Further Resources

Synergies app launched at 2013 COPs

Synergies app launched at 2013 COPs

Synergies app launched at 2013 COPs

The mobile app is expected to increase transparency and participation in Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm convention meetings. Available for Android and iPhone/iPads.

The Secretariat announced the release of the free mobile phone app Synergies on the opening day of the ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (COPs).

Synergies provides a window to information about the meetings of the global chemicals and wastes conventions. It gives quick and easy access to essential information about the 2013 COPs. More than 1,700 participants are expected to attend the two-week long conference.

The app provides Alerts, Schedule, Agenda, News, ExCOPs, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conference documents, and General Information for the COPs. It was designed by Zero to Heroes Media (Vancouver, Canada) working closely with the conventions' Secretariat, based in Geneva.

The free app can be downloaded from the Apple App store for iPhone/iPad users and from Google Play for Android users.

After the 2013 COPs, Synergies will continue to provide similar information at future major meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions.

 

Extraordinary UN Conference Takes Historic Strides to Strengthen Chemical Safety Globally

Extraordinary UN Conference Takes Historic Strides to Strengthen Chemical Safety Globally

Extraordinary UN Conference Takes Historic Strides to Strengthen Chemical Safety Globally

UNEP and FAO team up to promote synergies between the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions in two-week chemicals and waste meeting.

Geneva, Switzerland, 11 May 2013 – The three conventions that govern chemicals and hazardous waste safety at the global level concluded their first ever jointly held meetings of the parties late Friday night in Geneva. The historic meeting, attended by nearly two thousand participants from 170 countries, as well as 80 Ministers, adopted 50 separate decisions aimed at strengthening protection against hazardous chemicals and waste.

The three legally autonomous conventions had convened the joint meeting of the conferences of the parties to strengthen cooperation and collaboration between the conventions, with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of their activities on the ground. Each convention then continued individually over the two-week period to deal with its own specific topics of the global chemicals and waste agenda before returning in a joint session at the end of the week to finalize their outcomes.

The meeting culminated in a ministerial segment on 9 and 10 May 2013 dedicated to the theme of strengthening synergies between the conventions at national, regional and global level. The ministerial segment was joined by Swiss Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva, and Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii.  The global agency leaders pledged to deepen cooperation and collaboration as part of a broader effort to raise the profile of chemicals and waste issues, promote green growth and alleviate poverty.

At its conclusion, the joint meeting acclaimed the “Geneva Statement on the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste”. The Geneva Statement welcomed the UNEP-led consultative process on financing options for chemicals and waste that has considered the need for heightened efforts to increase the political priority accorded to sound management of chemicals and waste.

In a press conference following the ministerial segment, Mr. Steiner called the conferences of the parties “a unique historic event coming at a time of unprecedented change and progress in the arena of global environmental governance. The strengthening of UNEP and the synergies process of chemicals and waste multilateral environmental agreements are complementary parts of the ongoing reform to fortify the environmental dimension of sustainable development.”

Ms. Ishii spoke of the challenges countries face protecting the planet's critical ecosystems from contamination by hazardous chemicals and waste and of GEF support for strategies to overcome them. “At this critical juncture, the Global Environment Facility is committed to its financial support to help countries address these important challenges in three ways,” said Ms. Ishii. “Assisting them in their efforts to mainstream sound chemicals management in national agendas, creating an integrated GEF chemicals and wastes focal area, and expanding engagement with the private sector.”

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said that in many countries intensive crop production has depleted agriculture’s natural resource base, jeopardizing future productivity. “To fight hunger and eradicate poverty, we will need to find more sustainable ways to produce 60 percent more food by 2050,” he said. However, he recognized that chemical pesticides would continue to be part of farming in many parts of the world in future.

“The challenge is to enable countries to manage pesticides safely, to use the right quantity, at the right time and in the right way and also to apply alternatives to hazardous pesticides. Because when we don’t, pesticides continue to pose a serious risk to human health and the environment and will eventually end up as waste. Today, half a million tons of obsolete pesticides are scattered around the developing world,” he said.

