Progress Report 2009-2011

These progress reports describe the work of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat towards the implementation of mandated activities for the period 2009-2011.

Key guiding principles for the planning and implementation of activities during the current triennium (January 2009-June 2011) include:

  • A strong focus on synergies between the Basel and Stockholm Conventions and SAICM for the planning and implementation of activities as well as supporting synergies at the national level by involving national focal points of the Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions in technical assistance activities delivered by the three secretariats;
  • The joint development and delivery of activities in partnership with relevant partner organizations and institutions;
  • A strong focus on regional delivery of technical assistance by engaging existing regional Basel and Stockholm Convention Centers as well as UNEP and FAO centers in activities developed by the Secretariat.

These reports are based on and include activities covered in the Programme of Work 2009-2011, as adopted by the COP-4 and are organized in key categories (some of which were identified as priority areas by the COP). The first progress report, covering the period January - October 2009, provides an update on progress made by the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat towards the implementation of COP-4 mandated activities within that period. The second progress report, covering the period November 2009 - May 2010, provides an update on progress made by the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat towards the implementation of COP-4 mandated activities since the previous progress report within that period. Note that, the second report focuses on specific updates to activities since October 2009, while the first progress report provides, in addition, a more complete description of the background of each activity.

Progress Report


Activities COP-4 Mandate Status of implementation
 
Resource kit View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
Training and awareness-raising activities View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
National and subregional planning activities View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
Trade related issues View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
Development of a monitoring programme on severely hazardous pesticides formulations View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
Support to parties on resource mobilization View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
Support to the preparation of notifications of final regulatory action View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
Working with customs authorities View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
Fostering cooperation View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
Provision of Legal Support View mandate
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
Follow-up to the synergies decision View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
Working directly with individual countries on specific issues View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
Working on industrial chemicals View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
Establishment of a clearing-house mechanism View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
Partners in the regional delivery of technical assistance View mandate Jan 2009 - Oct 2009
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
The sixth meeting of the Chemical Review Committee Nov 2009 - May 2010
The seventh meeting of the Chemical Review Committee Nov 2009 - May 2010
PIC Circular View mandate
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010
New Parties
Nov 2009 - May 2010
Jun 2010 - Dec 2010

Mandate: Resource kit

Priority activity 8 - Resource kit: review and update existing documents as necessary including translation into all six official United Nations languages; print and disseminate to regional offices and partners and use in the regional and national delivery of technical assistance to Parties and at events.

Mandate: Training and awareness-raising meetings

Priority activity 9 - Subregional awareness raising and training meetings: Focus on Parties that are having difficulty in meeting their basic obligations of the Convention; meetings will provide practical training in meeting the operational elements of the Convention, including training in the use of existing decision guidance documents in national decision making, provide opportunity for countries to share experiences (4 subregional meetings, 5 countries each and 25 participants per workshop). In cooperation with Basel and Stockholm Conventions.

Mandate: National and sub-regional Action Planning (NAP) meetings

Activity 10 - Assist Parties to identify elements of national action plans or strategies for the implementation of the Convention and as appropriate national follow-seminars: arrange 6 national meetings, 6 subregional meetings (max. 3 countries and 15 participants) and 24 national follow up seminars. In cooperation with Basel and Stockholm Conventions.

Mandate: Trade related issues

Priority activity 11 - Trade-related issues: National training sessions focused on exporting countries and their export obligations (2 national trade meetings); and trade partner meetings involving exporting country and key trade partners (2 meetings involving 4 trade partners).

Mandate: Development of a monitoring programme on severely hazardous pesticides formulations

Priority activity 12 - Develop monitoring programme on severely hazardous pesticide formulation (SHPF): arrange 4 monitoring progress meetings on SHPF and 4 programmes on SHPFs.

Mandate: Resource Mobilization to support Parties

Priority activity 13 - Resource mobilization: develop and implement a programme to facilitate improved access to financial and other resources to assist Parties to meet their obligations under the Convention (4 subregional meetings on project proposal development). In cooperation with Basel and Stockholm Conventions.

Mandate: Support to the preparation of notifications of Final Regulatory Action

Priority activity 14 - Preparation of notifications of final regulatory action (FRA): build the capacity of developing country Parties to prepare and submit complete notifications of final regulatory action that pass the scrutiny of the Chemical Review Committee (3 subregional meetings to support the preparation of notifications, each including 3 countries and 15 participants).

