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A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations
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Volume 16 Number 84 - Monday, 1 March 2010
SUMMARY OF THE SIMULTANEOUS EXTRAORDINARY COPS TO THE BASEL, ROTTERDAM AND STOCKHOLM CONVENTIONS AND THE 11TH SPECIAL SESSION OF THE UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL/GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM
22-26 FEBRUARY 2010

The simultaneous extraordinary Conferences of the Parties (ExCOPs) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions were held 22-24 February 2010 in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia. They were followed by the eleventh special session of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GCSS-11/GMEF), which was held from 24-26 February 2010. Over 1000 participants, representing more than 100 governments, as well as intergovernmental organizations, UN agencies, and major groups and other stakeholders, attended the meetings.

At the ExCOPs, delegates adopted an omnibus synergies decision on joint services, joint activities, and synchronization of the budget cycles, joint audits, joint managerial functions, and review arrangements. Most delegates expressed satisfaction with the successful conclusion of the historic ExCOPs, which some said heralded a new era of multilateralism with positive implications for the ongoing international environmental governance (IEG) debate.

Following the ExCOPs, ministers and delegates attended the GCSS-11/GMEF to address emerging policy issues under the theme of “environment in the multilateral system.” The GCSS-11/GMEF concluded its work by adopting eight decisions on: IEG; enhanced coordination across the UN, including the Environmental Management Group (EMG); a follow-up report on the environmental situation in the Gaza Strip; the intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services (IPBES); strengthening the environmental response in Haiti; oceans; a consultative process on financing options for chemicals and wastes; and environmental law. The GCSS-11/GMEF session was largely viewed as a success by participants, taking into account the ambitious agenda. Delegates particularly welcomed the Nusa Dua Declaration as well as the decisions on IEG and IPBES. Some saw it as signaling UNEP’s increasing involvement in the UN sustainable development agenda, including the preparations for Rio+ 20. The session also appeared to restore some degree of confidence in multilateralism after Copenhagen.

 A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHEMICALS CONVENTIONS EXCOPS

AD HOC JOINT WORKING GROUP: The Ad hoc Joint Working Group on Enhancing Cooperation and Coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (AHJWG) was established pursuant to decision SC-2/15 of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, COP decision RC-3/8 of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, and COP decision VIII/8 of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. The mandate of the group was to prepare joint recommendations on enhanced cooperation and coordination for submission to the COPs of the three conventions. The AHJWG convened three meetings from 26–28 March 2007 in Helsinki, Finland, 10–13 December 2007 in Vienna, Austria, and 25–28 March 2008 in Rome, Italy.

BASEL CONVENTION COP 9: This meeting was held from 23–27 June 2008 in Bali, Indonesia. COP 9 adopted more than 30 decisions prepared by the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) including on the Strategic Plan, linking the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Convention with the new strategic framework beyond 2010 and, in this context, approving a suitable budget. Delegates adopted the recommendation of the AHJWG.

ROTTERDAM CONVENTION COP 4: This meeting convened from 27–31 October 2008 in Rome, Italy. The COP adopted 13 decisions including on the addition of tributyltin compounds to Annex III of the Convention (chemicals subject to the PIC procedure), and a programme of work and budget for the triennium 2009-11. The meeting also adopted the recommendations of the AHJWG.

STOCKHOLM CONVENTION COP 4: This meeting convened from 4–8 May 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland, and adopted the recommendations of the AHJWG. Delegates also addressed: a non-compliance mechanism; effectiveness evaluation; financial resources; and recommendations from the POPs Review Committee to schedule nine additional chemicals under the Convention.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF UNEP GC/GMEF

 As a result of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, the UN General Assembly (UNGA), in its resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 1972, officially established UNEP as the central UN node for global environmental cooperation and treaty making. The resolution also established the UNEP Governing Council (GC) to provide a forum for the international community to address major and emerging environmental policy issues. The GC’s responsibilities include the promotion of international environmental cooperation and the recommendation of policies to achieve this, and the provision of policy guidance for the direction and coordination of environmental programmes in the UN system. The GC reports to the UNGA, which also elects the GC’s 58 members for four-year terms, taking into account the principle of equitable regional representation. The GMEF is constituted by the GC, as envisaged in UNGA resolution 53/242 of 1999. The purpose of the GMEF is to institute, at a high political level, a process for reviewing important and emerging policy issues in the field of the environment.

