The Secretariat is following closely the development of public and private partnerships on hazardous waste related issues and seeks to expand its involvement in partnerships led by other international organizations and initiatives with the aim of promoting the guidelines and tools developed under the Basel Convention, so as to raise awareness and increase the visibility of the Convention and to mobilize resources for its implementation.
The Secretariat has joined the following partnerships and initiatives to further strengthen cooperation with respect to hazardous waste related issues:
The overall goal of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership is to protect human health and the global environment from the release of mercury and its compounds by minimizing and, where feasible, ultimately eliminating global, anthropogenic mercury releases to air, water and land. The Partnership currently has eight identified partnership areas that are reflective of the major source categories.
The Secretariat contributes to the Partnership activities by providing information and expertise to the Advisory Group and three partnership areas, i.e. mercury waste management; mercury supply and storage; and mercury reduction in products.
PCB Elimination Network (PEN)
Parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are obliged to eliminate equipment and oils containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from use by 2025 and bring these under environmentally sound waste management by 2028. The objective of the PEN is to promote and encourage the environmentally sound management of PCBs with a view to attaining the goals of the Stockholm Convention. Several thematic groups were established to facilitate information exchange, foster cooperation and collaboration between members and promote environmentally sound management practices and destruction techniques.
The PEN is administered by UNEP DTIE Chemicals Branch. The Secretariat is a member of the Advisory Committee that meets annually to review the activities undertaken by the PEN and to establish the direction for future work of the Partnership.
UNEP Global Partnership on Waste Management (GPWM)
The GPWM is an open-ended, voluntary and collaborative relationship between various international stakeholders, in which all participants agree to work together to coordinate activities on waste management in a systematic way. The Partnership supports the development of work plans to facilitate the implementation of integrated waste management at national and local levels to overcome environmental, public health, social and economic issues inflicted by waste and its impact.
UNEP launched the GPWM in 2010. The UNEP International Environmental Technology Center (IETC) hosts the secretariat of the GPWM. Under this platform, the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is member of the partnership steering committee and focuses on e-waste related issues.
Solving the E-Waste Problem Initiative (StEP)
The aim of the partnership is to develop strategies to solve the e-waste problem. The initiative is coordinated by the United Nations University (UNU). Together with members from industry, governments, international organizations, NGOs and the science sector, the initiative develops and facilitates approaches towards the sustainable handling of e-waste. In five Task Forces, feasible, just and environmentally safe solutions for the e-waste problem are developed through analysis, planning and pilot projects.
The Secretariat cooperates with StEP to coordinate activities and to make use of synergies with the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE) under the Basel Convention. The Secretariat signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UNU in September 2008 to strengthen cooperation on policy and projects related to end-of-life computing equipment.
Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development
The Partnership on Measuring Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development is a multi-stakeholder initiative to build capacity for the collection and dissemination of internationally comparable ICT statistics. Its overall goal is to help produce more and better statistical information in the area of ICTs, which will allow governments and other stakeholders to make informed policy decisions for using ICTs as a tool for social and economic development. Members of the partnership are ITU, UNCTAD, World Bank, UNESCO, Eurostat, OECD, UN-ECLAC, UN-DESA and others.
The Secretariat joined the Partnership in July 2012 and leads a Task Group on Measuring E-waste. The objective of the Task Group is to develop a framework for monitoring e-waste based on internationally defined indicators.
International ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) initiative
This initiative is coordinated by the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Central America and Mexico and is supported by an International Advisory Committee (IAC). The activities of the initiative include classification of legal and procedural issues at the national level; capacity development in dealing with the destruction of ozone-depleting substances and POPs; and disposal operations for ozone-depleting substances, POPs wastes and other hazardous chemicals by a joint management and disposal approach.
The Secretariat has an advisory role in the IAC and promotes good practices and lessons learned in different regions in cooperation with Basel Convention regional and coordinating centres.
Green lead initiative
The International Lead Management Centre coordinates the regional project related activities of the Green Lead Initiative. The initiative builds, among other things, on the successful strategy development and implementation on Used Lead Acid Batteries (ULAB) management in Central America and seeks dissemination of lessons learned and good practice in other regions.
The Secretariat facilitates the promotion of the initiative in different regions by coordinating with the Basel Convention regional and coordinating centres. BCRCs are requested to engage in the work of this programme, as appropriate, and to develop respective multi-stakeholder ULAB partnerships for their regions to assist in undertaking capacity-building efforts.
Global Expanded Water Monitoring Initiative (GEMI)
GEMI is an inter-agency partnership led by UN Habitat, UNEP and WHO, implemented under the umbrella of UN Water. It aims to enlarge and complement existing water monitoring efforts to provide the necessary feasibility and measurability of targets under a global water target goal and align data collection and reporting on water issues with a view to filling gaps in the existing monitoring framework. GEMI aims at bringing together a wealth of water monitoring initiatives worldwide. The Initiative offers opportunities to link water monitoring activities under the Stockholm Convention’s Global Monitoring Plan for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in a larger framework, benefit from and contribute to a global infrastructure for water monitoring. A number of tools are available under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions that could support the activities under GEMI relevant to wastewater monitoring and inventory (Toolkit for unintentionally produced POPs, Guidance for inventory and remediation of contaminated sites, etc.). Hotspot identification under GEMI could bring additional useful information and data relevant to the Stockholm Convention for the development of inventories of chemicals listed under the Convention, and to the Basel Convention as they relate to waste streams to be controlled and to disposal operations including illegal/improper dumping of hazardous wastes which lead to release into water bodies.