Mandate: Working with customs authorities

Priority activity 17 - Customs training activities: Customs training activities for both importing and exporting partners: working with the Green Customs Initiative in providing support to Parties on facilitating the implementation of the obligations under the Conventions (4 meetings each including 5 countries). In cooperation with Basel and Stockholm Conventions.

Mandate: Fostering cooperation

Activity 20 - Fostering cooperation among designated national authorities: include the cooperation with technical focal points from related MEAs and other agreements as well as UNEP and FAO by continuing the meetings in each of the seven PIC regions (8 subregional meetings for DNAs, each including 10 countries and 25 participants).

Activity 21 - Regional and subregional meetings of DNAs and focal points of the Stockholm Convention: arrange for 4 subregional meetings for DNAs and Stockholm Convention focal points (each including 10 countries and 25 participants) in 2010. In cooperation with Basel and Stockholm Conventions.

Activity 22 - Cooperation with SAICM, the Stockholm Convention, the Basel Convention and the Rotterdam Convention contact points: arrange for 10 meetings where the RC contributes an extra day for participants to discuss Rotterdam Convention issues.

Mandate: Legal support to Parties

Activity 5 - Provide general and legal policy advice: respond to Parties' queries relating to the implementation of and compliance with the Convention(s).

Activity 6 - Develop technical assistance programme for Parties to ensure an effective legal basis for the implementation of the Convention: facilitate the development of national capacity including personnel and infrastructure to implement the legal obligations of the Convention and to develop new and innovative mechanisms for delivering the information and assistance package to Parties upon request.

Mandate: Follow-up to the synergies decision

Decision RC-4/11: Enhancing cooperation and coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

Mandate: Working directly with individual countries on specific issues

Priority activity 23 - Develop programmes to assist Parties on specific issues upon requests: through integration with activities under way in the country or at the regional level including training in the use of existing DGDs in national decision making.

Mandate: Working on industrial chemicals

Priority activity 24 - Develop programme on industrial chemicals: to establish or increase the capacity of Parties to manage industrial chemicals on a national level, the programme should complement the facilities available nationally for the management of agricultural chemicals and should include the legal, administrative and financial components required as well as training and other capacity building initiatives to bring the programme into effect (6 meetings each including 6 countries and 20 participants).

Mandate: Establishment of a clearing-house mechanism

Priority activity 18 - Develop and implement a programme to increase the capacity of Parties to access and utilize the clearing house mechanism - In cooperation with the Stockholm and Basel Conventions. (Four meetings each including 5 countries).

Priority activity 38 - Clearing-house mechanism: establishing in cooperation with Basel and Stockholm conventions a clearing-house mechanism that would provide online access to information and facilities that would assist Parties to implement the Convention.

Mandate: Partners in the regional delivery of technical assistance

Activity 25 - Facilitate annual meetings with representatives of the FAO and UNEP regional office: arrange for up to two meetings per year (5 UNEP and 14 FAO including 9 subregional offices).

Activity 26 - Facilitate annual meetings with the group of regional experts: arrange for up to one meeting per year for an estimated 20 representatives.

Activity 27 - Working with regional liaison offices in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe in collaboration with key partners: Coordinate the delivery of technical assistance and capacity building programmes at the regional and national levels. This is to ensure the maximum use of resources to benefit the Parties and to arrange for a synergistic approach to chemicals management at the national level. The programme will be done in conjunction with UNEP and the Stockholm and Basel Conventions and will be coordinated through chemicals waste cluster managers to be placed in the regional offices of UNEP.

Activity 28 - Participate in the 26th session of Asia Pacific Plant Protection Commission (APPPC): promote integration with work on Rotterdam Convention; participate in one meeting during 2009 with regional experts.

Mandate: PIC Circular

Activity 35 - PIC Circular: Preparation in English, French and Spanish, publication on CD ROM every every six months, posted on Convention website and sent to all Parties.

Working on industrial chemicals

In collaboration with key partners, the Secretariat has been working on the development of a comprehensive industrial chemicals programme which comprises the following elements:

Roadmap on industrial chemicals: A strategy on industrial chemicals has been developed in collaboration with the Stockholm and Basel Conventions. This strategy provides a 'roadmap' for the implementation of a programme on industrial chemicals addressing the provisions of the Rotterdam Convention, while recognizing the need for an integrated approach. The road map also addresses the technical assistance components on industrial chemicals mandated by COP-4.