“Around 70 percent of the chemicals addressed by the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions are pesticides, and many are used in agriculture. It is in the best interest of all countries to ensure that the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions can work together, effectively and efficiently, to address various aspects of the chemical life cycle.”

The joint meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions also reviewed the impact of the arrangements put in place by governments in 2011 to strengthen synergies among the treaties.

The parties endorsed the organization of the Secretariat, and adopted a programme of work and budget individual and for joint activities of three conventions in 2014-2015. ”The parties have agreed to strengthen capacity building and technical assistance for countries by investing the savings realized over the past two years into an enhanced technical assistance programme that better meets the needs of developing countries and countries with economies in transition” said Jim Willis, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions. “In an era of financial austerity, we have learned through synergies how to deliver more to parties while living within the economic limits faced by Governments today.”

“Much of the success of this synergies meeting is owed to the outstanding cooperation and inspired leadership of the three presidents of the conferences, Franz Perrez of Switzerland, Magdalena Balicka of Poland and Osvaldo Álvarez-Pérez of Chile,” added Mr. Willis.

The 6th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention agreed to list hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) to Annex A to the Convention with specific exemptions for expanded polystyrene and extruded polystyrene in buildings. Efforts to adopt a non-compliance mechanism, however, did not succeed in the face of continuing disagreement on how such a mechanism might function.

Basel Convention's parties, at their 11th Conference of the Parties, took decisions to strengthen compliance with the Convention. The Parties adopted a framework for the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes and other wastes, and agreed, over the next two years, to develop technical guidelines on transboundary movements of electronic and electrical wastes (e-waste).

The meeting also decided terms of reference for the newly established Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic (ENFORCE), which aims to prevent and combat illegal traffic in hazardous and other wastes through the better implementation and enforcement of national law.

The 6th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention had considered the possible addition of five chemicals and one severely hazardous pesticide formulation to Annex III of the Convention. It agreed by consensus to add the pesticide azinphos-methyl and the industrial chemicals PentaBDE, OctaBDE and PFOS to Annex III of the Convention.[1] Listing in Annex III triggers an exchange of information between Parties and helps countries make informed decisions about future import and use of the chemicals. The addition of four substances is the highest number to be added to the Convention's prior informed consent procedure by any conference of the parties since the adoption of the Convention in 1998.

In contrast, the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention did not succeed in reaching agreement on the addition of chrysotile asbestos and a severely hazardous pesticide formulation containing paraquat to the Convention. The proposal to list chrysotile asbestos and the paraquat formulation will be considered at the next Conference of the Parties in 2015.

The joint meeting hosted a three-day Regional Fair from 1 to 3 May 2013 dedicated to the theme 'Synergies through regional delivery' and attended by 20 Stockholm Convention or Basel Convention Regional Centres and two Regional Offices of UNEP. The Fair provided the venue for the signing of bi-regional and intra-regional cooperation agreements between centres in Latin America and Caribbean, and Central and Eastern European regions in the areas of technical assistance and awareness-raising and outreach.

Note to editors:

Chemicals contribute many advantages to today's world; however their use can also pose risks to human health and the environment. To reduce this harmful global impact, three conventions have been established that regulate chemicals and hazardous waste at global level:

Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal regulates the export/import of hazardous waste and waste containing hazardous chemicals. The Convention was adopted in 1989 and entered into force in 1992. It currently has 180 Parties.

Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade currently regulates information about the export/import of 47 hazardous chemicals listed in the Convention’s Annex III, 33 of which are pesticides (including 4 severely hazardous pesticide formulations) and 14 of which are industrial chemicals. The Convention was adopted in 1998 and entered into force in 2004. It currently has 152 Parties.