GCSS-6 /GMEF: GCSS-6/GMEF took place from 29–31 May 2000, in Malmö, Sweden. Ministers adopted the Malmö Ministerial Declaration, which agreed that the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) should review the requirements for a greatly strengthened institutional structure for IEG.

GC-21/GMEF: GC-21/GMEF took place from 5–9 February 2001 in Nairobi, Kenya. Delegates established the Open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Ministers or Their Representatives (IGM) to undertake a comprehensive policy-oriented assessment of existing institutional weaknesses, as well as future needs and options for strengthening IEG. They also adopted decision 21/7, which requests the UNEP Executive Director to examine the need for a Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).

GCSS-7/GMEF: GCSS-7/GMEF was held from 13–15 February 2002 in Cartagena, Colombia. In decision SS.VII/1, the GC/GMEF adopted the IGM report, which contained recommendations aimed at strengthening IEG, including through: improved coherence in international environmental policy-making; strengthening the role and financial situation of UNEP; improved coordination among and effectiveness of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs); and capacity building, technology transfer and country-level coordination. Delegates also adopted decisions related to, inter alia, SAICM.

WSSD: The World Summit on Sustainable Development was held from 26 August to 4 September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) sets out a framework for action to implement the commitments originally agreed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. The JPOI, among other things, emphasized that the international community should fully implement the outcomes of UNEP decision SS.VII/1 on IEG.

GC-22/GMEF: GC-22/GMEF took place from 3–7 February 2003 in Nairobi, Kenya. Delegates adopted more than 40 decisions on issues including IEG, SAICM and the Mercury Programme.

GCSS-8/GMEF: GCSS-8/GMEF took place from 29–31 March 2004 in Jeju, Republic of Korea. At the conclusion of the ministerial consultations, delegates adopted the “Jeju Initiative,” containing the Chair’s summary of the discussions and decisions including the implementation of decision SS.VII/1 on IEG.

GC-23/GMEF: The GC-23/GMEF took place from 21–25 February 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya. Ministers considered the implementation of internationally agreed development goals, and adopted decisions, including on IEG and chemicals management.

2005 WORLD SUMMIT: The 2005 World Summit was held at UN Headquarters in New York from 14–16 September. Delegates recognized the need for more efficient environmental activities in the UN system, through, inter alia: enhanced coordination, improved policy advice and guidance, and strengthened scientific knowledge. They further agreed to explore the possibility of a more coherent institutional framework, including a more integrated structure, building on existing institutions and internationally agreed instruments, as well as treaty bodies and UN specialized agencies.

GCSS-9/GMEF: GCSS-9/GMEF was held from 7–9 February 2006 in Dubai. Ministerial consultations addressed, inter alia: policy issues relating to energy and environment, and chemicals management. The plenary discussion on IEG, the outcome of the 2005 World Summit, and GC universal membership did not produce an agreed outcome, and delegates decided that the report of the meeting should reflect the divergence of views expressed. The International Conference on Chemicals Management convened immediately prior to this meeting, and adopted SAICM.

GC-24/GMEF: GC-24/GMEF convened from 5–9 February 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya. Delegates adopted 15 decisions on issues relating to, inter alia: chemicals, including a provision to establish the OEWG to Review and Assess Measures to Address the Global Issue of Mercury; the world environmental situation; and IEG.

INFORMAL CONSULTATIVE PROCESS: The UNGA at its 60th session established the Informal Consultative Process on the Institutional Framework for UN Environmental Activities. The process set out to strengthen the system of IEG by focusing on questions related to UNEP, improvement of cooperation within the UN and among MEAs, as well as funding mechanisms and partnerships.

On 14 June 2007, following year-long consultations, Co-Chairs Amb. Claude Heller (Mexico) and Amb. Peter Maurer (Switzerland) presented an Options Paper, which identified seven building blocks to strengthen IEG. In addition, the Paper addressed the broader transformation of the IEG system, including the possibility of transforming UNEP into a UN Environment Organization.

In September and October 2007, states were given the opportunity to respond to the Options Paper. The discussions reflected a divergence of views with no consensus on the way forward.

