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BRS supports sustainable development goal 5 on  gender equality  and women’s empowerment

Announcements

At its eighth meeting, the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention elected a new Bureau and new members of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC).

Elections during Rotterdam Convention COP-8

Elections during Rotterdam Convention COP-8
 

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
 

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

 

Stakeholders invited to share opinions on knowledge management needs

Stakeholders invited to share opinions on knowledge management needs

The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management – SAICM - invites all stakeholders to share their views through an online survey on information needs.

Stakeholders invited to share opinions on knowledge management needs

Stakeholders invited to share opinions on knowledge management needs
 
Trilateral cooperation boosts Rotterdam Convention implementation

Trilateral cooperation boosts Rotterdam Convention implementation

Trilateral cooperation with Italy and the European Union paves the way for Turkey’s implementation of the Rotterdam Convention.

Trilateral cooperation boosts Rotterdam Convention implementation

Trilateral cooperation boosts Rotterdam Convention implementation

On 21 September 2017, Turkey deposited its instrument of ratification in New York, becoming the 159th Party to the Rotterdam Convention. On 20 December 2017, the Convention will enter into force for Turkey.

This positive step for human health and the environment has come about as a result of much work domestically within Turkey as well as through trilateral international cooperation between Turkey, Italy, and the European Union.

Between 2015 and 2017, several national training initiatives took place in Turkey within the framework of the “Technical Assistance Programme for the Implementation of Export and Import of Dangerous Chemicals Regulation”. This project is supported by the European Union and by the Italian Customs Authority and Monopolies Agency, in collaboration with the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.

The main objective of this programme was to set in place the best scenario for sound implementation and enforcement of the obligations related to the Rotterdam Convention.

The ministries of Agriculture, Economy, Environment, Health, Trade and Labour, together with Customs Authority, were all involved in fruitful discussions around this key topic, taking into consideration that chemicals industries in Turkey employ more than 200,000 people in approximately 6,000 companies around the country in Adana, Ankara, Gaziantep, Istanbul, Izmir, Kocaeli and Sakarya.

In October 2017, a Turkish delegation will meet for two days with the Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention in FAO Headquarters in Rome. The key provisions of the Convention will be introduced in order to initiate the journey for a smooth national implementation. Article 5 on final regulatory actions notifications, article 10 on importing responses and article 12 on export notification, will be extensively discussed as milestones of the PIC Procedure and of Information Exchange, the core business and driving force of this Convention.

Technical assistance activities in Turkey will be programmed for 2018 based on the results of the recommendations that will be presented at the end of these discussions by the Turkish delegation to the Secretariat.

For further information please contact: elisabetta.tagliati@fao.org.

New BRS App available for all your #Detox info needs

New BRS App available for all your #Detox info needs

Experts attending the forthcoming scientific meetings of the Rotterdam & Stockholm conventions can download our updated App.

New BRS App available for all your #Detox info needs

New BRS App available for all your #Detox info needs
 
Draft reports now online ahead of Rotterdam Convention scientific committee meeting

Draft reports now online ahead of Rotterdam Convention scientific committee meeting

Preliminary reviews of chemicals to be considered by the next meeting of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC-13) are online.

Draft reports now online ahead of Rotterdam Convention scientific committee meeting

Draft reports now online ahead of Rotterdam Convention scientific committee meeting
 
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Rotterdam Convention News

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Online training available on sound management of chemicals and waste

UNITAR, the UN’s training and research institute, and the BRS Secretariat, together offer a range of online training modules of relevance for implementing the conventions.

Online training available on sound management of chemicals and waste

Online training available on sound management of chemicals and waste
 
Listing of four new chemicals in Annex III of the Convention

The amendments to list carbofuran, trichlorfon, short-chain chlorinated paraffins and tributyltin compounds enter into force on 15 September 2017. Parties are invited to provide import responses by 15 June 2018.

Listing of four new chemicals in Annex III of the Convention

Listing of four new chemicals in Annex III of the Convention

The amendments to list carbofuran, trichlorfon, short-chain chlorinated paraffins and tributyltin compounds enter into force on 15 September 2017. Parties are invited to provide import responses by 15 June 2018.

