Capacity Building Project Launched for Eastern European States under LRTAP
17 November 2010: Representatives from Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine convened in Novopolotsk, Belarus, together with the Secretariat staff from the UN Economic Commission for Europe's Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP), from 16-17 November, to discuss strengthening cooperation and activities under LRTAP.
A project aimed at assisting these countries in implementing and ratifying the Convention's three most recent Protocols, on persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, and multi-pollutant and multi-effects. Aimed at reducing harmful emissions of pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, persistent organic pollutants, and heavy metals within the region, discussions focused on assessing the current status of air pollution monitoring and reporting in each country, and the completion of national strategies on abating air pollution. The joint project is one of a series of initiatives under the Convention aimed at assisting countries with economies in transition in developing the capacity to effectively monitor and reduce air pollutants [http://www.unece.org/press/pr2010/10env_p38e.htm].
INTERPOL General Assembly Adopts Resolution on Environmental Crime
8 November 2010: Meeting in Doha, Qatar, from 8-11 November 2010, the General Assembly of INTERPOL has adopted a resolution in support of the organization's Environmental Crime Programme.
The resolution calls upon national law enforcement authorities to recognize that “environmental crime is not restricted by borders and involves organized crime networks which engage in other crime types including murder, corruption, fraud and theft.” It notes that there is a vital need for a global response and that INTERPOL should play a leading role in supporting national and international enforcement. Environmental crime encompasses activities ranging from illegal trade in wildlife, timber and marine species, to transborder movements of hazardous waste and the illicit exploitation of natural resources.
The adopted resolution was welcomed by the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). [The Resolution
] [CITES Press Release
StEP Initiative Convenes General Assembly
November 2010: The 2010 General Assembly of the Solving the E-waste Problem (StEP) Initiative, a public-private sector initiative coordinated by the UN University, convened in London, UK, from 18-20 October 2010.
Attended by more than 45 StEP members, the General Assembly also elected a new Steering Committee for the 2011/2012 term. The meeting also heard updates from its five task forces on policy, reuse, recycle, redesign and capacity building. Key outcomes of the meeting included agreed work for these task forces, including: the task force on policy will develop a Green Paper based on the final report of Best E-waste Policies, in order to make sound recommendations on “best” e-waste policies; and the recycle task force will finalize a White Paper on recycling standards in order to provide guidance and recommendations to stakeholders on the development of effective and efficient electronics end-of-life standards. [StEP Website
POPRC Agrees Recommendation to List Endosulfan
The sixth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC 6) of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) convened from 11-15 October 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland. POPRC-6 adopted 12 decisions, including on: support for effective participation in POPRC's work; the work programmes on new POPs; and intersessional work on toxic interactions.
POPRC adopted the risk profile for hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and established an intersessional working group to prepare a draft risk management evaluation on HBCD. POPRC also agreed, by a vote, to adopt the risk management evaluation for endosulfan and recommend listing endosulfan in Annex A, with exemptions. The Committee considered a revised draft risk profile on short-chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs), agreeing to convene an intersessional working group to revise the draft risk profile on the basis of an intersessional discussion of the application of the Annex E criteria to SCCPs and of information arising from a proposed study on chlorinated paraffins by the intersessional working group on toxic interactions. [Stockholm Convention website
] [IISD RS coverage of POPRC 6
UNEP Completes GEO-5 Regional Consultations
5 October 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has completed its scheduled regional consultations for GEO-5. The consultations were convened in Washington DC, US (September 2), Panama City, Panama (September 6-7), Ottawa, Canada (September 9), Bangkok, Thailand (September 16-17), Nairobi, Kenya (September 20-21), Geneva, Switzerland (September 23-24) and Bahrain (October 4-5).