Based on two years of feedback, in early 2008, the Co-Chairs drafted a proposal for a GA resolution aimed at translating the Options Paper and subsequent input received into legislative language. The draft resolution was presented to member states on 2 May 2008. On the basis of comments received, the Co-Chairs prepared a revised draft resolution. By November 2008, the Co-Chairs concluded that no consensus was possible given the divergent views on fundamental issues.

GCSS-10/GMEF: GCSS-10/GMEF was held from 20–22 February 2008, in Monaco. Ministerial consultations addressed the emerging policy issues of mobilizing finance to meet the climate challenge, and IEG and UN reform. The GC/GMEF adopted five decisions including on: the UNEP Medium-term Strategy 2010-2013; chemicals management, including mercury and waste management; the Global Environmental Outlook; and the International Decade for Combating Climate Change.

GC-25/GMEF: GC-25/GMEF convened from 16–20 February 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya. The GC/GMEF adopted 17 decisions on issues relating to, inter alia: chemicals management, including mercury; the world environment situation; environmental law; the intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity; and the environmental situation in Gaza. Decision 25/4 on IEG established a regionally representative, consultative group of ministers or high-level representatives. The decision requested the group to present a set of options for improving IEG to GCSS-11/GMEF with a view to providing input to the UNGA.

CONSULTATIVE GROUP: The consultative group on IEG convened from 27–28 June 2009 in Belgrade and from 28–29 October 2009 in Rome. The meetings were co-chaired by Ministers Stefania Prestigiacomo (Italy) and John Njoroge Michuki (Kenya). The group’s discussions were reflected in a Co-Chairs’ summary entitled “Belgrade Process: Moving forward with developing a set of options on international environmental governance.”

 EXCOPS REPORT

The ExCOPs of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions convened on Monday and Tuesday and in a final plenary session on Wednesday morning. On Monday morning, Made Mangku Pastika, Governor of Bali, Indonesia, welcomed participants and highlighted the impacts of climate change on the province’s limited natural resources, emphasizing the need for integrated sustainable efforts to mitigate such impacts. Gusti Muhammad Hatta, Minister of Environment, Indonesia, described the first simultaneous extraordinary Conferences of the Parties (ExCOPs) as a “historical opportunity to work together on matters relating to the effective management of chemicals and wastes.” The respective COP Presidents of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Gusti Muhammad Hatta (Indonesia), Zukie Noluzuko Gwaji (South Africa) and Gholamhossein Dehghani (Iran), and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner participated in a signing of the commemorative first day cover.

 Peter Kenmore, Co-Executive Secretary of the Rotterdam Convention, on behalf Jacques Diouf, Director-General, UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), committed support to the synergies process. Achim Steiner underscored that the ExCOPs represented an extraordinary moment in environmental governance. He said the process has potential to result in a paradigm shift, noting that the era of developing multilateral environmental agreements (MEA) on an issue-by-issue basis might be approaching its end.

The ExCOPs adopted the agenda (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/1) and agreed to the organization of work (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/1/Add.1) and (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/INF/1/Rev.1). Delegates established an open-ended joint working group (OEWG), co-chaired by Kerstin Stendahl (Finland), Osvaldo Álvarez-Pérez (Chile) and Desire Ouegraogo (Burkina Faso).

MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION OR ACTION BY THE COPS

Discussion during the ExCOPs focused on several draft omnibus decisions on synergies. In closing plenary, delegates adopted a decision (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/CRP.5), which contains seven sections on: joint activities, joint managerial functions, joint services, synchronization of the budget cycles, joint audits and review arrangements. No consensus was reached on decision-making, and this item is not reflected in the final decision. The following sections provide a summary of each of these sections.

JOINT ACTIVITIES: This item (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/2) was introduced by the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on Monday in the OEWG. The matter was referred to a contact group co-chaired by Gillian Guthrie (Jamaica) and Katerina Sebkova (Czech Republic).

The Republic of Korea supported establishing a clearing-house mechanism (CHM). Japan expressed concern regarding its financial implications. China said it was premature to discuss national-level coordination, which was for governments to determine. Morocco questioned how developing countries would benefit from the synergies process. The US supported observer participation in the synergies process. India, supporting China, said that joint activities will depend on available resources, and maintained that organizational and administrative expenses should not take precedence over programmes.

