All activities

Join the INPLASTICS webinar series on understanding the circular economy for chemicals in plastics
Webinars are set for 5 and 13 May 2022, respectively covering textiles and bioplastics. The INPLASTICS project is part of the NORAD-funded Small Grants Programme.

Join the INPLASTICS webinar series on understanding the circular economy for chemicals in plastics

Join the INPLASTICS webinar series on understanding the circular economy for chemicals in plastics
 
The Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund pledges 30 million NOK to support the BRS Conventions handling plastic waste in developing countries
The BRS Conventions Executive Secretary, Rolph Payet, visited Norway to sign the agreement with the Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund acting CEO, Eirik Oland.

The Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund pledges 30 million NOK to support the BRS Conventions handling plastic waste in developing countries

The Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund pledges 30 million NOK to support the BRS Conventions handling plastic waste in developing countries
 
Inspirational success stories from the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
A selection of case studies where projects implemented by the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions have led to successful outcomes for human health and the environment.

Inspirational success stories from the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Inspirational success stories from the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
 
Basel Convention delegates convene in Nairobi to address the adverse effects of hazardous wastes
The face-to-face segment of the twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG-12) took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 4 to 6 April 2022, as a prelude to the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) that will be held in Geneva on 6-17 June 2022.

Basel Convention delegates convene in Nairobi to address the adverse effects of hazardous wastes

Basel Convention delegates convene in Nairobi to address the adverse effects of hazardous wastes

The face-to-face segment of the twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (OEWG-12) took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 4 to 6 April 2022, as a prelude to the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15), to be held in Geneva on 6-17 June 2022.

The OEWG-12 meeting was held on the heels of the Fifth United Nations Environment Assembly, where a historic agreement was reached to begin negotiations for a global legally binding treaty on plastic pollution. Currently, the Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments is the only global treaty that legally binds 189 countries to address the negative impacts of plastic wastes on human health and the environment.

Apart from plastic wastes, the OEWG-12 agenda included issues pertaining to persistent organic pollutants (POPs), lead-acid batteries, and wastes containing mercury compounds. All items were discussed on the basis of four areas: strategic; scientific and technical; legal, governance and enforcement; and international cooperation and coordination.

Specific outcomes included:

  • The adoption of the revised terms of reference and programme of work for the biennium 2020-2021 for the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE). This decision was combined with a recommendation to the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (Basel Convention COP-15) to adopt the proposed work programme for the biennium 2022-2023.
  • Agreement on recommending that Basel Convention COP-15 updates the technical guidelines for the environmentally sound management of waste lead-acid batteries.
  • Agreement on recommending for adoption by Basel COP-15:
    • Two guidance documents developed by the Implementation and Compliance Committee to improve implementation of the Basel Convention procedure to control transboundary movements of wastes (guidance on insurance, bond and guarantee, and guidance on transit transboundary movements);
    • The technical guidelines on the environmentally sound incineration of hazardous wastes and other wastes as covered by disposal operations D10 and R1;
    • The technical guidelines on the environmentally sound management of wastes consisting of, containing or contaminated with mercury or mercury compounds in order to develop robust guidance that will support the environmentally sound management of mercury waste; and
    • The practical manual for stakeholders to ensure that notifications of transboundary movements meet environmentally sound management requirements.

In addition, the OEWG-12:

  • Fostered discussions on potential actions to be taken under the Basel Convention on plastic waste. In the coming months, experts will be collecting comments on the draft practical guidance about the development of inventories for plastic waste, obsolete pesticides and pesticide-container waste, and waste batteries containing lithium.
  • Made progress towards considering the Switzerland-Ghana amendment proposal of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure for all e-waste. The proposal aims to improve the legal clarity of e-waste covered by the Basel Convention.
  • Exchanged views on the possible development of a future strategic framework and/or effectiveness evaluation of the Basel Convention.
  • Progressed towards finalizing the technical guidelines on the environmentally sound management of POPs, taking into account the POPs listed under the Stockholm Convention at its ninth meeting, which was held in 2019; and the technical guidelines on environmentally sound disposal of hazardous wastes and other wastes in specially engineered landfill (D5).

Packed with seven hours of plenary meetings, nearly 20 hours of contact group meetings, and five side events, the OEWG-12 was successfully concluded within the allocated three days, providing a solid foundation for the Basel COP-15, which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 6 to 17 June 2022.

NOTES TO EDITORS

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 management, in order to protect human health and the environment. See www.brsmeas.org for more information and follow the @brsmeas Twitter feed for daily news.