The consultations sought to identify priority environmental issues and challenges for each region. Agreed priorities for North America included land use, energy, freshwater and environmental governance. Priorities agreed for Latin America and the Caribbean region included: biodiversity; climate change; freshwater; soil, land use, land degradation and desertification; seas and oceans; and environmental governance. Priorities for the Asia and Pacific region included: climate change; environmental governance; biodiversity; freshwater; and chemicals and waste. Priority issues for Africa included: climate change; soil, land use, land degradation and desertification; biodiversity; freshwater; and seas and oceans. European priorities included: air pollution and air quality; biodiversity; chemicals and wastes; climate change; and freshwater, water and water resources. Priorities for West Asia included: freshwater; soil, land use, land degradation and desertification; energy; environmental governance; and oceans and seas. [UNEP GEO Meetings webpage
] [IISD RS coverage of selected GEO regional consultations
Joint Consultation on Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions Discusses Control of Trade in Hazardous Chemicals
1 October 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) convened a joint consultation on the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions with the Basel and Stockholm Regional Centers, from 27 September-1 October in Barcelona, Spain. The consultative meeting was hosted in Barcelona by the Regional Activity Centre for Cleaner Production, a Regional Centre under the Stockholm Convention. The consultation concluded with an agreement to strengthen national coordination for control of international trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes. Specifically, experts agreed to establish a structured exchange of information on implementation at the national level and between the regional centers. The clearing house mechanism under the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions, currently being expanded in cooperation with the Basel Convention, will serve as a key component in the strategy to strengthen the exchange of information on the control of international trade in chemicals and wastes and enforcement of the three treaties. [Stockholm Convention website
Rotterdam Convention Convenes Consultation on Increasing Capacity for Identification of Severely Hazardous Pesticide Formulations
30 September 2010: The Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention convened a sub-regional consultation in Damascus, Syria, from 28-30 September 2010. The consultation aimed to strengthen the national capacities of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria to prepare proposals for Severely Hazardous Pesticide Formulations (SHPF) under the Rotterdam Convention (Article 6).
Participants included representatives from Ministries of Agriculture, Environment, Health, as well as local nongovernmental organizations and farmers' associations who are involved in collecting information on poisoning and intoxications caused by hazardous formulations. [Rotterdam Convention website
Indonesian-Swiss Country-led Initiative Discusses Basel Convention Effectiveness
28 September 2010: The third meeting of the Indonesian-Swiss Country-Led Initiative (CLI) to improve the effectiveness of the Basel Convention convened from 24-28 September, in Hilterfingen, Switzerland. The meeting reviewed and discussed the elements that could be included in a proposal for a draft Decision to be forwarded to the tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10), scheduled to convened in October 2011. Participants agreed that, on the basis of the meeting's discussions, the Governments of Indonesia and Switzerland, in cooperation with the CLI members, will collate and restructure the document into a proposal for a draft decision, together with accompanying documentation to explain the elements and the interrelations of those that also should be forwarded to the COP. Documents will be made available on the Basel Convention website to all parties, signatories and stakeholders for comment. [Basel Convention website
GEO-5 Geneva Consultations Identify European Priorities
25 September 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Environment Outlook (GEO) Regional Consultation for Europe took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 23-24 September 2010, bringing together 53 participants representing a range of stakeholders, including UN agencies, government departments, research and academic institutions, the private sector and press from Europe.
This meeting was the sixth in a series of seven regional consultations being undertaken by UNEP as part of the preparation for the production of the fifth GEO (GEO-5). The principal output of these consultations is a final report for each region containing the outcomes of the meeting, including key recommendations, regional priorities, agreed goals and target audiences. This consultation resulted in agreement on key regional environmental issues and challenges as follows: air quality and air pollution; biodiversity; chemicals and waste; climate change; and freshwater. Environmental governance was identified as an overarching issue.
On climate change, participants highlighted the need to consider both mitigation and adaptation activities. Noting that its scope was broader, participants agreed to adopt Article 2 of the UNFCCC as the regional goal for climate change for GEO-5. This article requires stabilization of greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system. [IISD RS Summary
] [GEO-5 Website
Meeting Discusses Legacy Pollution in Developing Countries
18 September 2010: The Blacksmith Institute, together with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), convened a conference on legacy waste in developing countries. The event convened from 14-18 September 2010, at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Centre, Italy.