Unlike the Stockholm Convention, the Rotterdam Convention does not ban or restrict trade in chemicals or pesticide formulations, but serves to strengthen protection of human health and the environment by expanding the exchange of critical safety information between exporting and importing States.

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants currently regulates 23 toxic substances that are persistent, travel long distances, bioaccumulate in organisms and are toxic. The Convention was adopted in 2001 and entered into force in 2004. It currently has 179 Parties.

Contact:

Christine Fuell, Technical Senior Officer and Coordinator, Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention (FAO), Tel. +39 06 5705 3765, christine.fuell@fao.org

Michael S. Jones, Public Information Officer, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Cell +41 (0) 79 730 44 95, msjones@brsmeas.org

Nick Nuttall, Director, Division of Communication and Public Information, and UNEP Spokesperson, +254 20 7623084, nick.nuttall@unep.org

For more information, visit the 2013 COPs website: synergies.pops.int or follow the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions on Twitter @brsmeas #brscops.

 


[1]PentaBDE: Pentabromodiphenyl ether (CAS No. 32534-81-9) and pentabromodiphenyl ether commercial mixtures; OctaBDE: Octabromodiphenyl ether commercial mixtures; PFOS: Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, perfluorooctanesulfonates, perfluorooctanesulfonamides and perfluorooctanesulfonyls.

 

Ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

Geneva, Switzerland, from 28 April to 10 May 2013

Venue: Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG), 17 rue de Varembé, Geneva, Switzerland.

Highlights: The eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (BC COP-11), the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (RC COP-6), the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP-6) and the second simultaneous extraordinary meetings of the three conferences of the parties to the three conventions (ExCOPs-2) were held back-to-back from 28 April to 10 May 2013, in Geneva.

The meetings, attended by about 1,400 participants from 170 countries, as well as 80 Ministers, adopted 73 separate decisions aimed at strengthening protection against hazardous chemicals and waste.
The objectives of holding the meetings in a coordinated manner were to strengthen cooperation and collaboration between the conventions, promote a more effective and coherent decision-making on policy and enhance efficiency in the provision of support to parties, with a view to enhancing the implementation of the three conventions at the national, regional and global levels.

An omnibus decision was adopted on enhancing cooperation and coordination among the conventions. Some of the main outcomes of the decision include the review of the impact of the synergies arrangements put in place by governments in 2009, the endorsement of the organization of the Secretariat and the adoption of new joint activities for 2014-2015. 

More 

Call for information and follow up to meeting

Information requests contained in decisions taken by the eleventh meeting of the Basel Convention are now available.
Information requests contained in decisions taken by the sixth meeting of the Rotterdam Convention are now available.  
Information requests contained in decisions taken by the sixth meeting of the Stockholm Convention are now available.

Briefings/ webinars

Debriefing on the outcomes of the 2013 conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

Link to recording and FAQ

Media

Extraordinary UN Conference Takes Historic Strides to Strengthen Chemical Safety Globally

UNEP and FAO team up to promote synergies between the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions in two-week chemicals and waste meeting.

 

Extraordinary UN Conference Takes Historic Strides to Strengthen Chemical Safety Globally

Extraordinary UN Conference Takes Historic Strides to Strengthen Chemical Safety Globally

UNEP and FAO team up to promote synergies between the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions in two-week chemicals and waste meeting.

Geneva, Switzerland, 11 May 2013 – The three conventions that govern chemicals and hazardous waste safety at the global level concluded their first ever jointly held meetings of the parties late Friday night in Geneva. The historic meeting, attended by nearly two thousand participants from 170 countries, as well as 80 Ministers, adopted 50 separate decisions aimed at strengthening protection against hazardous chemicals and waste.

The three legally autonomous conventions had convened the joint meeting of the conferences of the parties to strengthen cooperation and collaboration between the conventions, with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of their activities on the ground. Each convention then continued individually over the two-week period to deal with its own specific topics of the global chemicals and waste agenda before returning in a joint session at the end of the week to finalize their outcomes.