The above-mentioned roadmap on industrial chemicals addresses 4 key pillars:

  1. Awareness-raising on industrial chemicals management and information exchange on the Rotterdam Convention and other relevant chemicals MEAs (Basel Convention, Stockholm Convention, SAICM, Montreal Protocol etc.);
  2. Building national capacity for performing risk assessments;
  3. Building national capacities for developing and implementing risk management measures (development/strengthening of national legislation and policies for the sound management of industrial chemicals);
  4. Knowledge development at the national and regional levels;
  5. This roadmap will include, among others, the development of the following legal tools to support implementation of the Convention by the Parties:
  6. Legal case studies;ii. A compilation of key legal elements related to industrial chemicals

Industrial chemicals in the Asia Pacific region: The Secretariat is in the process of implementing a project in collaboration with WHO, ILO and other partners to support the sound management of Industrial Chemicals in the Asia and Pacific region, focusing on industrial chemicals, with a special emphasis on asbestos. WHO’s Risk Assessment Toolkit (see below) as well as other relevant guidance materials addressing health and environmental aspects will support a series of workshops envisaged for 2010.

Current status:

  • Inception workshop scheduled for 18-20 May 2010 in Bangkok; this activity was further postponed to 31 August to 3 September 2010
  • Pilot workshops are also being planned.
  • A legal case study is also currently being developed.

Industrial chemicals in the Africa and LAC regions: Two regional awareness-raising workshops on industrial chemicals management were jointly organized with SAICM, WHO and the Secretariat for early 2010 for the Africa and Latin American regions. These workshops are intended to support the safe management of industrial chemicals.

The following activities have been undertaken:

SAICM back-to-back workshop in Abidjan 25-29 January 2010

SAICM back-to-back workshop in Jamaica 13 March 2010

A similar activity for the Asia Pacific region is being developed back-to-back with the Asbestos inception workshop scheduled for 3 September 2010, in Bangkok.

Checklist for the safe management of industrial chemicals: The Secretariat has developed of a checklist to be used as a tool during Technical Assistance activities for Parties to support the safe management of industrial chemicals. This checklist will provide Parties with some key elements to address industrial chemicals at the national level. It will also address synergies on industrial chemicals between the three conventions as well as with SAICM.

The Secretariat is also planning the following actions relevant to industrial chemicals:

  • Development of a training tool with content and processes aiming to support to the implementation of a sound national chemicals management system for industrial chemicals in developing countries; (To be completed before end of 2010)
  • Testing of the methodology through training workshops in three pilot countries in other UN regions; These workshops will be composed of awareness raising and needs assessment national workshops (1 day each), development of the implementation plan by countries and discussion in national workshops (2 days each); finalisation of activities within countries and preparation of case studies; (to be initiated before the end of 2010)

WHO's Risk Assessment Toolkit: the Secretariat has collaborated with the WHO on the development of a risk assessment toolkit that will support developing countries in their risk assessment efforts related to hazardous chemicals. The toolkit provides information, flowcharts and case studies on risk assessment methodology and includes a section on the Rotterdam Convention. The draft toolkit is already being utilized in the delivery of technical assistance activities on risk assessments, which are also being organized in collaboration with the WHO. The Rotterdam Convention Secretariat reviewed and commented on the toolkit and the toolkit has been finalized. The dissemination of the toolkit also took place during the industrial chemicals activities organized with SAICM.

Legal framework for industrial chemicals: As mentioned under the section "provision of support to Parties and Secretariat", the Secretariat is cooperating with the UNEP Chemicals branch for the development of legal guidance on industrial chemicals. The Secretariat will also prepare case studies on the development of legal framework for industrial chemicals. These case studies will include an analysis of the challenges and lessons learned on the development of legal instruments in specific countries and are expected to serve as a practical guidance to Parties.


The Resource kit

In 2009, the Secretariat continued to update the resource kit to reflect experience acquired in its use. A number of new documents and a new poster were developed. Other existing documents such as the Convention text, the three Conventions brochure, the Stepwise Guide, the Overview booklet, the PIC companion guide, the DNA guidance, the PIC Circular user guide and a Training Manual were revised and reprinted. Good progress was made in translating documents such as the Convention Overview into all six official languages of the United Nations.

The prototype of the e-learning CD programme on the key operational elements of the Convention was widely distributed to all major stakeholders in 2009. It was field tested and is being revised and will then be translated and made available in French and Spanish as well. The CD facilitates continuous and self-directed training at the national level to meet the challenges that arise from frequent changes in the designated national authorities in some countries.

Section E of the resource kit, on cross-cutting issues, is designed to provide guidance on how the work of the Convention could be integrated into the activities undertaken under other international agreements or programmes. It includes references to selected sources of general information on chemicals that may be of interest or use to countries in implementing the Convention. This section was refined in 2009 and expanded to reflect new information.