Attended by representatives of environment ministries, donor agencies and UN agencies, the aim of the meeting was to review the scope of toxic pollution in developing countries, using data collected by the Blacksmith Institute in collaboration with UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), with funding from the European Commission and ADB. The meeting also reviewed case studies of remediation efforts and explored steps required in the short-term to long-term to promote awareness of toxic pollution, its health effects and a global response. Key outcomes of the meeting included discussion of the need for a dedicated fund for the clean up and remediation of legacy sites in Least Developed Countries, for emergencies and for technical assistance and capacity building. [Blacksmith Institute Conference Summary
GEO-5 Regional Consultation for Asia and the Pacific Identifies Priority Issues
17 September 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Environment Outlook (GEO) Regional Consultation for Asia and the Pacific took place in Bangkok, Thailand, on 16-17 September 2010.
This regional consultation was the fourth in a series of seven regional consultations being undertaken by UNEP as part of the preparation for the production of the fifth GEO (GEO-5). The principal output of these consultations is a final report for each regional consultation, containing the outcomes of the meeting including all key recommendations, regional priorities, agreed goals and key target audiences. The Asia and the Pacific regional consultation focused on: the priority environmental issues and challenges to be the focus of the regional chapter of GEO-5; associated internationally agreed goals for these regional environmental priorities; and policy gaps related to these environmental priorities. The consultations resulted, inter alia
, in agreement on regional priority environmental issues and challenges as follows: climate change, environmental governance, biodiversity, freshwater, and chemicals and waste.
During the discussion and selection of internationally agreed goals for the region related to the environmental priorities selected, most participants emphasized that all aspects of climate change, including mitigation, adaptation, capacity building and finance, are important. By voting, participants selected Article 3, paragraphs 1-3, of the UNFCCC as the regional goal for climate change for GEO-5. This Article requires countries to protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind, on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. It further requires developed countries to take the lead in combating climate change, and provides that the specific needs and special circumstances of developing countries should be given full consideration. Finally, it requires countries to take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects. Participants also recognized the importance of: the goals contained in Article 2 of the UNFCCC (stabilization of greenhouse (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system); the Bali Action Plan; and the Delhi Ministerial Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. [IISD RS Summary
][GEO-5 Regional Consultations Website
UNEP Facilitates Kenyan Action on e-Waste
7 September 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) hosted the National Stakeholders Workshop on e-Waste Management in Kenya on 7 September 2010. Delegates at the workshop, which convened in Nairobi, included representatives from Kenya's Environment Ministry, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Microsoft, the telecommunications industry and UNEP staff. The workshop adopted several recommendations including on: assessment actions; policy and legislative framework actions; policy implementation actions; and local, regional and international support actions. [UNEP Press Release
UNEP Presents List of Banned Products to ECOSOC
July 2010: The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) invited the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to continue updating the chemicals volume of the Consolidated List of Products Whose Consumption and/or Sale have been Banned, Withdrawn, Severely Restricted or Not Approved by Governments and to report to ECOSOC at its substantive session of 2010 (Resolution 2008/13). This list was presented to the 2010 ECOSOC Substantive Session as document E/2010/79, and is available from UNEP Chemicals. [UNEP Chemicals website
] [Consolidated list
Basel Convention Convenes Ship Recycling Workshop
16 July 2010: The Basel Convention Secretariat convened a workshop on Ship Recycling Technology and Knowledge Transfer in Izmir, Turkey, from 14-16 July 2010. A key outcome of the workshop was progress in strengthening the understanding of the Convention's role in the international regulatory regime of ship recycling.
The workshop focused on the situation in Pakistan. The Pakistani delegation attending the workshop included representatives of both Government and industry, seeking to learn from the improvements made in the ship-recycling industry in Turkey in order to enable them to implement the practical, regulatory and institutional changes in Pakistan. [UNEP Press Release
UNEP Chemicals Convenes Workshop on Infrastructures and Cost Recovery Measures for Chemicals Management
9 July 2010: UNEP Chemicals and the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) jointly organized a workshop on legal and institutional infrastructures and cost recovery measures for the sound management of chemicals, in collaboration with UNEP Division for Environmental Law and Conventions (DELC) and the Legal Unit of the Joint Conventions Services (JCS) for the Rotterdam, Stockholm and Basel Conventions.