Norway, Switzerland and the Republic of Korea supported, and delegates agreed, to work on the basis of a draft omnibus decision proposed by the European Union (EU).

In the contact group, participants focused on financing requirements for the CHM and the functioning of the platform for information exchange. Discussions also focused on addressing concerns raised by several developing countries that the implementation of the synergies decisions depends on the availability of resources, and on proposed cross-cutting and joint activities to be included in the programme of work of each of the three Conventions. Parties agreed to move a proposed reference to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities from an operative paragraph of the draft decision to the preamble. The decision was agreed by the OEWG and forwarded to the ExCOPs for consideration.

FINAL DECISION: In the decision on joint activities (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/CRP.5/Add.2/Rev.1), the ExCOPs, inter alia:

  • encourage parties and other stakeholders to undertake cooperative and coordinated activities to implement the synergies decisions, including by strengthening national processes and by coordinated use of the regional centres of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions to strengthen the regional delivery of assistance for the implementation of the three Conventions, and to consider the further aim of selecting regional focal centres;
  • urge parties and other stakeholders to provide resources to support implementation of joint activities in the field and to support the joint activities of the three Secretariats;
  • invite parties, regional centres and other stakeholders to exchange experiences, in particular on examples of good coordination practices, through voluntary reports on national and regional activities to implement the synergies decisions;
  • invite UNEP, UNDP, FAO, WHO, the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other relevant international organizations to report on their efforts to promote programmatic cooperation and coordination in relation to their support for the three Conventions at the national level, and on activities to implement the synergies decisions to the three COPs in time for their ordinary meetings in 2011 and, in this context, welcomes the synergistic approach that has been taken in the process for the fifth replenishment of the GEF;
  • invite UNEP and FAO to report to the COPs at their ordinary meetings in 2011 on progress made in the development of programmatic cooperation in the field;
  • request the Secretariats of the three Conventions to continue their efforts to implement joint activities, and report on the progress thereof at the ordinary meetings of the COPs in 2011, and to develop for consideration by the COPs at their meetings in 2011 a proposal for cross-cutting and joint activities for possible inclusion in the programmes of work of the three Conventions for 2012-2013;
  • endorse on a preliminary basis the joint work plan for a CHM and request the Secretariats to prepare a report on other CHM mechanisms and similar mechanisms in the area of chemicals and wastes, especially the SAICM clearing-house mechanism, and to prepare a revised work plan, taking into account the above-mentioned report, for adoption by the COPs in 2011; and
  • invite parties and other stakeholders to contribute to the development of the CHM through voluntary means.

JOINT MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: This item (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/3) was considered on Monday and Tuesday, initially in the OEWG, and then in a contact group co-chaired by Barry Reville (Australia) and Mohammad Koba (Indonesia).

The Secretariat introduced the issue and outlined the two options for the coordination of the three Convention Secretariats: the establishment of a joint coordinating group or of a joint head of the Secretariats. The EU introduced the relevant part of their proposed draft omnibus decision. Switzerland, on behalf of Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Norway and Zambia, introduced a draft decision on the same issue. Debate centered on cost implications, legal autonomy, and the joint head’s mandate,

On cost implications, Canada, China and others expressed concern that the synergies process could lead to additional administrative burdens, emphasizing that cost savings should be used for programme implementation, and that the final decision should be cost-neutral. The cost implications related to the proposed options were also stressed by Brazil and other members of the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC). They highlighted the importance of autonomy of the Conventions, the rationalization of costs and functions, and the special needs of developing countries, including the need to strengthen the regional centres. Delegates also debated the implications of the term “cost-neutral in real terms.” Responding to the debate on potential freed resources, the EU clarified that this only implied staff being moved to programme support.

On legal autonomy of the three Conventions, India, Cuba and Argentina noted the difficulties a single head might encounter in dealing with autonomous mandates, and favored the joint coordinating group. Kenya, Sudan, Nigeria and others supported the joint head proposal. Indonesia, Mexico and many other developing countries cautioned against jeopardizing the autonomy of the Conventions, a point strongly supported by all parties. The US and several other developed countries stressed that the options proposed should meet the objectives of coordination, greater efficiency and effectiveness, cost saving and cost-neutrality, and preserving autonomy. During contact group discussions, while many participants agreed that autonomy could be maintained at the legal level, some voiced concerns that this would amount to “one convention in practice.”

