource mobilization for the 2014-15 biennium takes off with concept notes for voluntary financial contributions

A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2014/15 is now available.

 

Resource mobilization for the 2014-15 biennium takes off with concept notes for voluntary financial contributions

Resource mobilization for the 2014-15 biennium takes off with concept notes for voluntary financial contributions

A list of concept notes for voluntary financial contributions for the biennium 2014/15 is now available.

 

3 new interactive tools published
Interactive tools make reading of long documents online a breeze.

3 new interactive tools published

3 new interactive tools published

Interactive tools make reading of long documents online a breeze

Three interactive tools have been published to support Designated National Authorities (DNAs) and all key stakeholders in the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention. The information – available as desktop version and tablet version – has been developed in Html5, designed to facilitate the reading of long documents on a screen.

The interactive Guidance to Designated National Authorities on the Operation of the Convention  is an essential tool for DNAs describing in detail all key elements and obligations of the Convention.

Interactive Forms and Instructions will assist Parties to identify the necessary information to complete the forms and be compliant with the obligations pursuant to the Convention.

The Text of the Convention with its 30 articles and 6 annexes. This interactive version of the Text of the Convention facilitates the navigation through the different articles and annexes.

The three interactive tools were produced through the financial support of the European Union in the framework of the Rotterdam Convention technical assistance programme 2014-2015.
Protecting Human Health and the Environment - The Rotterdam Convention: 10 Years of Entry into Force

Featured Guest Article by Clayton Campanhola and Christine Fuell (FAO).

Protecting Human Health and the Environment - The Rotterdam Convention: 10 Years of Entry into Force

Protecting Human Health and the Environment - The Rotterdam Convention: 10 Years of Entry into Force

Clayton Campanhola, Executive Secretary Rotterdam Convention and Director of FAO's Plant Production and Protection Division, and Christine Fuell, Senior Technical Officer & Coordinator of FAO part of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014.

The adoption of The Future We Want at Rio+20 and its endorsement by the UN General Assembly has reaffirmed the target, set in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, to by 2020 ensure that "chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment".

As early as 1989, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) introduced a voluntary Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure from two earlier instruments, namely the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides, which FAO launched in 1985 (and revised in 2013), and the London Guidelines for the Exchange of Information on Chemicals in International Trade, established by UNEP in 1987 to ensure that governments had the necessary information to assess the risks of hazardous chemicals and to take informed decisions on their future import.

In 1998, an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee convened by FAO and UNEP concluded its negotiations for a legally binding instrument to apply the PIC procedure, and the text of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade was adopted and opened for signature at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries held in Rotterdam on 10 September the same year.

The Convention entered into force on 24 February 2004 after the 90th day of deposit of the 50th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. As of January 2014, the Convention is legally binding for 154 Parties.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNEP and FAO [ 1 ] was approved by the second Conference of the Parties in decision RC-2/5, and signed by the Director-General of FAO and the Executive Director of UNEP in December 2005. This MoU sets out the arrangements to perform jointly the Secretariat functions of the Rotterdam Convention. It states that “Each organization will assume the responsibilities as described in this MoU on the basis of their areas of competence, comparative strengths and experience, FAO having primary responsibility for pesticides and UNEP taking primary responsibility for other chemicals, in order to facilitate the mobilization by the Secretariat of the full range of scientific, technical and economic expertise required by the Convention” (General Principles, 1.3).

The joint FAO/UNEP Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention is an almost unique example of excellent co-operation between two UN agencies.

The Rotterdam Convention shares its ultimate objective of protecting human health and the environment from hazardous substances with the Basel and the Stockholm Conventions. In order to enhance cooperation and coordination among these three multilateral environmental agreements, in 2011, the Conferences of the Parties of the three Conventions decided in three nearly identical synergy decisions to establish a joint head function of the Basel Convention Secretariat, the Stockholm Convention Secretariat and the UNEP part of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat.

Since 2012 Jim Willis has been Executive Secretary of the Basel, Stockholm and the UNEP part of the Rotterdam Convention, while FAO provides the Executive Secretary for the FAO part of the Rotterdam Convention.

Currently, around 70% of the Annex III listed chemicals, for which the PIC procedure is mandatory, are pesticides. In 2015, the parties to the Rotterdam Convention will consider listing two more pesticides and one severely hazardous pesticide formulation to ensure informed actions can be taken to protect human health and the environment against their harmful effects.

Nine out of the 12 initially recognized persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and six out of ten new POPs of the Stockholm Convention are pesticides, making pesticides also approximately 70% of all listed POPs.

The Basel Convention addresses pesticides in terms of hazardous waste and offers technical guidelines on the environmentally sound management of waste consisting of, containing or contaminated with POP pesticides.

The FAO part of the Rotterdam Secretariat continuously explores opportunities to enhance effectiveness and increase efficiency, in particular in the scientific and technical assistance area, through closer cooperation with the UNEP part and the Secretariat of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions. A first overview of opportunities [ 2 ] for further synergies among the Conventions' Secretariats and the FAO's Pesticide Programme was submitted in 2013 to the Conferences of the Parties. In 2014 the Conventions' Secretariats will continue putting these synergies in place.

Examples of synergies activities include ongoing technical assistance and capacity-building activities at the national and regional levels to identify alternatives, in particular for newly listed POPs pesticides and Annex III pesticides. Work is also underway to better include on a national level social dimensions into pesticide risk reduction strategies that could be applicable for all three Conventions. The FAO part of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat also aims to improve communication and promotion of national synergies among key stakeholders in the implementation of the three conventions via the FAO regional offices.

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[ 1 ] Memorandum of Understanding between the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the arrangements to perform jointly the Secretariat functions for the Rotterdam Convention оn the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.

[ 2 ] UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.2/INF/9