The workshop took place from 7-9 July, in Lusaka, Zambia, and was the second of a series of four country workshops aiming to discuss UNEP DTIE Chemicals Branch draft Integrated Guidance on the Development of Legal and Institutional Infrastructures and Cost Recovery Measures for the Sound Management of Chemicals with national practitioners, to effectively target the needs of developing countries. Key outcomes of the meeting were several proposals for additions to the Integrated Guidance, including: addressing how to seize opportunities to influence the budget planning cycle, and to advance arguments for investing in sound management of chemicals in line with the national policy cycles; case studies illustrating the main elements considered; and a discussion on the value and ways of convincing parliamentarians of the benefits of advancing the sound management of chemicals at the national level. [UNEP Chemicals website
] [IISDRS Sources]
GEF Council Approves Major Reforms in New Funding Cycle
2 July 2010: The 38th meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council took place in Washington DC, US, from 29 June-1 July 2010, and approved major reforms aimed at helping developing countries to meet international environmental challenges, including those related to climate change and biodiversity.
During the meeting the Council approved major reforms designed to give developing countries and stakeholders more control and access to funds, including: direct access to GEF resources for recipient countries looking to meet various UN convention requirements; streamlined GEF project cycle and a move to a more refined and strategic programmatic investment approach; reformed GEF's Country Support Program with$26 million in funding. The Council also agreed to initiate a process to determine how best to integrate new agencies, including qualified national entities, into the GEF network.
In May 2010, during the sixth meeting of donors for the Fifth GEF Replenishment, held in Paris, France, over 30 countries pledged US$4.34 billion to fund projects with global environmental benefits during the next four years. The meeting of donors also agreed to channel US$1.3 billion to the climate change focal area. The financial pledges included some of the Fast Start Financing discussed at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.
Commenting on the reforms, Monique Barbut, GEF CEO and Chairperson, stated that "the GEF Council has accorded long overdue recognition to the ability of countries to take the lead in the efficient and effective programming of their multilateral assistance." [38th GEF Council Meeting Website
] [Climate Change Policy & Practice Story on the GEF Replen...
] [Joint Summary of the Chairs
Stockholm Convention Convenes Central and Eastern European Regional Workshop
18 June 2010: The Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention convened a regional Capacity-Building Workshop on New Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the Process for Reviewing and Updating National Implementation Plans, and Reporting Requirements under the Stockholm Convention for Central and Eastern Europe, from 15-18 June 2010. The workshop, which met in Brno, Czech Republic, aimed to raise awareness of the recent amendments to the Stockholm Convention, and offered the opportunity for participants to become familiar with the enhanced version of the online electronic reporting system in preparation for the second round of party reporting. [Stockholm Convention website
Seminar on Environmentally Sound Management of ODS Banks Convenes
14 June 2010: The Ozone Secretariat convened a seminar on the Environmentally Sound Management of ozone depleting substance (ODS) banks on 14 June 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland, immediately prior to the beginning of the 30th meeting of the Open-Ending Working Group, which is convening from 14-17 June. Participants to the seminar discussed options for mobilizing available funds to destroy ODS including: activities of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol in response to decisions on funding activities related to destruction; using established voluntary market programmes; and leveraging funds under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management to detail the scope and location of stocks of ODS. [Ozone Secretariat website
] [Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of ozone negotitations
Mercury INC 1 Begins Work on Legally Binding Instrument
11 June 2010: The first session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to Prepare a Global Legally Binding Instrument on Mercury (INC 1) convened from 7-11 June, in Stockholm, Sweden. Delegates to the meeting exchanged views on key issues to be addressed in the instrument including: objectives; structure of the instrument; capacity-building and technical and financial assistance; compliance; issues of supply, demand, trade, waste and storage; atmospheric emissions of mercury; and awareness-raising and information exchange. Delegates mandated the Secretariat to prepare, for consideration by the INC, “elements of a comprehensive and suitable approach to a legally binding instrument on mercury.” This document is expected to be used as the basis for negotiations by the INC 2, scheduled to convene from 24-28 January 2011, in Chiba, Japan. [IISD RS Meeting Coverage