For more information, please contact:

For technical questions on the OEWG-12, please contact: Susan Wingfield, BRS Programme Management Officer susan.wingfield@un.org.

For media inquiries please, contact: Marisofi Giannouli, BRS Associate Public Information officer, marisofi.giannouli@un.org.

 Impact of COVID-19 on BRS meetings <span class="attentionNote">(Updated 11 April 2022)</span>
 

Impact of COVID-19 on BRS meetings (Updated 11 April 2022)

 Impact of COVID-19 on BRS meetings <span class="attentionNote">(Updated 11 April 2022)</span>
 
Basel Convention collaborates with WCO and UNEP Ozone Action to raise awareness of the role that Customs have in controlling the TBM of hazardous wastes
The World Customs Organization (WCO) in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (Ozone Action) and the Basel Convention Secretariat conducted a series of virtual workshops for the Eswatini Revenue Service and the Zambia Revenue Authority, to increase awareness of the Basel Convention and the Montreal Protocol agreements.

Basel Convention collaborates with WCO and UNEP Ozone Action to raise awareness of the role that Customs have in controlling the TBM of hazardous wastes

Basel Convention collaborates with WCO and UNEP Ozone Action to raise awareness of the role that Customs have in controlling the TBM of hazardous wastes
 
Africa preparatory meeting held in the lead-up to the triple COPs
The Africa regional preparatory meeting for the upcoming Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions takes place from 7 to 9 April in Nairobi, following the twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG-12).

Africa preparatory meeting held in the lead-up to the triple COPs

Africa preparatory meeting held in the lead-up to the triple COPs
 
12th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention is underway
The face-to-face segment of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention will be held from 4 to 6 April 2022, in the United Nations Office at Nairobi.

12th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention is underway

12th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention is underway
 
Tentative schedule of work for the BRS COPs is available now!
The tentative schedule of work for the face-to-face segment of the meetings of the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (BRS COPs) has been issued. The 2021/2022 BRS COPs will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 7 to 16 June 2022.

Tentative schedule of work for the BRS COPs is available now!

Tentative schedule of work for the BRS COPs is available now!
 
Save the date: the High-level Segment of the BRS COPs will be held in connection with the Stockholm+50 meeting on 1 June 2022
The High-level Segment of the meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions will be held in connection to the Stockholm+ 50 at the Stockholm Exhibition & Convention centre at Älvsjö, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Save the date: the High-level Segment of the BRS COPs will be held in connection with the Stockholm+50 meeting on 1 June 2022

Save the date: the High-level Segment of the BRS COPs will be held in connection with the Stockholm+50 meeting on 1 June 2022
 
Asia-Pacific preparatory meetings held in the lead-up to the triple COPs
The Asia-Pacific regional preparatory meeting for the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions take place from 27 to 29 March in Bali, back-to-back with the 4th meeting of the Conference of Parties of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Asia-Pacific preparatory meetings held in the lead-up to the triple COPs

Asia-Pacific preparatory meetings held in the lead-up to the triple COPs
 
Put forward your proposals for Small Grants Programmes on plastic waste!
The call for the third round of projects to be implemented under the Small Grants Programmes on Plastic Waste will remain open until 25 May 2022. The BRS Secretariat will facilitate the implementation of regional, subregional and national projects based on the respective business plans or workplans of the regional centres.

Put forward your proposals for Small Grants Programmes on plastic waste!

Put forward your proposals for Small Grants Programmes on plastic waste!
 
Submit your proposal for side events in the upcoming BRS COPs!
Join us in Geneva from 6 to 17 June for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Conference of Parties, and support the role of multilateral environmental agreements in protecting human health and our planet. Deadline for event submissions is 22 April 2022.

Submit your proposal for side events in the upcoming BRS COPs!

Submit your proposal for side events in the upcoming BRS COPs!
 
Rolph Payet speaks on the science of chemicals and wastes
BRS Executive Secretary gave an interview on UNEP’s decision to establish a science-policy panel that will further contribute to the sound management of chemicals and waste.

Rolph Payet speaks on the science of chemicals and wastes

Rolph Payet speaks on the science of chemicals and wastes
 
Celebrating 35 years of compliance mechanisms under the UNEP-administered MEAs
Held on the margins of the United Nations Environment Programme’s 50th anniversary, the event explored ways of keeping environmental governance effective under the Multilateral Environmental Agreements.