The Resource kit

The Secretariat has continued its efforts in revising and printing the publications already developed and expanding with new information material the resource kit in order to meet the request of Parties different stakeholders.

The e-learning CD programme on the key operational elements of the Rotterdam Convention has been translated in French and Spanish and it will be finalised with the final CD formatting by the end of June 2010. It will be made available and downloadable from website. This e-learning course facilitates continuous and self-directed training at the national level to meet the challenges that arise from frequent changes in the designated national authorities in some countries.

The key publication Guidance to the Designated National Authorities has been revised and reformatted in English, French and Spanish and it will be made available on the website by the end of June. The next three languages will be made available by the end of 2010.

A new brochure on PIC Chemicals has been prepared and made available on the website. This is meant to be a short introduction on each chemical present in Annex III to the Convention and subject to the PIC procedure. Details on chemical formula, HS code, trade names and specific use of these chemicals are reported in a concise manner.

A brochure titled Chemicals Snapshot has been prepared and translated in 6 languages. This piece contains information on what are chemicals, faith of chemicals released to the environment, the identification of risks cause by chemicals, to health and the environment and how to address them. It also provides an introduction to the scope of the three different Conventions.

Training and awareness-raising meetings

The secretariat developed a training and awareness raising programme on the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention. Sub-regional training and awareness-raising meetings are proposed for Parties that experience difficulties in meeting their basic obligations under the Convention, in order that they might fully benefit from the Convention and its activities. These meetings provide practical training on the Convention's key operational elements including practical training in preparing and submitting of notifications of Final Regulatory Actions. It promotes synergies on national level among the national authorities of the three Conventions (Rotterdam, Stockholm and Basel Conventions) and highlights opportunities for an integrated approach to implementation, along with other relevant international activities such SAICM. It includes case studies and discussions in small groups on: the preparation and submission of notifications of final regulatory actions; review of decision guidance documents and preparation and submission of import responses; review and completion of the incident report form for severely hazardous pesticide formulations; and an exercise on export notification.

Parties that have a low level of import responses, in addition to having experienced difficulties in submitting notifications of final regulatory action and changes in designated national authorities were invited to express interest in attending such a workshop.

For 2009, the Secretariat has organized three sub-regional training and awareness raising workshops for eight Francophone African countries, nine Anglophone African countries, and seven eastern European and Asian countries. In organizing these workshops, the Secretariat made use of existing Basel Centers and FAO Regional Offices. The FAO Regional Office in Accra made local arrangements for the work shop in Accra, and the Basel Convention Technical Centre in Pretoria offered to assist with local arrangements for the training workshop back-to back with a regional synergies workshop on the three Conventions, thereby maximizing the benefits for countries and simultaneously reducing the costs of the individual workshops.

It is proposed to convene two further sub-regional training and awareness raising meetings in 2010 in the South Asia and Pacific regions.

Training and awareness-raising meetings

Sub-regional training and awareness-raising meetings support Parties in meeting their basic obligations under the Convention, and so they might fully benefit from the Convention and its activities.

The Secretariat has organized during the period Oct 2009-May. 2010:

  • Training and awareness raising workshop for nine Francophone African countries in Ghana (Oct. 2009)
  • Training and awareness raising workshop ten Anglophone African countries in South Africa (Nov 2009)
  • Training and awareness workshop for eight eastern European and Asian countries in Armenia (Nov. 2009)
  • Training and awareness-raising workshop for the Latin American region in El Salvador (March 2010)

The Secretariat has also recently completed the delivery of a training and awareness-raising workshop for 7 Asia-Pacific countries held in Vietnam from 7-11 June 2010;

National and sub-regional Action Planning (NAP) meetings

National and subregional planning meetings have the objective to provide Parties with an opportunity to identify the elements of a national plan or a strategy for the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention. Participants represent key players in the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention, such as the Designated National Authorities (DNAs) under the PIC procedure, as well as representatives from Ministries which have a role in the implementation of the Convention such as Agriculture, Environment, Health, Customs Control or Foreign Affairs. Such a broad participation provides the basis for developing a plan which includes consideration of synergies in national implementation of SAICM and the Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions.

Since it's initiation in 2005, the programme has provided forty-six Parties with the opportunity to develop a national plan, set priorities and assign time lines and responsibilities.

In 2009, two National Action Planning consultations will take place in cooperation with UNITAR. One was held in June 2009 in Togo, and another planning meeting is scheduled for the end of 2009 in Namibia.