] [Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of mercury negotiations
] [UNEP Chemicals website
Stockholm Convention Convenes Integrated Vector Management Training Programme
11 June 2010: The Stockholm Convention Secretariat, with support from the World Health Organisation (WHO), convened a training programme on strengthening country capacities to implement Integrated Vector Management (IVM) programmes towards reducing the reliance on DDT in selected countries in Africa. The training took place from 7-11 June, in Nairobi, Kenya. Strengthening in-country decision-making on IVM is one of the five themes of the Global Alliance on DDT implementation strategy towards achieving its goals with specific focus to overcome the complexity and cost of implementing alternatives to DDT. The aims of the training were to support the development of in-country capacity for implementation of all available WHO-recommended tools while facilitating the adoption of new tools with cross sector coordination to implement IVM approaches. Participants included public health officers and environmental health officers and district level staff from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. [Stockholm Convention website
Basel Convention Secretariat Releases OEWG Report
June 2010: The Secretariat of the Basel Convention has released an advance report of the Seventh Session of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG), which convened from 10-14 May 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland. The report (UNEP/CHW/OEWG/7/21) is available in English only. [Basel Convention website
Fifth GEF Replenishment Negotiations Conclude
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) finalized its Fifth Replenishment negotiations, with over 30 countries pledging US$4.25 billion to fund projects with global environmental benefits during the next four years. The sixth meeting of donors for the Fifth GEF Replenishment, held in Paris, France, on 12 May 2010, also agreed to channel US$1.3 billion to the climate change focal area. The financial pledges also include some of the Fast Start Financing discussed at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, and will feature the creation of a Sustainable Forest Management-REDD Plus (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries conservation, sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) initiative.
Some of the main areas of work for the GEF during the four-year period starting July 2010 will be to: lower carbon dioxide emissions; expand sustainable management of protected areas and critical landscapes; strengthen multi-State cooperation on transboundary water systems management; reduce persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in land and water; reduce mercury emissions; and expand and protect the Earth's forest cover.
Links to further information
GEF press release
, 12 May 2010
Documents for the Sixth Meeting of the GEF-5 replenishment
CSD 18 Reviewing Transport, Chemicals, Waste, Mining, and Consumption and Production
Delegates to the 18th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 18) are meeting from 3-14 May 2010, at UN headquarters in New York, to review the thematic cluster of transport, chemicals, waste management, mining, and the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns (SCP). The CSD meets annually in two-year “Implementation Cycles,” with each cycle focusing on one thematic cluster alongside cross-sectoral issues. Each cycle is comprised of a Review Year and a Policy Year. CSD 18 will thus conduct a review of barriers and constraints in implementation, as well as lessons learned and best practices, in relation to the thematic cluster. CSD 19, in May 2011, will convene as the “Policy Year” for this thematic cluster, when delegates will negotiate policy recommendations based on CSD 18's review of the issues.
CSD 18 delegates are being informed by a number of regional implementation meetings, intersessional meetings and thematic seminars, among other activities and background documents. The UN Regional Commissions, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the CSD, organized Regional Implementation Meetings (RIMs) in order to contribute to the work of CSD 18. The Western Asia RIM took place from 4-6 October 2009, in Cairo, Egypt. The African RIM took place from 27-30 October 2009, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Asia and the Pacific RIM took place from 30 November-1 December 2009, in Bangkok, Thailand. The Latin America and the Caribbean RIM took place from 26-27 November 2009, in Antigua, Guatemala. And the Europe and North America RIM took place from 1-2 December 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Inaugural Meeting of the Regional 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Forum in Asia, which convened in Tokyo, Japan, from 11-12 November 2009, agreed on a statement on the establishment of the Forum, for the promotion of the 3Rs in the Asia region.
