All activities

 Impact of COVID-19 on BRS meetings <span class="attentionNote">(Updated 24 November 2020)</span>
 

Impact of COVID-19 on BRS meetings (Updated 24 November 2020)

 Impact of COVID-19 on BRS meetings <span class="attentionNote">(Updated 24 November 2020)</span>
 
Join the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues, online, starting 26 November 2020
Organised by GEN with the BRS Secretariat and a host of other partners, the first of the series focuses on plastic waste.

Join the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues, online, starting 26 November 2020

Join the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues, online, starting 26 November 2020
 
The World Customs Organisation joins the Basel Convention’s Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic - or ENFORCE
BRS looks forward to deepening cooperation with WCO and with customs administrations, to better prevent and combat illegal traffic of hazardous waste.

The World Customs Organisation joins the Basel Convention’s Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic - or ENFORCE

The World Customs Organisation joins the Basel Convention’s Environmental Network for Optimizing Regulatory Compliance on Illegal Traffic - or ENFORCE
 
Basel Convention national reporting for 2019 now possible through the electronic reporting system
Focal points are invited to complete and submit the national report through the electronic reporting system, by 31 December 2020.

Basel Convention national reporting for 2019 now possible through the electronic reporting system

Basel Convention national reporting for 2019 now possible through the electronic reporting system
 
Webinar to outline the selected projects of the new Small Grants Programme on plastic waste
Learn about the 7 projects selected for funding from the first call for proposals, by joining this webinar on 12 November at 1400 .

Webinar to outline the selected projects of the new Small Grants Programme on plastic waste

Webinar to outline the selected projects of the new Small Grants Programme on plastic waste
 
The face-to-face segment of the 12th meeting of the Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group is postponed
Originally scheduled to be staged back-to-back with the 5th UN Environment Assembly, OEWG-12 is now postponed until further notice. The meeting report of the online segment is now available.

The face-to-face segment of the 12th meeting of the Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group is postponed

The face-to-face segment of the 12th meeting of the Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group is postponed
 
Interested in the recycling of electronic waste? Then join one of two BRS webinars on 21 & 29 October, 2020
The webinars build on the recent International E-Waste Day, and offer an introduction for those interested in enrolling in the popular Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on E-waste.

Interested in the recycling of electronic waste? Then join one of two BRS webinars on 21 & 29 October, 2020

Interested in the recycling of electronic waste? Then join one of two BRS webinars on 21 & 29 October, 2020
 
Theme for the 2021 Triple COPs announced: Global Agreements for a Healthy Planet
The Theme for the next meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, and the associated High-Level Segment, from 19 to 31 July 2021, is “Global Agreements for a Healthy Planet; Sound Management of Chemicals & Waste”.

Theme for the 2021 Triple COPs announced: Global Agreements for a Healthy Planet

Theme for the 2021 Triple COPs announced: Global Agreements for a Healthy Planet
 
International E-Waste Day marked around the world
The BRS Secretariat is proud to support and publicise this day, organised by the WEEE Forum, which aims to draw attention to the growing environmental & health challenges posed by electrical and electronic waste.

International E-Waste Day marked around the world

International E-Waste Day marked around the world
 
Sound management of chemicals and waste a prerequisite for turning the tide on biodiversity loss
Joint press release from the BRS and Minamata convention secretariats on the occasion of the UN Summit on Biodiversity.

Sound management of chemicals and waste a prerequisite for turning the tide on biodiversity loss

Sound management of chemicals and waste a prerequisite for turning the tide on biodiversity loss

Geneva, Switzerland; 30 September 2020 - All eyes are on biodiversity today, as the UN Summit on Biodiversity brings together the international community in the name of stemming the tide of biodiversity loss worldwide. With biodiversity loss occurring at an unprecedented rate, we are called upon to recognise not only our common global duty to halt the destruction of our natural world, but also to act where we are, and where we can, to safeguard and restore the life-supporting functions of our Planet.

The Basel (1989), Rotterdam (1998), Stockholm (2001), and Minamata (2013) Conventions were agreed in order to manage and reduce the harmful impacts of hazardous chemicals and wastes on the environment and on human health. While focused on chemicals and wastes management, each of these Conventions also decidedly contributes to the overall protection of biological diversity and the range of goods and services provided by our Planet’s ecosystems.

