In addition to working closely with UNEP regional offices as well as with the FAO regional and sub-regional offices in developing and delivering work on technical assistance, the Secretariat also delivers its technical assistance activities in close cooperation with the regional centers of the Stockholm and Basel Conventions.
Regional staffs represent a direct link between the regions and the secretariat which helps to ensure that the activities are targeted to the needs of countries. They are also in a unique position to facilitate monitoring of follow-up activities with countries. To date, where they are participating or leading field activities related to the Rotterdam Convention, the cost to the Secretariat has been limited to the travel expenses of experienced, regional, technical officers from these centers which represents a substantial in-kind contribution.
There are 16 FAO regional and sub-regional offices that each houses a technical officer that is responsible for plant production and protection. The FAO regional and sub-regional offices through the technical officers have supported the Secretariat in developing and delivering technical assistance activities, including awareness raising and training, development of national action plans, thematic activities on proposals for severely hazardous pesticide formulations, trade related issues and working with individual countries. The regional and sub-regional officers have taken the initiative in following up with a substantive number of countries on progress in the implementation of the national action plans for the Rotterdam Convention. They also promote the ratification of the Convention when working with non-Parties within their regions and sub-regions through their regular work with these countries.
Within the activities that are related to the three conventions, the use of the Stockholm and Basel regional centers is always encouraged as a means of facilitating and supporting developing countries to satisfy their obligations for the three conventions. Efficiency and cost-effectiveness are gained by pooling resources and implementing a single activity to cover the needs of all three conventions where three separate activities would normally have occurred.