Different views emerged on the joint head’s mandate, with some countries envisaging the new position as the Executive Secretary of the three Conventions, and others favoring limiting the mandate to joint services. Some developing countries expressed the hope that the appointment of a joint head would ensure increased resource mobilization for implementation. During the contact group’s consideration of a compromise draft decision on a joint head of the Convention Secretariats, China insisted that the decision should refer to the existence of different views on whether to establish a joint head or a coordinating group, and proposed adding text on the purpose of establishing such a position. Several parties highlighted the need to clarify the review process for the joint-head position, and pointed out that the review related to the position rather than the individual who will be appointed.

Questions were raised on the details of the organizational modification of the Secretariats and its timing vis-a-vis the recruitment of a joint head. Several parties suggested language emphasizing the temporary nature of the joint-head position. Others argued that this was provided for by subjecting the position to a review by the COPs. Delegates also debated the recruitment process for the joint head, with several requesting that parties be involved in the process. Others pointed out that the UN regulations on recruiting for a D-2 post limits parties’ involvement.

In the end, the range of unresolved issues was reduced to, inter alia: references to: mobilizing “new and additional financial resources” as one of the functions of the joint head; and including the overarching goals of protecting health and environment for sustainable development. The decision was finally approved by the OEWG, and forwarded for consideration by the ExCOPs.

FINAL DECISION: In the decision on joint managerial functions (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/CRP.5/Add.6), the ExCOPs request the Executive Director, after consulting the bureaus of the three Conventions, to immediately proceed with the recruitment of a joint head of the three Conventions’ Secretariats for a period of two years, noting that the position will be subject to a review. The ExCOPs also request the Executive Director, in consultation with the Director-General of FAO, to develop a proposal for the modification of the organization of the three Secretariats, including a possible continuation of the joint-head post that is cost-neutral. The parties are invited to consider the modification as soon as possible, but no later than 2013. The decision affirms the legal autonomy of the Conventions, as well as their objectives and advocacy for the mobilization of substantially increased funding for national implementation.

JOINT SERVICES: This item (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/4) was introduced by the Secretariat in the OEWG on Monday, and also discussed on Tuesday.

The EU, supported by Norway and Switzerland, outlined its proposal for joint services for financial and administrative support, legal service, information technology service, information service, and resource mobilization service. Japan sought clarification on the meaning of “cost neutral in respect to real terms.” The EU explained that the intention was for cost neutrality to be in real and not nominal terms reflecting, for example, adjustments made to staff salaries during each biennium due to exchange rate fluctuations.

A revised section of the omnibus draft decision on joint services was approved by the OEWG, and forwarded for consideration of the ExCOPs. During the ExCOPs closing plenary, Japan underscored that it could not accept the term “cost-neutral in real terms” with respect to the operating budget, as it was against his country’s fundamental position. He proposed, and parties accepted, removing the term “in real terms.”

FINAL DECISION: In the decision (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/CRP.5/Add.1), the ExCOPs, inter alia:

  • invite the UNEP Executive Director to establish joint financial and administrative support service, legal service, information technology service, information service, and resource mobilization service;
  • approve the proposals on a common arrangement for staffing and financing joint services of the three Conventions as they relate to existing posts;
  • request the UNEP Executive Director, in consultation with the Director-General of the FAO and the temporary joint head of the Basel, Stockholm and UNEP part of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariats to develop a proposal for a modification of the organization of the three Secretariats for the biennium 2012-2013, for possible adoption at the meetings of the COPs in 2011, that is cost-neutral with respect to the adopted operating budgets of the three Conventions for 2010-2011;
  • invite parties and others in a position to do so to provide voluntary funding of US$80,000 to cover the integration of the information technology platforms throughout the three Secretariats; and
  • agree to continue efforts toward the implementation of the joint services, and to report on progress at the meetings of the COPs in 2011.

SYNCHRONIZATION OF BUDGET CYCLES: The Secretariat introduced this item (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/5) in the OEWG on Tuesday. The EU, supported by Switzerland and Ecuador, suggested that synchronization should be continued, and delegates requested the Secretariats to prepare a draft decision accordingly, which was agreed and forwarded to the ExCOPs for consideration.