Documents
English French Spanish
Dispatch of Decision Guidance Documents and request for submission of import responses on carbofuran; trichlorfon; short-chain chlorinated paraffins; and tributyltin compounds      
Decision Guidance Document for carbofuran
Decision Guidance Document for trichlorfon
Decision Guidance Document for short-chain chlorinated paraffins
Decision Guidance Document for tributyltin compounds
Depositary notification on the amendments      
Import response form
     
Instructions on completing the import response form
     
Iraq, the latest country to accede to the Rotterdam Convention, becomes the 158th Party

Iraq recently acceded to the Rotterdam Convention, increasing the number of Parties to 158.

Iraq, the latest country to accede to the Rotterdam Convention, becomes the 158th Party

Iraq, the latest country to accede to the Rotterdam Convention, becomes the 158th Party
 
Farmers’ Field Schools assist rural communities in Cabo Verde

Secretariat staff from FAO are assisting the Government of Cabo Verde protect rural communities and the environment from the potentially harmful effects of pesticides.

Farmers’ Field Schools assist rural communities in Cabo Verde

Farmers’ Field Schools assist rural communities in Cabo Verde

Global Context

In her opening speech recently at the High-Level Segment of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions’ Triple COPs Ms. Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General,Climate and Natural Resources, reiterated the message that “Food is the most basic human right, yet nearly 800 million people still suffer from hunger in the world. For the most part, they live in rural areas of developing countries and are involved in agriculture. Half a billion smallholder farmers ‐who produce 80 percent of the food supply in their countries – are struggling to make a living. The world’s poor and hungry are most vulnerable to the adverse effects of hazardous pesticides, chemicals and wastes that are the focus of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. Growth in the agriculture sector remains one of the most cost‐effective means for developing nations to reduce poverty and end food insecurity”.

The project

The Rotterdam Convention Secretariat started its cooperation with Lusophone African countries – Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa (PALOP) in 2016. In 2016 and 2017 technical assistance activities on hazardous pesticide formulations, pesticide poisoning, and vulnerable groups were carried out in Cabo Verde, Guinea Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe.

In March 2017, the General Direction of Agriculture, Forestry and Livestock (DGASP) of the Ministry of Agriculture and of the Environment of Cabo Verde officially requested technical assistance support to promote the use of alternatives to hazardous pesticides and start the process of strengthening Farmers Field Schools for irrigated agriculture and for vegetable crops in the archipelago.

Fulfilling this request, Nadia Correale, Social Protection and Community Development specialist of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat based in Rome, undertook a mission in Cabo Verde from 25 June to 2 July 2017 in the framework of a European Union project for the implementation of the Convention. A component of this project is explicitly dedicated to the collect and use of good field data as a solid base for rational policy decisions.

Farmers were interviewed on their experience with Integrated Pest Management and with Farmers’ Field Schools (FFS) as a form of association of rural communities and as potential best tool to continue to use IPM approach. An intial map of main crops and areas, agronomic technics and a crops calendar was prepared as the basis to understand how to strengthen the national capacity in using less pesticides and introducing alternatives with the limited funds available.

What are Farmers Field Schools?

FFS are open air schools based on the following principle:

“If I hear it I forget it,
if I see it I remember it,
if I discover it I own it for life”.

FFS focus on basic processes through field observations, season-long research studies, and hands-on activities. It has been found that when farmers have learned about basics, combined with their own experiences and needs, they make decisions that are more effective. The final aim is to grow healthy crops, conserve natural enemies of the main pests, observe fields and crops regularly, based on the premise that farmers are the best experts.

The Rotterdam Convention works on the identification of alternatives to the use of hazardous pesticides, thus IPM and FFS are very efficient tools among smallholder farmers and rural communities in general. One part of the RC Secretariat is based in FAO in order to make the best use of the long time expertise in pesticides risk reduction, IPM and participatory approaches among agricultural communities. A FFS Guide has been prepared by FAO in 2016 and now is available also in Portuguese, click here to download the guide.

The Rotterdam Convention Secretariat continues its efforts to make agriculture more sustainable by contributing to detoxifying the soil, the water, and the air from hazardous substances such as pesticides with the final overarching objective to protect both human health and the environment.

New important link to support pesticide risk evaluation

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has developed a Pesticide Registration Toolkit, which can be used as a decision support system.