National Follow-up seminars: In cooperation with the FAO regional Officers, national seminars were convened for Parties that had participated in the sub-regional planning meetings held in 2007-2008. The national seminars provide an opportunity to seek broader support for the national implementation plans, to review the status of implementation of the plans and to consider further country needs and priorities. A total of four national seminars where held in 2009 in Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Belize and El Salvador. One more national follow-up seminar was requested by the United Arab Emirates for November 2009.

National and sub-regional Action Planning (NAP) meetings

The following national and sub-regional NAP meetings have been carried out:

  • Libya, April 2010
  • Uganda, March 2010
  • Sub-regional NAP Anglophone Africa, Botswana, April 2010
  • Sub-regional NAP for Near East Aleppo, Syria, 20 – 24 June 2010 (Jordan - Kuwait - Lebanon - Oman - Qatar - Saudi Arabia - Sudan - Syrian Arab Republic - United Arab Emirates – Yemen )

The following national NAP meetings have been scheduled:

  • NAP for DPRK Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, 28 June to 2 July 2010, convened in cooperation with UNITAR
  • Subregional NAP Francophone Africa, Rwanda, 11- 16 July 2010
  • NAP Madagascar, October 2010
  • Sub-regional NAP for Central Asia (Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Khazakstan, October 2010
  • Sub-regional NAP for South America, 15-19 November 2010 in Santiago, Chile

National Follow-up seminars: In cooperation with the FAO Regional Officers, national seminars are convened for Parties that had participated in the sub-regional planning meetings. A follow-up seminar took place in November 2009 in Belize.

Trade related issues

The Secretariat developed a concept for a workshop with the overall objective of promoting a shared responsibility in the implementation and enforcement of the trade related provisions of the Rotterdam Convention by facilitating a dialogue among exporting parties and trade partners.

The Secretariat convened, for representatives of the European Community and selected trade partners, such a trade partner meeting from 22-26 June 2009 in Cyprus. Representatives from the European Commission, France, Germany, India, Iran, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Spain, Sudan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Venezuela attended the meeting.

Participants reviewed the current operational procedures in the countries present and received feedback from the perspective of their trade partners as to what was working well, what might be improved and how. Several break-out groups were held to provide a forum for discussions based on case examples of actual occurrences submitted by participants. These opportunities for discussion were met with an open, cooperative spirit among the participants. The workshop resulted in the identification of issues that were country-specific as well as common across countries and follow up actions were proposed for the short, medium and long term.

A second similar trade partners meeting will be convened from 19-22 October 2009 in Nanjing, China, for China and some major trading partners (Brazil, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand and Viet Nam). This trade partner meeting is a follow-up to a National Thematic Meeting on Trade Related Issues under the Rotterdam Convention that was held in October 2007 in Hang Zhou, China.

Trade related issues

In 2009, the Secretariat conducted two meetings on trade related issues under the Rotterdam Convention, one for the European Community and selected trade partners and one for China and selected trade partners.

The overall objective of the workshops was to promote a shared responsibility in the implementation and enforcement of the trade related provisions of the Convention by facilitating dialogue among exporting Parties. The need to better understand the challenges associated with the operation of the trade aspects of the Convention, in particular the role of exporting Parties and the relationship between exporting and importing Parties, is an issue of concern to many Parties.

The workshops provided an opportunity for exporting Parties to receive feedback on the effectiveness of their operational procedure and for selected importing Parties to better understand any changes that may be needed at the national level to benefit more fully from this procedure.

These workshops will continue in the future pending adequate resources.

Development of a monitoring programme on severely hazardous pesticides formulations

The Secretariat developed activities targeted at developing monitoring programmes on severely hazardous pesticides formulations (SHPF). The overall objective of this activity is to support countries in improving capacities for the collection of information about health problems caused by SHPF under the conditions of use in order to assist countries to submit proposals under the Rotterdam Convention.

Broader Programme on severely hazardous pesticides formulations: A broader programme on SHPF is being developed by the Secretariat. The programme will establish links between individual activities such as the FAO programme on Highly Hazardous Pesticides, WHO's work on Poison Control and the work under the Rotterdam Convention. The elements of the programme will cover awareness raising and preparation of relevant documents, and will address different layers of key players in reporting SHPF in order to address the bottlenecks in proposing severely hazardous pesticide formulations. Further elements of the broader programme on SHPF are individual activities with Parties that have requested assistance, and the development of a resource or tool kit to provide background documentation that can serve for awareness raising, planning and implementing activities related to severely hazardous pesticide formulations.