The meeting culminated in a ministerial segment on 9 and 10 May 2013 dedicated to the theme of strengthening synergies between the conventions at national, regional and global level. The ministerial segment was joined by Swiss Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva, and Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii.  The global agency leaders pledged to deepen cooperation and collaboration as part of a broader effort to raise the profile of chemicals and waste issues, promote green growth and alleviate poverty.

At its conclusion, the joint meeting acclaimed the “Geneva Statement on the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste”. The Geneva Statement welcomed the UNEP-led consultative process on financing options for chemicals and waste that has considered the need for heightened efforts to increase the political priority accorded to sound management of chemicals and waste.

In a press conference following the ministerial segment, Mr. Steiner called the conferences of the parties “a unique historic event coming at a time of unprecedented change and progress in the arena of global environmental governance. The strengthening of UNEP and the synergies process of chemicals and waste multilateral environmental agreements are complementary parts of the ongoing reform to fortify the environmental dimension of sustainable development.”

Ms. Ishii spoke of the challenges countries face protecting the planet's critical ecosystems from contamination by hazardous chemicals and waste and of GEF support for strategies to overcome them. “At this critical juncture, the Global Environment Facility is committed to its financial support to help countries address these important challenges in three ways,” said Ms. Ishii. “Assisting them in their efforts to mainstream sound chemicals management in national agendas, creating an integrated GEF chemicals and wastes focal area, and expanding engagement with the private sector.”

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said that in many countries intensive crop production has depleted agriculture’s natural resource base, jeopardizing future productivity. “To fight hunger and eradicate poverty, we will need to find more sustainable ways to produce 60 percent more food by 2050,” he said. However, he recognized that chemical pesticides would continue to be part of farming in many parts of the world in future.

“The challenge is to enable countries to manage pesticides safely, to use the right quantity, at the right time and in the right way and also to apply alternatives to hazardous pesticides. Because when we don’t, pesticides continue to pose a serious risk to human health and the environment and will eventually end up as waste. Today, half a million tons of obsolete pesticides are scattered around the developing world,” he said.

“Around 70 percent of the chemicals addressed by the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions are pesticides, and many are used in agriculture. It is in the best interest of all countries to ensure that the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions can work together, effectively and efficiently, to address various aspects of the chemical life cycle.”

The joint meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions also reviewed the impact of the arrangements put in place by governments in 2011 to strengthen synergies among the treaties.

The parties endorsed the organization of the Secretariat, and adopted a programme of work and budget individual and for joint activities of three conventions in 2014-2015. ”The parties have agreed to strengthen capacity building and technical assistance for countries by investing the savings realized over the past two years into an enhanced technical assistance programme that better meets the needs of developing countries and countries with economies in transition” said Jim Willis, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions. “In an era of financial austerity, we have learned through synergies how to deliver more to parties while living within the economic limits faced by Governments today.”

“Much of the success of this synergies meeting is owed to the outstanding cooperation and inspired leadership of the three presidents of the conferences, Franz Perrez of Switzerland, Magdalena Balicka of Poland and Osvaldo Álvarez-Pérez of Chile,” added Mr. Willis.

The 6th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention agreed to list hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) to Annex A to the Convention with specific exemptions for expanded polystyrene and extruded polystyrene in buildings. Efforts to adopt a non-compliance mechanism, however, did not succeed in the face of continuing disagreement on how such a mechanism might function.

Basel Convention's parties, at their 11th Conference of the Parties, took decisions to strengthen compliance with the Convention. The Parties adopted a framework for the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes and other wastes, and agreed, over the next two years, to develop technical guidelines on transboundary movements of electronic and electrical wastes (e-waste).

The meeting also decided terms of reference for the newly established Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic (ENFORCE), which aims to prevent and combat illegal traffic in hazardous and other wastes through the better implementation and enforcement of national law.