The Workshop on Case Studies in the Sound Management of Chemicals took place from 3-4 December 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland. This workshop collected inputs, reviewed and advanced the content for the CSD 18 publication “Practices in the Sound Management of Chemicals.” This publication will be officially launched on 12 May during the High-level Segment of CSD 18, by the CSD Secretariat, the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention, and the UN Environment Programme Chemicals Branch.
The International Expert Group Meeting: United Nations Forum on Climate Change Mitigation, Fuel Efficiency and Sustainable Urban Transport met in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 16-17 March 2010. Participants developed a number of recommendations related to: trends and issues in urban transport; public transport in urban areas; financing of public transport in developing countries; social and safety concerns; the role of city administrations in the development of urban public transport; technologies for curbing growth of emissions from motor vehicles; innovative transport business models and green growth; policy options for curbing growth of emissions from motor vehicles; urban planning and measures to promote sustainable urban transport; and enhancing policy coherence to address the transport challenges.
The International Consultative Meeting on Expanding Waste Management Services in Developing Countries convened from 18-19 March 2010, in Tokyo, Japan. Participants developed recommendations related to: common issues and challenges in the area of waste management in developing countries; innovative approaches and strategies for integrated waste management; issues with the informal sector; and strengthening partnership to enhance technical and financial cooperation towards sustainable waste management at local level. The meeting acknowledged the Government of Japan's intention to continue its support for similar activities, including the follow-up meeting scheduled to be held in January 2011, as an input to CSD 19.
Links to further information
IISD RS coverage of the meeting
DSD CSD website
Chemicals and Wastes Conventions Hold Asian Workshop
The Regional Awareness Raising Workshop on the Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions was held from 19-21 April 2010 in Beijing, China.
Convened by the Secretariats of the three treaties, the event involved 31 participants from 16 countries from the region. Participants were informed about the ongoing process to further promote cooperation and coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and its possible implications at the regional and national levels. The status of implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions in the region, as well as the national priorities identified by Parties to fulfill their obligations, were also discussed. The workshop provided an opportunity for sharing information and experience on existing coordination mechanisms at the national level and identifying the areas where further coordination might be required. Participants were also informed of the opportunities of technical and financial assistance to implement the three Conventions in a synergistic way. (IISD RS sources).
UNEP Convenes Meeting on Existing Environmental Goals and Objectives
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) convened the Existing Internationally Agreed Environmental Goals and Objectives meeting from 29-31 March in Geneva, Switzerland.
The meeting was attended by over 80 governments who considered the preparation of a compilation of internationally agreed environmental goals and objectives, which includes thematic areas on: air pollution and air quality; biodiversity; chemicals and waste; climate change; energy; environmental governance; forests; freshwater; oceans and seas; and soil, land use, land degradation and desertification (IISD RS sources).
ROTTERDAM CONVENTION'S CHEMICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS LISTING TWO CHEMICALS
The sixth meeting of the Rotterdam Convention Chemical Review Committee (CRC 6) convened from 15-19 March 2010, in Geneva, Switzerland.
The CRC recommended that two pesticides – endosulfan and azinphos methyl – be included in the Rotterdam Convention's Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure. Endosulfan is an organochlorine insecticide and acaricide is used in crops worldwide. It is currently also being considered for inclusion under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Azinphos methyl is a broad spectrum organophosphate insecticide and a neurotoxin. The recommendation to include these two pesticides in the PIC procedure will be considered by the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention, scheduled to convene in June 2011.
Link to further information
Rotterdam Convention website
REGIONAL TRAINING WORKSHOP ON PCBS AND POPS WASTES CONVENES
The Stockholm Convention Secretariat, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Mali, and the African Stockpile Programme, is convening a regional training workshop from 8-11 March, in Bamako, Mali.
The workshop targets national experts on the Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of PCBs and POPs wastes from Francophone African region. The objective of the workshop is to enhance the capacity of the participants on the concepts, principles and standards for the ESM of PCBs and POPs wastes, as presented in the Basel Convention technical guidelines.