New important link to support pesticide risk evaluation

New important link to support pesticide risk evaluation

The Rotterdam Convention is based on information exchange on hazardous chemicals and pesticides. This includes informing on any bans or restrictions taken by Parties on a national basis through a final regulatory action. Evaluating for example the risk of pesticides and taking an informed decision can be quite challenging for some countries for many reasons such as availability of data, resources and others.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has developed a Pesticide Registration Toolkit, which can be used as a decision support system. It provides for example links to many pesticide-specific information sources such as registrations in various countries, scientific reviews, hazard classifications, pesticide properties among others. It further provides guidance on assessment methods and an inventory of risk mitigation measures. All of this can be of great value for Designated National Authorities to evaluate the risk and take a decision whether to ban or severely restrict the use of a pesticide, to decide on future import of an Annex III pesticide, or to collect evidence on a potential severely hazardous pesticide formulation (SHPF).

Hosted on FAO’s website, a link has been made available here to offer this support also to the Parties of the Rotterdam Convention.

Rotterdam Convention COP-8 meeting report now available

The Advance English version of the report of the eighth meeting of the COP to the Rotterdam Convention is now available online.

Rotterdam Convention COP-8 meeting report now available

Rotterdam Convention COP-8 meeting report now available

 

Survey to gather information on priority actions to enhance the effectiveness of the Rotterdam convention

Parties are invited to respond to the online survey, available in English, French and Spanish, by 31 October 2017.

Survey to gather information on priority actions to enhance the effectiveness of the Rotterdam convention

Survey to gather information on priority actions to enhance the effectiveness of the Rotterdam convention
 
Nominations required for experts to contribute to intersessional work of the Rotterdam Convention

Nominations for experts, are now required from Parties and others, with a deadline of 30 September 2017.

Nominations required for experts to contribute to intersessional work of the Rotterdam Convention

Nominations required for experts to contribute to intersessional work of the Rotterdam Convention
 
Connecting the sound management of chemicals and waste, children’s rights, and the environment

The BRS Secretariat contributed to the recent consultation on human rights and the environment, organised alongside the June session of the Human Rights Council.

Connecting the sound management of chemicals and waste, children’s rights, and the environment

Connecting the sound management of chemicals and waste, children’s rights, and the environment

On 22nd -23rd June 2017, in parallel to the June session of the Human Rights Council, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, Prof. John Knox, held consultations on children’s rights and the environment, in view of his next report to the Human Rights Council, at which the BRS Secretariat contributed. These consultations were co-organised by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR), UNICEF and Terre des Hommes.

Whereas human rights law imposes specific duties on States with respect to those particularly vulnerable to environmental harm, children being among the most vulnerable; the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions aim at “protecting human health and the environment” against harmful effects of hazardous chemicals and wastes. These objectives are crucial as the World Health Organization estimates, in its recent 2017 reports, that of the 5.9 million deaths of children under five each year, 26% are attributable to environmental causes, including due to unsound management of hazardous chemicals and wastes. Air pollution alone kills 570,000 children under five every year. Unhealthy environments interfere with the enjoyment of many fundamental rights enshrined in essential long-standing UN legal instruments – e.g. the UN Charter, the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the 1966 Covenants on civil and political rights and on economic and social rights, the 1992 Convention on the Rights of the Child, etc.: these rights include right to life, health and development, as well as many other rights, such as rights to housing, food, and clean water, etc. Climate change, as well as the unsound management of hazardous chemicals and wastes, poses a threat to the realization of many if not all of the rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Negotiated well after the rise of the environmental movement, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, now with 191 Parties, is one of the few human rights instruments that explicitly require States to take steps to protect the environment for children. The threat of environmental harm indeed affects children today and future generations.

For more information:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Environment/SREnvironment/Pages/SRenvironmentIndex.aspx

Busy agenda for Rotterdam Convention’s scientific body (CRC) meeting in Rome, October 2017

Scientific experts of the Chemicals Review Committee will meet from 23 to 27 October to, inter alia, consider final regulatory actions for 13 chemicals

Busy agenda for Rotterdam Convention’s scientific body (CRC) meeting in Rome, October 2017

Busy agenda for Rotterdam Convention’s scientific body (CRC) meeting in Rome, October 2017

 

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