The 6th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention had considered the possible addition of five chemicals and one severely hazardous pesticide formulation to Annex III of the Convention. It agreed by consensus to add the pesticide azinphos-methyl and the industrial chemicals PentaBDE, OctaBDE and PFOS to Annex III of the Convention.[1] Listing in Annex III triggers an exchange of information between Parties and helps countries make informed decisions about future import and use of the chemicals. The addition of four substances is the highest number to be added to the Convention's prior informed consent procedure by any conference of the parties since the adoption of the Convention in 1998.

In contrast, the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention did not succeed in reaching agreement on the addition of chrysotile asbestos and a severely hazardous pesticide formulation containing paraquat to the Convention. The proposal to list chrysotile asbestos and the paraquat formulation will be considered at the next Conference of the Parties in 2015.

The joint meeting hosted a three-day Regional Fair from 1 to 3 May 2013 dedicated to the theme 'Synergies through regional delivery' and attended by 20 Stockholm Convention or Basel Convention Regional Centres and two Regional Offices of UNEP. The Fair provided the venue for the signing of bi-regional and intra-regional cooperation agreements between centres in Latin America and Caribbean, and Central and Eastern European regions in the areas of technical assistance and awareness-raising and outreach.

Note to editors:

Chemicals contribute many advantages to today's world; however their use can also pose risks to human health and the environment. To reduce this harmful global impact, three conventions have been established that regulate chemicals and hazardous waste at global level:

Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal regulates the export/import of hazardous waste and waste containing hazardous chemicals. The Convention was adopted in 1989 and entered into force in 1992. It currently has 180 Parties.

Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade currently regulates information about the export/import of 47 hazardous chemicals listed in the Convention’s Annex III, 33 of which are pesticides (including 4 severely hazardous pesticide formulations) and 14 of which are industrial chemicals. The Convention was adopted in 1998 and entered into force in 2004. It currently has 152 Parties.

Unlike the Stockholm Convention, the Rotterdam Convention does not ban or restrict trade in chemicals or pesticide formulations, but serves to strengthen protection of human health and the environment by expanding the exchange of critical safety information between exporting and importing States.

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants currently regulates 23 toxic substances that are persistent, travel long distances, bioaccumulate in organisms and are toxic. The Convention was adopted in 2001 and entered into force in 2004. It currently has 179 Parties.

Contact:

Christine Fuell, Technical Senior Officer and Coordinator, Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention (FAO), Tel. +39 06 5705 3765, christine.fuell@fao.org

Michael S. Jones, Public Information Officer, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Cell +41 (0) 79 730 44 95, msjones@brsmeas.org

Nick Nuttall, Director, Division of Communication and Public Information, and UNEP Spokesperson, +254 20 7623084, nick.nuttall@unep.org

For more information, visit the 2013 COPs website: synergies.pops.int or follow the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions on Twitter @brsmeas #brscops.

 


[1]PentaBDE: Pentabromodiphenyl ether (CAS No. 32534-81-9) and pentabromodiphenyl ether commercial mixtures; OctaBDE: Octabromodiphenyl ether commercial mixtures; PFOS: Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, perfluorooctanesulfonates, perfluorooctanesulfonamides and perfluorooctanesulfonyls.

 

Global Environment Facility Premieres Documentary Film Mission: Planet De-Tox at Geneva Chemicals Conference
GEF-funded projects in Philippines, Mexico, China, Tanzania, Kenya show positive impacts of projects to clean up toxic chemicals and waste.

Global Environment Facility Premieres Documentary Film Mission: Planet De-Tox at Geneva Chemicals Conference

Global Environment Facility Premieres Documentary Film Mission: Planet De-Tox at Geneva Chemicals Conference

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 8, 2013 – The Global Environment Facility today premiered a documentary film, Mission: Planet De-Tox, now available free around the world, focusing on GEF-funded projects that address toxic chemical pollution on three continents.