Link to further information
Stockholm Convention website
STOCKHOLM CONVENTION CONVENES POPS AND PCBS WORKSHOP FOR FRANCOPHONE AFRICA
The Stockholm Convention Secretariat, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Mali, and the African Stockpile Programme, convened a regional training workshop from 8-11 March 2010, in Bamako, Mali.
Key outcomes of the workshop included: improved capacity of participants on the concepts, principles and standards for the Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of POPs wastes as presented in the Basel Convention POPs waste guidelines; improved knowledge of the participants on practical aspects of the ESM of PCBs and POPs wastes; enhanced knowledge on possibilities of applying for technical and financial assistance for the implementation of the Convention; and increased awareness on the interactive training tool on POPs wastes, the PCBs Elimination Network, as well as other Secretariat activities related to PCBs and POPs wastes. (IISD RS sources)
UNITAR/UNU-IAS EXECUTIVE WORKSHOP ON NANOTECHNOLOGY AND MANUFACTURED NANOMATERIALS CONVENES
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the United Nations University, Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), convened an executive workshop on nanotechnology and manufactured nanomaterials in Tokyo, Japan on 8 March 2010.
The workshop addressed the risks and benefits of nanomaterials including the potential human health and environmental risks from the production and use of manufactured nanomaterials and their applications, as well as current Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and global activities addressing the risks and benefits of manufactured nanomaterials.
Link to further information
CHEMICAL AND WASTE ExCOPs CONVENE IN BALI
The Simultaneous Extraordinary meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (ExCOPs) convened under the theme “Greater Strength in Sync,” from 22-24 February in Bali, Indonesia.
The meeting represented the first time that three independent treaty conferences had simultaneously convened. The meeting aimed to take decisions on, inter alia
, joint services, activities and managerial functions, and a review mechanism and follow up. Debate on joint managerial functions revolved around the potential of immediately appointing an interim joint head of the three secretariats. Delegates agreed to the appointment of a joint head, and to review the position and its effectiveness.
In addition to the synergies negotiations, the UN Environment Programme launched chemical and waste related initiatives during the ExCOPs, including “Safe Planet: the United Nations Campaign for Responsibility on Hazardous Chemicals and Wastes,” a global public awareness and outreach campaign of the Joint Services of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.
Links to further information
IISD RS report of the ExCOPs
UNEP press release
, 21 February 2010
STOCKHOLM CONVENTION CONTRIBUTES TO PREPARATIONS FOR CSD 18
The Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention participated in the Thematic Seminar on Chemicals organized by the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) Secretariat on 23 February in New York, US.
The Seminar aimed to present scientific and technical information on the issues under review by the CSD at its 18th and 19th sessions. An e-discussion was opened following the Seminar, to further consider chemicals issues.
Links to further information
Stockholm Convention website
Thematic seminar website
PCB ELIMINATION NETWORK ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING CONVENES
The first meeting of the Advisory Committee of the PCBs Elimination Network (PEN) convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 18-20 January 2010.
The meeting agreed to establish four thematic groups under PEN related to inventory of PCBs, maintenance of PCBs equipment, disposal of PCBs, and PCBs in open applications. For each thematic group. the rationale, organisation, planned activities, outcomes and proposed budgets have been developed. The Advisory Committee and the Secretariat also agreed to actively seek funding for the implementation of the work plans of the Thematic Groups and to support the cost for holding upcoming Advisory Committee meetings.
Link to further information
Stockholm Convention website
INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE BASEL CONVENTION CONVENES SECOND MEETING
The Second Meeting of the Swiss-Indonesian Country Led Initiative to Improve the Effectiveness of the Basel Convention convened from 12-15 January 2010, in Wildhaus, Switzerland.
Participants discussed: an analysis of possible reasons for the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes where environmentally sound management cannot be ensured; a draft paper containing a preliminary analysis of the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes impacts on human health and the environment; and potential approaches for a way forward to improve the effectiveness of the Convention. (IISD RS sources)