Pollution is widely accepted as one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss. Pollution might be experienced as plastics or pesticides choking life in our rivers and oceans, or as industrial chemicals such as PCBs and PFOS, taken up by living organisms and accumulating up the food-chain, causing multiple damages such as endocrine disruption and neurotoxicity, or as wastes dumping or open burning, poisoning our soils, freshwater and air, or as mercury dramatically affecting the health of small-scale gold miners. Common to each of these examples of unsustainable use of chemicals and wastes, is the almost irreparable damage done to the ecosystems and to Nature’s ability to thrive and to contribute to the well-being of people. 

As independent and  legally binding instruments, the four Conventions provide for specific means to achieve their respective objectives, including by setting obligations for their respective Parties to control or reduce harm to human health and the environment stemming from the production, use, trade and disposal of the covered chemicals and wastes. Since they contribute to a greater whole, their full implementation makes a significant, and vital contribution to the protection of the environment and biodiversity, and overall, to the health and well-being of people.

As a contribution to efforts to protect biodiversity, the secretariats of the four conventions have joined forces to develop an exploratory study highlighting the pollutants regulated by the four Conventions and their impacts on biodiversity. Based on existing scientific knowledge, the sound management of these pollutants under our Conventions will undoubtedly result in improvements to the state of biodiversity. The study will be launched at the 5th Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, convening in 2021, in the run-up to the Conferences of the Parties of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (July 2021), the Conference of the Parties of the Minamata Convention (November 2021), as well as the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity convening to adopt the Global Biodiversity Framework, in late 2021.

For further information on the work of the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions: www.brsmeas.org

Contact: Katarina Magulova (tel: +41-22-9178170; email: Katarina.magulova@brsmeas.org )

For further information on the work of the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention: www.mercuryconvention.org

Contact person: Claudia ten Have, Senior Policy and Coordination Officer (tel: +41-22-9178638; email: claudia.tenhave@un.org )

New report highlights dangers to health and the environment from toxic chemicals found in some types of plastic
Efforts towards building a circular economy might be compromised by chemical additives in certain plastics, a study by the Stockholm Convention’s Regional Centre for the Mediterranean, IPEN, UNEP and the BRS Secretariat finds.

New report highlights dangers to health and the environment from toxic chemicals found in some types of plastic

New report highlights dangers to health and the environment from toxic chemicals found in some types of plastic
 
Funding available for actions on plastic waste, deadline 31 October 2020
The Second Round of funding of the Basel Convention’s Small Grants Programme, generously funded by the Norwegian NORAD agency, is now open.

Funding available for actions on plastic waste, deadline 31 October 2020

Funding available for actions on plastic waste, deadline 31 October 2020
 
Twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (online segment): Meeting report now available
The English advance version of the report of the twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (online segment), held on 1-3 September 2020, is now available.

Twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (online segment): Meeting report now available

Twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (online segment): Meeting report now available
 
Global agreements for a healthy planet: 9 MEAs work together to address illegal traffic
Representatives from the Barcelona Convention, CITES, Climate Change Convention, Convention on Biological Diversity, Minamata Convention, Montreal Protocol, and the Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, join the Basel Convention’s Implementation and Compliance Committee online to discuss ways to better prevent and combat illegal traffic.

Global agreements for a healthy planet: 9 MEAs work together to address illegal traffic

Global agreements for a healthy planet: 9 MEAs work together to address illegal traffic
 
Plastic Waste: Your photo could make a difference
Back to school, back to university, back to the office? Snap the plastic waste you encounter and you could win the Plastic Waste Partnership’s photo contest, deadline 30 September.

Plastic Waste: Your photo could make a difference

Plastic Waste: Your photo could make a difference
 
Press Release: Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group meeting (online segment) concludes successfully
More than 600 experts from more than 100 countries participate at online segment of OEWG-12.

Press Release: Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group meeting (online segment) concludes successfully

Press Release: Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group meeting (online segment) concludes successfully

Geneva, 3 September 2020 - With the quantity of hazardous waste entering the environment very likely to be increasing due to the worldwide COVID19 pandemic, and an estimated 1000 million tonnes of plastic waste entering landfills or the environment by 2050, more than 600 participants from more than 120 countries came together online this week to discuss ways to minimise, and soundly manage, hazardous and other waste covered by the UN Basel Convention across the world.