GEF CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii introduced the film to an audience of several hundred delegates, observers, and guests at a special event at the Joint Conference of Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions meeting in Geneva.

“Chemicals cut across the entire earth’s ecosystem,” said Ms. Ishii. “We want the world to know that there is a way to handle this challenge.”

Directed by Patrick Fries of Arrowhead Films, Mission: Planet De-Tox takes viewers to toxic chemical project sites in Asia, Africa and Latin America that are operating with the help of GEF funding and the implementation efforts of GEF partner agencies – the World Bank, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the United Nations Development Programme. GEF Chemicals Team staffers Anil Sookdeo and Evelyn Swain travel to places where local initiative aided by international funding is making a difference. They visit:

  • General Santos City, the Philippines, where a huge, smoldering landfill emits toxic fumes. The unlined landfill, picked over by families risking their health to find valuables in the heaps of trash, is one of six in the country soon to be closed and rebuilt using environmentally sound methods.
  • Mexico City, where electrical equipment that threatens to contaminate water supplies with toxic PCBs is being taken off line, properly disposed, and replaced with modern equipment. Some 2,500 tons of PCB-laced chemicals and equipment – 10 percent of the country’s inventory – is being replaced under a GEF-funded program.
  • Morogoro, Tanzania, where a GEF-supported project is properly disposing of obsolete pesticides, including DDT, and to multiple locations elsewhere in Tanzania where GEF support is enabling the safe disposal of toxic medical waste.
  • Changzhou China, site of a pesticide factory, now demolished, that was rendered obsolete by GEF-funded efforts to develop safe and effective ways of getting rid of termites without the use of toxic chemicals that can linger in the air and water for years.
  • Nairobi and Mount Kenya, in Kenya, where new techniques are being used to control malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and where an air sampling station and a breast milk testing program, operating with GEF support, document the health threats posed by persistent organic pollutants. Data collected in Kenya feeds into the GEF/UNEP Global Monitoring Plan, which gathers data from all over the world to track hazardous chemicals.

“The film calls for action – very, very urgent action – and we need to work together to spread this message,” Ms. Ishii told the gathering.

The film is available on the GEF YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/GEFSecretariat. Groups and educational institutions interested in showing the film are encouraged to contact the GEF.

Contact:

In Geneva, Switzerland

Mr. John Diamond
Senior Communication Officer | Spokesperson
Phone +1 202 458 7953
E-mail: jdiamond@thegef.org

In Washington, DC

Mr. Christian Hofer
Senior Communication Officer
Phone: +1 202 458 0936
E-mail: chofer@thegef.org

### 

About the Global Environment Facility

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) unites 183 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Today the GEF is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment. An independently operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.

Since 1991, GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $11.5 billion in grants and leveraging $57 billion in co-financing for over 3,215 projects in over 165 countries. Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP), the GEF has also made more than 16,030 small grants directly to civil society and community based organizations, totaling $653.2 million. For more information, visit www.thegef.org.

Stay Connected

www.thegef.org/gef/gefrss

Global Environment Facility Launches e-Magazine App
Interactive app adds sizzle to the 2013 COPs.

Global Environment Facility Launches e-Magazine App

Global Environment Facility Launches e-Magazine App

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has released its newly redesigned newsletter “The Greenline” as an online app. The app is available free in the Apple iTunes app store.

Compared to the original newsletter the new Greenline app offers an interactive reading and viewing experience featuring full-screen video clips and photo galleries, instant page-turns, and sharing opportunities.

With The Greenline app installed, users will be notified when a new issue is released. GEF is also developing a version compatible for other tablets. The Greenline will continue to be available online at www.thegef.org in HTML format.

The first issue focusing on Chemicals is already available on the GEF website.

The GEF released the Greenline app at the back-to-back meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, in Geneva, Switzerland, on 1 May 2013.