FINAL DECISION: In the decision on synchronization of budget cycles (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/CRP.5/Add.3), the ExCOPs, inter alia, take note that the synchronization of the budget cycles of the Basel and Rotterdam Conventions with the budget cycles of UNEP, FAO and the Stockholm Convention has been achieved; and request the Executive Secretaries of the three Conventions to continue to synchronize budget cycles.

JOINT AUDITS: The Secretariat introduced this item (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/6) in the OEWG on Tuesday. The EU introduced the relevant section of its proposal for a draft omnibus decision, requesting the UNEP Executive Director to report to the COPs on the audit by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). UNEP’s Legal Advisor clarified that the trust funds of each Convention will be included in the overall UNEP audit. The OEWG requested the Secretariat to draft a decision based on the EU’s proposal, which was agreed by delegates and forwarded to the ExCOPs for consideration.

FINAL DECISION: In the decision on joint audits (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/CRP.5/Add.4), the ExCOPs, inter alia, welcome the commitment by UNEP to share with the COPs of the three Conventions the audit reports, and the request by the UNEP Executive Director to the UN OIOS to audit in 2010 the strategic management of the MEAs for which UNEP provides secretariat functions; and request the Executive Director to present a report on the audit conducted by the OIOS of each of the three Conventions to the respective COP in 2011.

REVIEW ARRANGEMENTS: This item (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/7) was considered by the OEWG on Monday and in a contact group co-chaired by Jan-Karel Kwisthout (The Netherlands) and Pauline Davies (Uruguay) on Monday and Tuesday.

Switzerland, on behalf of Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Norway, and Zambia, presented a proposal for a draft decision on the review mechanism. The EU supported a timeline for the review, and stressed the importance of an open and flexible review mechanism that would take into consideration the Strategic Agreement on International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and an envisaged global legally binding instrument on mercury. China proposed that UNEP prepare indicators, and expressed reservations on broadening the process of cooperation and coordination under the Conventions to other instruments. Pakistan said that parties first needed to agree on the parameters, scope and indicators of the review. The US said that parties and other stakeholders should be invited to submit information relevant to the review.

The contact group discussed the terms of reference and timetable for the review arrangements pursuant to the synergies decisions adopted by the previous ordinary COPs of the three Conventions and the decision to be adopted by the ExCOPs. Delegates agreed to a proposal requesting the Executive Director of UNEP, in consultation with the Director-General of FAO, to prepare detailed terms of reference, including indicators, for the review. Delegates eventually agreed to language requesting the Secretariats of the three Conventions to jointly compile their report, including recommendations on the review containing information collected from parties through a questionnaire.

When the proposal for review arrangements was presented in the contact group, Sudan and Iran questioned a request to UNEP and FAO to prepare a report on the review taking into account input from the three Secretariats and “others.” Delegates agreed to clarify this by revising “other stakeholders.” The draft decision was approved and submitted to the ExCOPs for consideration.

Final Decision: In the decision on review arrangements (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/CRP.5/Add.5/Rev.1) the ExCOPs, inter alia:

  • decide to review at the COPs of the three Conventions in 2013, how far the arrangements adopted pursuant to the synergies decisions have contributed to achieving a set of objectives, such as strengthening the implementation of the three Conventions and maximizing the effective and efficient use of resources at all levels, and request the Secretariats to prepare detailed terms of reference for the preparation of a report for the purpose of the review for consideration and adoption by the COPs of the three conventions in 2011, and to compile and complete their report jointly for adoption by the three COPs in 2013; and
  • invites the Executive Director of UNEP, in consultation with the Director-General of FAO, to prepare detailed terms of reference, including performance indicators, for the review for consideration and adoption by the COPs of the three Conventions in 2011, and invites them to prepare a report, including recommendations, on the review.

DECISION-MAKING: This item was considered briefly on Tuesday in the contact group on review arrangements. Several parties opposed the draft decision text, which recommended the ordinary meetings of the COPs of the three Conventions taking place in 2011 decide to convene ExCOPs, because they objected to the current ExCOPs making any recommendations to the ordinary COPs on this matter. They suggested submitting the report of the current ExCOPs to each ordinary COP.

Several delegates supported the original draft and no consensus was reached. This item was not reflected in the omnibus decision.