The meeting, of a subsidiary body to the UN Basel Convention known as the Open-ended Working Group, was convened by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions (BRS Secretariat) and took place online, with a follow-up face-to-face segment of the meeting also planned back-to-back with the next UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, in March 2021*.

The Basel Convention, which has almost universal coverage with 188 Parties, is the most comprehensive legally-binding multilateral environment agreement governing transboundary movements of hazardous and other waste. Waste streams included in this legal framework include electronic waste, plastic waste, and medical waste.

Key outcomes from the meeting included updates and inputs from Parties and Observers into a range of technical, strategic and legal work including the various products of the intersessional processes (draft reports, manuals, technical guidelines, guidance & recommendations). Finalised intersessional products will be considered at the face-to-face segment of the meeting mentioned above, and the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention scheduled for Geneva in July 2021.

“Despite the massive challenges society faces now not just from climate change but also from COVID-19, global environmental governance with respect to sound management of waste is alive and well. Perhaps never before has the importance of multilateral agreements and concerted, coordinated, globally agreed actions towards a healthy planet been so pressing and so visible. I’m proud of the steps the Basel Convention’s 188 Parties took this week and look forward to working with them to secure a healthier and safe environment for all” commented the Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention.

On plastic waste specifically, Payet went on to add “I applaud the efforts of countries that are tackling the challenge of plastic wastes heads on, for instance by legislating accordingly, I applaud also all stakeholders that support countries in their efforts, and I urge responsible behaviour by producers, traders and consumers alike. So I renew my call for all Parties to the Convention to uphold their commitment and continue to further strengthen efforts to reduce single use plastics, to ensure plastics enter into appropriate recycling systems and avoid dumping into the environment, in particular in developing country Parties.’

Notes editors:

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the most comprehensive international environment treaty on hazardous and other wastes and is almost universal, with 188 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 residues arising from the incineration of household wastes ash. For more info see www.basel.int

The Basel Convention offers avenues for all States to take collective action towards minimising plastic waste generation at source and promoting environmentally sound management. The last meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP), 29 April to 10 May 2019 in Geneva, in addition to its decision to amend the Annexes to the Convention as they relate to plastic wastes[1] which become effective on 1 January 2021; decided upon a range of further actions to better address plastic wastes,[2] including the establishment of a new Partnership on Plastic Waste. More on plastic waste here:

http://www.basel.int/Implementation/MarinePlasticLitterandMicroplastics/Overview/tabid/6068/Default.aspx

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, or BRS Secretariat, supports Parties implement the three leading multilateral environment agreements governing 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.

Media enquiries, interviews, more information, contact:

Charlie Avis: Public Information Officer, BRS Secretariat

Charles.avis@brsmeas.org Tel: +41-79-7304495



* Subject to the availability of resources and a positive development of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation

The Basel Convention now has 188 Parties as Tuvalu accedes
Tuvalu has deposited its instrument of accession with the UN, entering into force on 19 November 2020.

The Basel Convention now has 188 Parties as Tuvalu accedes

The Basel Convention now has 188 Parties as Tuvalu accedes
 
All you need to know about the Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group meeting (OEWG-12) online segment, 1 to 3 September 2020
The OEWG-12 online segment takes place on 1 and 3 September 2020. For more details, including working documents in the 6 UN languages, see the tentative schedule of work.

All you need to know about the Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group meeting (OEWG-12) online segment, 1 to 3 September 2020

All you need to know about the Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group meeting (OEWG-12) online segment, 1 to 3 September 2020
 
Information sessions on the Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments
A series of information sessions will introduce participants to the Plastic Waste Amendments adopted at the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention that will become effective on 1 January 2021.

Information sessions on the Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments

Information sessions on the Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments
 
Preparations for Basel Convention COP-15 underway: Bureau meeting report now available
The Bureau of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention met online, 25-26 June 2020, to discuss preparations for COP-15 in 2021. The report of that meeting is now available online.

Preparations for Basel Convention COP-15 underway: Bureau meeting report now available

Preparations for Basel Convention COP-15 underway: Bureau meeting report now available
 
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