National programme to monitor severely hazardous pesticides formulations: Under a Letter of Agreement with the Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention and the Pesticide Action Network-UK (PAN-UK), a second phase of a project on monitoring and reporting SHPFs was initiated in 2009 in Tanzania and Togo. The community health monitoring pilot programmes in the two countries are being carried out in autumn 2009 and will have established by the end of 2009, in two pilot regions in each of the two countries, a process for monitoring and reporting pesticide incidents.

The Secretariat, in close cooperation with the WHO, has implemented in 2009 a Joint Project in Tanzania and Ghana to Improve Capacities for the Identification of SHPF under the Rotterdam Convention.

An inception workshop for both countries was convened from 24 to 26 June 2009 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Some 30 participants from Ghana and Tanzania attended the meeting, representing a wide range of key stakeholders including relevant Ministries, NGOs, WHO and FAO. The workshop resulted in national plans for the implementation of a data collection project in each country, including plans for the development of methodologies and tools for the data collection, analysis and evaluation, identification of the data to be collected, who will collect it, how it will be collected, what data collection tools will be used and what institutional mechanisms will be needed. Training needs and the need to develop training materials were identified. The country activities will conclude with a short national meeting where results will be presented and possible next steps discussed.

Resource/tool kit on severely hazardous pesticides formulations: The Secretariat has initiated the development of a set of documents on SHPF that, once available, will assist national authorities in developing countries in monitoring and reporting pesticide incidents under Article 6 of the Convention. The toolkit will be based on documentation developed in the pilot countries (Ghana, Tanzania, Togo, and Ecuador) and will take into consideration tools developed by Partners such as WHO, FAO, PAN, other countries and other NGOs. Once ready, the toolkit will provide a useful tool to other countries.

The resource/tool kit would contain a few essential documents that are already available with the Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention (SHPF form and instructions), other documents that were developed by local NGOs and Designated National Authorities of Tanzania and Togo under co-ordination of PAN-UK, and WHO handbooks, guidance documents and other useful information. A number of additional documents will need to be developed, taking into consideration the existing ones, possibly including topics such as guidance on incident report forms; monitoring of SHPF; pesticide incidents; data collection methodologies, sources and planning of data collection projects; case studies.

Development of a monitoring programme on severely hazardous pesticides formulations

The Secretariat continued to work on the development of a tool kit on monitoring and reporting of severely hazardous pesticide formulations. The tool kit will provide useful information and guidance to countries that wish to address the issue at national level.

In co-operation with partners such as WHO and PAN-UK, an inception workshop was convened in July 2009 and national pilot projects were implemented in Ghana, Tanzania and Togo.

In May 2010 an inception workshop on monitoring and reporting pesticide incidents was convened in Togo, and stake holders drafted national pilot projects for Togo, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. Burkina Faso and Mali initiated implementation of such pilot projects on SHPF.

Resource Mobilization to support Parties

COP-4 requested the Secretariat to organize a series of workshops to provide support to Parties so that they can successfully access financial resources required to implement the Rotterdam Convention. The Secretariat is working together with UNITAR, with the Stockholm and Basel Conventions and with SAICM on the planning and delivery of workshops and guidance materials which will assist Parties in accessing resources necessary for the implementation of the chemicals conventions. Guidance materials might include the development of standard SAICM project formats incorporating generic provisions of the Convention. The Secretariat continues to work with the UNEP resource mobilization unit in linking relevant priority areas of the programme of work of the Convention with UNEP's Programme of Work on harmful substances and hazardous wastes.

Resource Mobilization to support Parties

The Secretariat is working together with UNITAR, with the Stockholm and Basel Conventions and with SAICM on the planning and delivery of workshops and guidance materials, which will assist Parties access resources necessary for the implementation of the chemicals and waste conventions. Four sub-regional workshops are being planned for the period 2010-2011 in close cooperation with UNITAR. This series of subregional training workshops will be implemented together with the Secretariats of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions as well as the SAICM Secretariat.

In addition, training modules to assist Parties develop project proposals and enable them to have improved access to financial resources to meet their obligations under the 3 Conventions was delivered to sub-regions during of the awareness raising workshops on synergies. These workshops were held in Pretoria, South Africa (October 2009), Montevideo, Uruguay (November 2009) and Beijing, China (April 2010)(see section "Follow-up to the synergies decision").

Support to the preparation of notifications of Final Regulatory Actions

These activities are intended to build the capacity of developing country Parties to prepare and submit complete notifications of final regulatory action that are subject to the scrutiny of the Chemical Review Committee.