CLOSING PLENARY

The closing plenary convened on Wednesday morning, 24 February. Co-Chair Stendahl presented the report of the Co-Chairs of the joint OEWG (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/L.2). Reflecting on over three years work in the synergies process, she said the process had come to a remarkable fruition. Co-Chair Álvarez-Pérez expressed gratitude to parties and the Secretariats for their efforts. The ExCOPs approved the credentials report and adopted the meeting report.

The Secretariat outlined the sections of the omnibus decision as forwarded by the OEWG (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/CRP.5/Add. 1-7). The Presidents of the Conferences of the Parties of the Rotterdam, Stockholm and Basel Conventions, speaking in unison, invited parties to adopt the omnibus decision as a package. Delegates unanimously adopted the omnibus decision. The President of the Stockholm Convention COP introduced the draft report on the ExCOPs (UNEP/FAO/CHW/RC/POPS/EXCOPS.1/L.1). China expressed concern that there had been no general debate on policies at the meeting, which might lead to a loss of direction in the future. The ExCOPs then adopted the report of the meeting.

The President of the Basel Convention COP, on behalf of the three Presidents, expressed his thanks to the parties for their hard work and to the Secretariats and UNEP for their assistance in the synergies process. The Presidents of the three COPs then declared the meeting closed in unison at 9:42 am.

GCSS-11/GMEF REPORT

The 11th special session of the UNEP Governing Council /Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GCSS-11/GMEF) convened from Wednesday to Friday.

On Wednesday morning, Oliver Dulić, Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Serbia, and President of the GCSS-11/GMEF opened the meeting and highlighted the Belgrade process on international environmental governance (IEG) in the context of preparations for Rio+20. Indonesian Foreign Minister R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa emphasized the need for balance between environmental protection and economic development. UNEP Deputy Executive Director Angela Cropper read a message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which he urged parties to be “bold and creative” on IEG. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said IEG encompasses more than management and includes implementation, financing and action on the ground. Steiner then presented the UNEP Award for Leadership in Ocean and Marine Management to President Yudhoyono of Indonesia.

President Yudhoyono welcomed ministers and participants to Bali. He highlighted the importance of coordination, coherence and efficiency in international environmental cooperation, and supported strengthening UNEP.

GCSS-11/GMEF elected Luis Javier Campuzano (Mexico) and Henri Njombo (Republic of Congo) as Vice-Presidents, and adopted the agenda (UNEP/GCSS.XI/1). Delegates established a Committee of the Whole (COW) chaired by John Matuszak (US), an open-ended drafting group, chaired by Daniel Chuburu (Argentina), and a Nusa Dua Declaration drafting group, co-chaired by Dian Triansyah Djani (Indonesia) and France Jacovella (Canada).

Achim Steiner highlighted the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building as an integral part of UNEP’s Medium-Term Strategy. He also highlighted UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative, and continued efforts to improve effectiveness and efficiency. Steiner emphasized that GCSS-11/GMEF represents an opportunity to prepare for the Rio+20 Summit. He noted that sustainable development requires a broad international diplomatic effort.

Daniel Chuburu (Argentina), Chair of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to UNEP (CPR), submitted the seven draft decisions negotiated by the CPR, some of which contained brackets. He noted that no consensus was reached in Nairobi on adopting the draft Nusa Dua declaration/statement/communiqué. President Dulić announced that, following consultations, a revised version would be distributed. India said the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China) favored a “declaration.” The EU emphasized the importance of the green economy, and urged the transformation of UNEP into a specialized agency. 

The US reaffirmed that the special sessions of the GC/GMEF should be devoted to ministerial consultations rather than decision-making. He emphasized that the declaration to be adopted should be concise and truly ministerial in nature. Chile, for GRULAC, announced that they would table a draft decision in response to the Haiti earthquake.

MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS

On Wednesday, ministers and heads of delegation held consultations under the theme “Environment in the Multilateral System” on IEG and sustainable development. On Thursday morning, an informal Ministerial Breakfast took place on the contribution of UNEP to the 18th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-18). It was followed by five parallel ministerial round-table discussions on the green economy. On Thursday afternoon, a plenary panel discussion took place on the theme “Biodiversity and Ecosystems.”

