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Latest BRS Newsletter is out and available online
Click here for COVID-19 medical waste news and guidance, along with other developments related to the sound management of chemicals and waste.

Latest BRS Newsletter is out and available online

Latest BRS Newsletter is out and available online
 
Deadline approaching for applications to the new Small Grants Programme on plastic waste
Applications are invited from Basel and Stockholm convention Regional Centres until 15 July 2020.

Deadline approaching for applications to the new Small Grants Programme on plastic waste

Deadline approaching for applications to the new Small Grants Programme on plastic waste
 
Basel Convention’s COP Bureau meets online
Preparations for the 2021 Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP-15) are discussed by the Basel Convention’s COP Bureau, during their online meeting on 25-26 June 2020.

Basel Convention’s COP Bureau meets online

Basel Convention’s COP Bureau meets online
 
Key waste management meeting goes ahead as international community focusses on implementation matters
The 14th meeting of the Basel Convention’s Implementation and Compliance Committee, online from 29 June to 3 July, will initiate its work with the consideration of 8 specific submissions from Parties.

Key waste management meeting goes ahead as international community focusses on implementation matters

Key waste management meeting goes ahead as international community focusses on implementation matters
 
Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group meeting (OEWG-12) postponed
Following feedback from regions, the OEWG meeting will not be held on 22 to 25 June 2020. Further consultations to take place on options for rescheduling.

Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group meeting (OEWG-12) postponed

Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group meeting (OEWG-12) postponed
 
Basel, Rotterdam & Stockholm conventions described as environmental governance “Hits of 2019” by IISD
Read the Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s review “State of Global Environmental Governance 2019” published recently by the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Basel, Rotterdam & Stockholm conventions described as environmental governance “Hits of 2019” by IISD

Basel, Rotterdam & Stockholm conventions described as environmental governance “Hits of 2019” by IISD
 
Final call for Parties to submit their feedback to the Needs Assessment Questionnaires, responses still possible until 15 June 2020
Questionnaires have been distributed to Parties in order to gauge technical assistance needs and gather offers of technology transfer, to assist implementation of the three conventions.

Final call for Parties to submit their feedback to the Needs Assessment Questionnaires, responses still possible until 15 June 2020

Final call for Parties to submit their feedback to the Needs Assessment Questionnaires, responses still possible until 15 June 2020
 
Now online: Frequently-Asked-Questions on the Basel Convention Plastic Waste Amendments
Adopted by Parties one year ago in May 2019, the Amendments become effective on 1 January 2021. Learn all you need to know by consulting the Secretariat’s FAQ, newly online.

Now online: Frequently-Asked-Questions on the Basel Convention Plastic Waste Amendments

Now online: Frequently-Asked-Questions on the Basel Convention Plastic Waste Amendments
 
Children! Parents! Join Earth School for a different take on home-schooling!
The UNEP/TED-ed initiative has attracted millions of children worldwide since launching in April. Join the Plastics Quest, live from Monday 18 May, brought into your home by the BRS Secretariat and partners.

Children! Parents! Join Earth School for a different take on home-schooling!

Children! Parents! Join Earth School for a different take on home-schooling!
 
Sustainability after COVID-19: The medical waste response
BRS Executive Secretary joins UNEP, WHO, UNEP and others in a webinar on 19 May to discuss necessary responses to increased medical waste in light of the COVID-19 emergency.

Sustainability after COVID-19: The medical waste response

Sustainability after COVID-19: The medical waste response
 
Communication regarding COVID-19 and upcoming BRS meetings <span class="attentionNote">(Updated 11 June 2020)</span>
 

Communication regarding COVID-19 and upcoming BRS meetings (Updated 11 June 2020)

Communication regarding COVID-19 and upcoming BRS meetings <span class="attentionNote">(Updated 11 June 2020)</span>
 
COVID19: Factsheet on Environmentally Sound Management of Medical Waste available online
Download the Basel Convention’s guidance document on how to manage medical waste in the most sustainable manner.

COVID19: Factsheet on Environmentally Sound Management of Medical Waste available online

COVID19: Factsheet on Environmentally Sound Management of Medical Waste available online
 
Documents and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group meeting now available online
Working documents in all 6 official UN languages, an overview of working modalities, and useful FAQs are all online in advance of OEQG-12, which takes place online from 22 to 25 June 2020.

Documents and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group meeting now available online

Documents and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group meeting now available online
 
New Small Grant Programme launched to improve plastic waste management at municipal, national and regional levels
The BRS Secretariat is pleased to announce, thanks to generous funding from Norway, the opening of the new Small Grant Programme on Plastic Waste, open to applications from Basel and Stockholm Convention regional centres until 15 July 2020.

New Small Grant Programme launched to improve plastic waste management at municipal, national and regional levels

New Small Grant Programme launched to improve plastic waste management at municipal, national and regional levels
 
Opportunities published for supporting global work towards the sound management of chemicals & waste
Now available online: Overview of concept notes for voluntary contributions for implementing the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm conventions, as approved by COPs in 2019.