CRC Experts Training: The Chemical Review Committee (CRC) is composed of 31 experts from different regions. The Secretariat will conduct a workshop for CRC experts to increase their awareness of the functioning, procedures and review mechanisms of the CRC to enable Parties to make informed decisions about chemicals being submitted to CRC. A successful process for the review of notifications of final regulatory action and a better understanding by countries of what is needed will improve the functioning of the Convention's mechanisms. The Secretariat's training will involve the use of practical, hands-on and technical material; experienced experts will share their knowledge and address concerns; the workshop is also intended to prepare experts for discussions at the CRC meeting (March 2010). The workshop will take place in early December 2009 in Budapest.

CRC/POPRC Training: The Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions chemical review committees (POPRC and CRC) have very similar structures and similar mandates. Under the synergies process, the two Secretariats will jointly raise awareness on the functions and operation of the two committees. Better informed stakeholders, particularly national authorities are essential for the successful submissions of candidate chemicals which meet the requirements for consideration by the review committees of the two conventions. The two Secretariats are in the process of organizing a workshop in the African region that will ultimately support an increase in the number of chemicals listed under the annexes of the two conventions. The workshop will consist of joint and separate sessions for the RC and SC and will provide learning opportunities and experience sharing among the stakeholders and experts. The workshop will be held at the end of November 2009 in Egypt. Another workshop is foreseen to take place in January 2010 for the GRULAC region.

Consultations with Parties to increase the submission of notifications: The Secretariat intends to conduct a series of consultations with Parties to encourage them to increase the number of notifications submitted to the Secretariat, especially on industrial chemicals - in particular on chemicals which are or have recently been considered under the Stockholm Convention.

Support to the preparation of notifications of Final Regulatory Actions

These activities are intended to build the capacity of developing country Parties to prepare and submit complete notifications of final regulatory action that pass the scrutiny of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC). This support is integrated within and as part of all Technical Assistance activities and workshops. CRC Experts Training: The Secretariat organised a workshop for CRC experts to increase their awareness of the functioning, procedures and review mechanisms of the CRC to enable Parties to make informed decisions about chemicals being submitted to CRC. The Secretariat carried out one training for the CRC experts in Budapest, Hungary in Dec. 2009. CRC/POPRC Training: The Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions chemical review committees (POPRC and CRC) have very similar structures and similar mandates. Consequently, the two Secretariats organized a joint workshop which took place in November 2009 in Cairo, Egypt with the attendance of over 50 participants from more than 20 countries. The training addressed several items of the work programme including the notification process, information exchange as well as achieving synergies with Stockholm and will be extended to other regions. The next CRC/POPRC training workshop recently took place from 8 - 10 June 2010 in Mexico with participation of DNAs and Focal Points from the Latin American and Caribbean region and several experts with previous experience on Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and the operation of the chemicals committees. 35 participants attended this workshop. A subsequent workshop is being planned for November 2010 to cover part of the Asian region.

Working with customs authorities

Another priority area approved at COP-4 is the need to support Parties on customs-related activities relevant to the Rotterdam Convention:

Capacity building for customs authorities: The Secretariat has been actively involved in the delivery of a number of training workshops in conjunction with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and with the Green Customs Initiative (GCI), of which the Secretariat is a partner. During 2009, the Secretariat contributed to customs training workshops held in India, Nigeria, Mongolia, Qatar, Budapest and Kenya. The Secretariat's involvement in these workshops supported training the customs officials and helped increase the profile of the RC and its work. During the period 2009-2011, the Secretariat's participation in more workshops is foreseen. Also, the Secretariat has joined the WCO's newly established 'ENVIRONET ' network for border protection and is also a partner in the activities by the Multilateral Environmental Agreements-Regional Enforcement Network (MEA-REN). These networks aim at promoting integrated regional cooperation for the control of transboundary movement of chemicals.

Working with the WCO on Harmonized System (HS) codes: The Secretariat continues to work with the WCO on the assignment of HS codes to Annex III chemicals. These codes are a major international tool for the control of chemicals at the borders.

Working with UNITAR on GHS: The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is a system for standardizing and harmonizing the classification and labelling of chemicals. It provides a comprehensive approach to defining hazards of chemicals, creating classification processes and communicating hazard information, as well as protective measures, on labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS). The GHS is another important tool for the control of trade in hazardous chemicals. The Secretariat is collaborating with UNITAR on the development of joint capacity building activities to support the existing GHS UNITAR training programme as well as the joint development of related tools.