Invitation to Press Conference & Media Event

Geneva International Conference Centre, Room 3, Geneva, 27 April 2013 at 11:00 a.m.

 

Invitation to Press Conference & Media Event

Invitation to Press Conference & Media Event

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions to hold ‘sustainable synergies’ meetings aimed at solidifying collaboration among the leading global chemicals and waste agreements

Geneva International Conference Centre / Centre International de Conferences Genève, Room 3, Geneva, 27 April 2013 at 11:00 a.m.

Swiss Ambassador Franz Perrez and Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention Executive Secretary Jim Willis to brief media on the eve of the conference.

The three conventions that govern chemicals and hazardous waste safety at the global level will, for the first time, convene jointly in an historic back-to-back meeting of the parties in Geneva from 28 April to 10 May 2013. Nearly two thousand participants from more than 160 countries will attend the two-week long meeting.

The three legally autonomous conventions will begin by convening joint meetings of the conferences of the parties to strengthen cooperation and collaboration between the conventions, with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of their activities on the ground. Each convention will then continue individually to deal with its own specific topics over the two-week period.

The meetings will culminate in a ministerial segment on 9 and 10 May 2013 dedicated to the theme of strengthening synergies between the conventions at national, regional and global level. The ministerial segment will be opened with scheduled remarks by Swiss Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, UN Under-Secretary General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva, and Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii. Over 80 Ministers and Deputy Ministers are scheduled to attend.

Journalists may notify of their intention to attend the 27 April 2013 press conference by emailing elisabeth.maret@bafu.admin.ch.
Media accreditation requirements for the conference may be accessed at http://synergies.pops.int/?tabid=3136.

For more information, visit http://synergies.pops.int, or contact:

Elisabeth Maret, Information Officer, Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Tel. +41 (0)31 323 28 69, elisabeth.maret@bafu.admin.ch

Michael S. Jones, Public Information Officer, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mobile tel. +41 (0) 79 730 44 95, michael.jones@brsmeas.org

 

UN chemicals and waste conventions convene exceptional joint meetings

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions to hold ‘sustainable synergies’ meetings aimed at solidifying collaboration among the three legally autonomous global agreements.

 

UN chemicals and waste conventions convene exceptional joint meetings

UN chemicals and waste conventions convene exceptional joint meetings

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions to hold ‘sustainable synergies’ meetings aimed at solidifying collaboration among the three legally autonomous global agreements.

Geneva, Switzerland, 15 April 2013 – The three conventions that govern chemicals and hazardous waste safety at the global level will, for the first time, convene jointly in an historic back-to-back meeting of the parties in Geneva from 28 April to 10 May 2013. Nearly two thousand participants from more than 160 countries will attend the two-week long meeting.

The three legally autonomous conventions will begin by convening joint meetings of the conferences of the parties to strengthen cooperation and collaboration between the conventions, with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of their activities on the ground. Each convention will then continue individually to deal with its own specific topics over the two-week period.

The meetings will culminate in a ministerial segment on 9 and 10 May 2013 dedicated to the theme of strengthening synergies between the conventions at national, regional and global level.  The ministerial segment will be opened with scheduled remarks by Swiss Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, UN Under-Secretary General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva, and Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii.  Over 80 Ministers and Deputy Ministers are scheduled to attend.

The joint meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, opening on 28 April 2013, will review of the impact of the arrangements put in place by governments in 2011 to strengthen synergies among the treaties. The parties will also consider whether to make further modifications to the organization of the Secretariat, the programme of work and budget for joint activities of three conventions in 2014-2015, and a proposal for financing chemicals and waste related activities.  There will also be joint discussions related to compliance, technical assistance and financing, reporting and POPs-containing waste.

The sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention will consider the possible addition of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) to Annex A to the Convention with specific exemptions for expanded polystyrene and extruded polystyrene in buildings. It also will work to adopt a non-compliance mechanism.

The sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention will consider the possible addition of five chemicals and one severely hazardous pesticide formulation to Annex III of the Convention1. The conference will also work to adopt a non-compliance mechanism.

The eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention will follow-up to the Indonesian-Swiss country-led initiative (CLI) on how to improve the effectiveness of the Convention and consider the possible adoption of a framework for the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes and other wastes, as well as the possible adoption of technical guidelines on transboundary movements of electronic and electrical wastes (e-waste).

For more information, see also the 2013 COPs website: synergies.pops.int.

Follow the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions on Twitter @brsmeas.

Note to editors:

Chemicals contribute many advantages to today's world; however their use can also pose risks to human health and the environment. To reduce this harmful global impact, three conventions have been established that regulate chemicals and hazardous waste at global level:

Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal regulates the export/import of hazardous waste and waste containing hazardous chemicals. The Convention was adopted in 1989 and entered into force in 1992. It currently has 180 Parties.

Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade currently regulates information about the export/import of 43 hazardous chemicals listed in the Convention’s Annex III, 32 of which are pesticides (including 4 severely hazardous pesticide formulations) and 11 of which are industrial chemicals. The Convention was adopted in 1998 and entered into force in 2004. It currently has 152 Parties.

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants currently regulates 22 toxic substances that are persistent, travel long distances, bioaccumulate in organisms and are toxic. The Convention was adopted in 2001 and entered into force in 2004. It currently has 179 Parties.

For media inquiries, contact:

Mr. Michael S. Jones, Public Information Officer, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mobile +41 (0) 79 730 44 95, msjones@pic.int, SkypeID: mstanleyjones

For information on the ministerial segment, contact:

Ms. Laura Meszaros, Programme Officer, Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Tel. +41 (22) 917 87 40, lmeszaros@pic.int

Download this press release in French


The five chemicals and the formulation proposed for listing are: Azinphos-methyl; PentaBDE: Pentabromodiphenyl ether (CAS No. 32534-81-9) and pentabromodiphenyl ether commercial mixtures; OctaBDE: Octabromodiphenyl ether commercial mixtures; PFOS: Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, perfluorooctanesulfonates, perfluorooctanesulfonamides and perfluorooctanesulfonyls; Chrysotile asbestos; and  Paraquat: Liquid formulations (emulsifiable concentrate and soluble concentrate) containing paraquat dichloride at or above 276 g/L,corresponding to paraquat ion at or above 200 g/L.

2013 COPs & ExCOPs Photo Gallery

 2013 COPs & ExCOPs

2013 COPs and ExCOPs

Geneva, Switzerland

28 April – 10 May 2013 

Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9 Day 10, Day 11, Day 12

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Report of the meeting
  Arabic Chinese English French Russian Spanish
Report of the meeting
 
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Tentative schedule of work for the ordinary and simultaneous extraordinary meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions
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Registration Form491.69 K 492.15 K 491.76 K
Registration Form for Observers628.7 K  

 
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“Geneva Statement on the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste” - Submission by the co-facilitators of the informal consultations on a ministerial declaration32 K 46.41 K 29.5 K 138.27 K 30 K 12.73 K 30.5 K 13.98 K 35.5 K 82.97 K 30.5 K 13.92 K

 
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UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.2/4Report of the second simultaneous extraordinary meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions538.5 K 340.77 K 411.5 K 403.84 K 308.5 K 275.54 K 770 K 351.99 K 712 K 654.54 K 1.8 MB 389.12 K

 
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UNEP/CHW.11/24Report of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal on the work of its eleventh meeting2.77 MB 2.51 MB 2.49 MB 2.41 MB 1.93 MB 1.99 MB 3.73 MB 2.22 MB 2.48 MB 2.33 MB 2.41 MB 722.18 K

 
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Key messages emerging from the ministerial round table discussions48 K 69.91 K 34.5 K 191.79 K 40 K 25.42 K 43 K 28.81 K 56 K 68.22 K 41 K 27.36 K