Opportunities published for supporting global work towards the sound management of chemicals & waste

Opportunities published for supporting global work towards the sound management of chemicals & waste
 
Save the date:  Dates and venue for the 2021 BRS COPs
The Basel Convention’s COP-15, the Rotterdam Convention’s COP-10 and the Stockholm Convention’s COP-10 will be held back-to-back in Geneva, Switzerland, from 19 to 30 July 2021.

Save the date: Dates and venue for the 2021 BRS COPs

Save the date:  Dates and venue for the 2021 BRS COPs
 
On lock-down or working from home? Why not learn about electronic waste?
The UN Massive Open Online Course on E-waste is open to all: join the webinar to find out if its for you.

On lock-down or working from home? Why not learn about electronic waste?

On lock-down or working from home? Why not learn about electronic waste?
 
Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments enter into force
The ground-breaking decision by Parties to clarify which types of plastic waste are included in the Convention’s legally-binding regulatory system entered into force on 24 March 2020.

Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments enter into force

Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments enter into force
 
New BRS Technical Series of Guidance Manuals now available online in the 6 UN languages
The new Technical Series from the BRS Secretariat opens with four key publications on national reporting, national reporting best practices, legal frameworks, and illegal traffic.

New BRS Technical Series of Guidance Manuals now available online in the 6 UN languages

New BRS Technical Series of Guidance Manuals now available online in the 6 UN languages
 
BRS Secretariat urges sound management of medical and household waste as part of COVID-19 response
Read the Secretariat’s Press Release on the need to prioritise waste management during the COVID-19 outbreak.

BRS Secretariat urges sound management of medical and household waste as part of COVID-19 response

BRS Secretariat urges sound management of medical and household waste as part of COVID-19 response

Geneva, 20 March 2020 - With the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continuing to spread and its impacts upon human health and the economy intensifying day-by-day, governments are urged to treat waste management, including of medical, household and other hazardous waste, as an urgent and essential public service in order to minimise possible secondary impacts upon health and the environment.

During such an outbreak, many types of additional medical and hazardous waste are generated, including infected masks, gloves and other protective equipment, together with a higher volume of non-infected items of the same nature. Unsound management of this waste could cause unforeseen “knock-on” effects on human health and the environment. The safe handling, and final disposal of this waste is therefore a vital element in an effective emergency response.

Effective management of biomedical and health-care waste requires appropriate identification, collection, separation, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal, as well as important associated aspects including disinfection, personnel protection and training. The UN Basel Convention’s Technical Guidelines on the Environmentally Sound Management of Biomedical and Healthcare Wastes, includes information and practical aspects of waste management useful for authorities seeking to minimise hazards to human health and the environment.

Further resources on the safe handling and final disposal of medical wastes can be found on the website of the Basel Convention’s Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific, in Beijing, which lists a series of guidance documents and best practices at: http://bcrc.tsinghua.edu.cn/en/col/1257152450718/index.html

The safe management of household waste is also likely to be critical during the COVID-19 emergency. Medical waste such as contaminated masks, gloves, used or expired medicines, and other items can easily become mixed with domestic garbage, but should be treated as hazardous waste and disposed of separately. These should be separately stored from other household waste streams and collected by specialist municipality or waste management operators. Guidelines on the specificities of recycling or disposing of such waste is given in detail in the Basel Convention’s Factsheet on Healthcare or Medical Waste, at: http://www.basel.int/?tabid=5839

Parties to the Basel Convention are currently working on a guidance document for soundly managing household waste and whilst not yet finalized, an initial draft may be consulted for provisional guidance: http://www.basel.int/?tabid=8227

The BRS Executive Secretary, Rolph Payet, stated that “All branches of society are coming together to collectively beat the virus and to minimize the human and economic impact of COVID-19 across the world. In tackling this enormous and unprecedented challenge, I urge decision-makers at every level: international, nationally, and at municipal, city and district levels, to make every effort to ensure that waste management, including that from medical and household sources, is given the attention - indeed priority - it requires in order to ensure the minimization of impacts upon human health and the environment from these potentially hazardous waste streams.”

Notes for Editors:

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the most comprehensive international environmental agreement on hazardous and other wastes and is almost universal, with 187 Parties. With an overarching objective of protecting human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes, its scope covers a wide range of wastes defined as hazardous based on their origin and/or composition and characteristics, as well as two types of waste defined as “other wastes”, namely household waste and incinerator ash. For more info see: www.basel.int

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, or BRS Secretariat, services the three leading multilateral environment agreements governing hazardous chemicals and waste, in order to protect human health and the environment. See www.brsmeas.org for more info and follow the @brsmeas twitter feed for daily news.

For BRS conventions general media enquiries see: www.brsmeas.org or contact:

Charlie AVIS,
BRS Public Information Officer,
Geneva +41-79-730-4495

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