Customs materials currently being developed by the Secretariat include:

  • Brochure on HS codes (in the process of translation)
  • Brochure on chemicals common to the 3 conventions (with the designer)
  • Rotterdam Convention specific chemicals brochure (under development)
  • Green Customs Guide which contains a section on the Rotterdam Convention
  • Brochure on the environmental effects of chemicals across the 3 chemicals Conventions (under development)
  • Customs Toolkit relevant to the Rotterdam Convention (under development)
  • Customs specific section on the Rotterdam Convention website

Working with customs authorities

Capacity building for customs authorities: The Secretariat has been actively involved in the delivery of a number of training workshops in conjunction with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and with the Green Customs Initiative (GCI), of which the Secretariat is a partner. As part of the GCI, the Secretariat participated in the partners’ meeting that was held on 8 and 9 February 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland.

In addition, the Secretariat participated in the following training activities to customs authorities which were organized by the GCI/WCO:

  • For the EECCA region in Budapest (Oct 2009)
  • For the GRULAC region in the Dominican Republic (Nov 2009)
  • For the GRULAC region in Mexico City (Nov 2009)
  • A border dialogue between India and Nepal (Nov/Dec 2009);
  • GCI/WCO meeting Middle East, Lebanon, April 2010.

The Secretariat has also taken part of the third meeting of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements-Regional Enforcement Network (MEA-REN) in Bangkok, Thailand (Oct 2009) and has actively provided input to the MEA-REN Newsletter. Furthermore, the Secretariat has sent an invitation to all DNAs to join the WCO's newly established 'ENVIRONET ' network for border protection and is also a partner in the activities by the Multilateral Environmental Agreements-Regional Enforcement Network (MEA-REN). These networks aim at promoting integrated regional cooperation for the control of transboundary movement of chemicals.

In April 2010 the Secretariat launched a dedicated website in order to provide readily accessible information on the Rotterdam Convention to customs authorities. The website can be viewed at: http://www.pic.int/customs/Minisite/Roles.html

Development of customs materials: Training and reference materials currently being developed by the Secretariat include:

  • Brochure on HS codes (finalized)
  • Poster on chemicals common to the 3 conventions (finalized)
  • Rotterdam Convention-specific chemicals brochure (in print, on the web)
  • Brochure on the environmental effects on chemicals across the 3 conventions (presented at ExCOPs) (finalized)
  • Rotterdam Convention-specific - Customs Toolkit (finalized)
  • New Customs specific section on the website (finalized)
  • E-learning tool on the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (initiated)

Working with UNITAR on the GHS: The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is a system for standardizing and harmonizing the classification and labelling of chemicals. The secretariat is collaborating with UNITAR on the development of joint capacity building activities to support the existing GHS UNITAR training programme as well as the joint development of related tools. Under this initiative, the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat has taken the lead to develop a guidance tool on GHS and the three Conventions. The guidance tool is expected to be ready by July 2010. The tool will then provide the basis for future workshops and information materials on GHS and the three Conventions. A second phase of GHS related industrial chemicals management as a synergy activity will also be developed in the near future.

Probo Koala project: The Secretariat participates in the "Probo Koala enforcement Programme" led by the Basel Convention Secretariat. The Secretariat has provided inputs to the Programme currently being implemented in Cote d'Ivoire and which will be duplicated in various other African (and possible Caribbean) countries. Furthermore, the Secretariat was represented at the first consultation meetings in Abidjan in Nov. 2009 and Feb. 2010.

In the lead to develop a guidance tool on GHS and the three Conventions. The guidance tool is expected to be ready by July 2010. The tool will then provide the basis for future workshops and information materials on GHS and the three Conventions. A second phase of GHS related industrial chemicals management as a synergy activity will also be developed in the near future. Probo Koala project: The Secretariat is provided inputs to the Programme currently being implemented in Côte d’Ivoire and which will be duplicated in various other African (and possible Caribbean) countries. Furthermore, the Secretariat was represented at the first consultation meetings in Abidjan in November 2009 and February 2010.

Fostering cooperation

The Secretariat continued delivery of sub-regional meetings between designated national authorities (DNAs). Such meetings provide an opportunity for DNAs to review progress in the implementation of the Convention, identify common problems and share experience in finding solutions. A key element of the meeting is the opportunity offered to identify opportunities for regional co-operation and with authorities of the Stockholm and Basel Conventions and SAICM.

One subregional meeting for designated national authorities from Central American countries (Belize,