Celebrating 35 years of compliance mechanisms under the UNEP-administered MEAs

Celebrating 35 years of compliance mechanisms under the UNEP-administered MEAs
 
Plastic is Forever: Launch of the PWP photo competition calendar!
The 18-month calendar includes images by the finalists of the Plastic Waste Partnership photography competition. Download the digital version now!

Plastic is Forever: Launch of the PWP photo competition calendar!

Plastic is Forever: Launch of the PWP photo competition calendar!
 
UNEP@50: MEAs celebrate 35 years of compliance mechanisms
Join the side event during the special session of the UNEA, co-organized by the eight UNEP-administered Multilateral Environmental Agreements.

UNEP@50: MEAs celebrate 35 years of compliance mechanisms

UNEP@50: MEAs celebrate 35 years of compliance mechanisms
 
All for one and one for all!
Celebrating ten years of collaboration in the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

All for one and one for all!

All for one and one for all!

Celebrating ten years of collaboration in the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

The BRS Secretariat is ten years young today, yet it’s difficult to imagine a time when the missions of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions were not intertwined. From the Basel Convention’s broad mandate to minimize the generation of hazardous and other wastes, ensure their environmentally sound management and control their transboundary movements, to the Rotterdam Convention providing countries with a first line of defence against unwanted imports of hazardous chemicals, and the Stockholm Convention’s work on prohibiting or restricting the production, use, international trade, release and storage of persistent organic pollutants, all three agreements share the common objective of protecting human health and the environment.

The BRS Secretariat is essentially a functional representation of the synergistic relationship that exists between the three Conventions. As Executive Secretary Rolph Payet puts it, “In more ways than one, we serve as the hazardous chemicals and wastes nexus, always working to further enhance international environmental governance and cooperation. I am proud to serve an entity that continues to be the flagship of efforts to improve international environmental governance.

One of the principal functions of the BRS Secretariat is the preparation and management of the BRS Conference of the Parties (BRS COPs), the highest decision-making body under each Convention. Drawing on guidance provided by the Bureaux of the Conferences of the Parties, the Secretariat organises the BRS COPs on a biannual basis. This year will signal the first time that all Parties will have the opportunity to meet again in Geneva since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, marking what is described by Deputy Executive Secretary Carlos Martin-Novella as an auspicious occasion: “2022 is a milestone year for multilateral cooperation with respect to the environment. The United Nations Environment Programme is turning 50 years old, the international community is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, and the BRS Secretariat is completing a decade of successful work.” The 2022 BRS COPs, which will be held from 7 to 16 June is Geneva, are a great opportunity for world leaders, experts and decisionmakers to meet face-to-face for the first time in the post-pandemic era and agree on new solutions to bring forward positive change in the environmental world.

Having been with the BRS Secretariat since day one, Senior Policy and Strategy Advisor Maria Cristina Cardenas has a well-rounded perspective about the ways the Secretariat’s work has been advancing cooperation on global environmental issues over the years. “Considering that the BRS Conventions are not only legally binding but also enjoy nearly universal coverage, decisions taken over these past ten years to address major issues like plastic waste management, toxic chemicals and biopesticides, all have a lasting and substantial effect on all of our lives and the planet”, she remarks.

Such environmental issues certainly don’t exist in a vacuum. The Secretariat provides a platform for their assessment, taking into account scientific as well as socioeconomic considerations, and thereby feeding into the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030. With ten years down and hopefully many more to come, there’s definitely room for more ambition and further progress to be made ahead.

 

Disclaimer: The BRS 10th anniversary refers to the day when all the BRS Secretariats administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (the Basel Convention Secretariat, the Stockholm Convention Secretariat, and half of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat) came under joint management on 18 February 2011.

 

Rolph Payet joins world leaders in discussing plastic waste management
In the lead-up to UNEA-5.2, BRS Secretariat Executive Secretary addresses the positive impact of the Plastic Waste Amendments on curbing plastic pollution.

Rolph Payet joins world leaders in discussing plastic waste management

Rolph Payet joins world leaders in discussing plastic waste management
 
Send your submissions for the Generation Connect E-Waste Iconathon by 18 March 2022!
ITU is organising an icon design contest to raise awareness about the global e-waste issue, leveraging the participation of youth. The BRS Secretariat is proud to support the initiative.

Send your submissions for the Generation Connect E-Waste Iconathon by 18 March 2022!

Send your submissions for the Generation Connect E-Waste Iconathon by 18 March 2022!
 
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