EMERGING POLICY ISSUES: environment in the multilateral system: IEG and sustainable development: Paolo Soprano, on behalf of Stefania Prestigiacomo, Minister for Environment, Land and Sea, Italy, and Co-Chair of the consultative group of ministers and high-level representatives on IEG, reported on constructive discussions. Macharia Kamau, Kenya’s Representative to UNEP and UN-Habitat, on behalf of John Michuki, Minister for Environment and Mineral Resources, Kenya, and Co-Chair of the consultative group, presented the outcome of the Belgrade Process (UNEP/GCSS.XI/4).

In a video address, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, inter alia, committed to enhancing cooperation and coordination with UNEP.

Gusti Mohammad Hatta, Minister of Environment, Indonesia, and Basel Convention COP President, stated that the ExCOPs established an unprecedented mechanism for synergies, applicable to other frameworks.

Achim Steiner stated that a number of the recommendations of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) management review (UNEP/GCSS.XI/5) had been taken up by UNEP and highlighted the draft decision on IEG and the proposed Nusa Dua declaration as opportunities to guide the Rio+20 preparations and the role of the GC/GMEF in IEG.

In the ensuing discussion, ministers highlighted the need for incremental as well as broader reforms. Statements also pointed to strengthening the role and credibility of UNEP, and using Rio+20 as an opportunity for improving IEG. The EU supported establishing a UN specialized agency for environment, and stated that the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP-10 in October 2010 presents an opportunity to promote synergies among MEAs. Jordan expressed concern with the proliferation of environmental institutions. Malaysia advocated a targeted coordination approach, not requiring the development of a new organization. The US stated reforms are necessary to improve effectiveness and efficiency, noting that UNEP has implemented improvements that need time to show results.

THE GREEN ECONOMY: The session consisted of five parallel round table discussions. Representatives shared their views and experiences on the green economy. Ministers expressed general support for the green economy but requested UNEP to clarify the concept and collect information on best practices for dissemination. They highlighted the need for technology transfer, scientific and technology cooperation, capacity building and training for “green skills.” Ministers viewed the green economy as a long-term strategy for sustainable development and poverty reduction.  Several oil producing countries, however, expressed concern with the concept in terms of economic impacts. It was explained that the green economy also presented opportunities in terms of carbon capture and storage and development of renewable resources.

Biodiversity and ecosystems: The session consisted of a panel discussion and was moderated by Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for the Environment, UK. In a keynote address, Henri Njombo, Minister of the Environment, Republic of Congo, stated that the international community needs to learn from its failure to achieve the 2010 target to significantly reduce biodiversity loss. He made recommendations on several key areas, including raising public awareness, and the integration of biodiversity in the economy. He also promoted a new global target to stop biodiversity loss.

On climate change and biodiversity, Juan Rafael Elvira, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Mexico, discussed the issue from the perspective of a megadiverse country. Batilda Burian, Minister of State for Environment, Tanzania, proposed including biodiversity loss in the assessment of the climate change vulnerability of countries.

The EU and others advocated closer coordination between the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the CBD, and expressed support for REDD (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries).

On economic development, Hasan Mahmud, Minister of Environment and Forests, Bangladesh, questioned the notion that economic advancement implies that every family needs a car.

Pavan Sukhdev, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, outlined the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity (TEEB) study, a major international initiative to draw attention to the global economic benefits of biodiversity. Many countries highlighted national initiatives for the conservation of biodiversity, and underscored the need to adopt a legally binding agreement on access and benefit-sharing (ABS) in October at CBD COP 10 in Nagoya, Japan. There was also general support expressed for an intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services (IPBES).

Wangari Maathai, Nobel Prize Laureate, Green Belt Movement, Kenya, pondering on how “countries very rich in biodiversity could at the same time be very poor,” emphasized that capital could be mobilized with sufficient political will. Kazuhiko Takemoto, Vice Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, Japan, expressed his country’s commitment to providing the appropriate level of contribution to help developing countries achieve the 2010 biodiversity target.

Farmers underscored the importance of farming to ensure adequate food for the world, noting that farmers are the largest ecosystem managers. Jochen Flasbarth (Germany), CBD COP 9 President, observed that the 2010 biodiversity target had not been achieved, noting that agriculture is still the main driver of biodiversity loss.

On an IPBES, Hilary Benn noted that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) findings had been a great motivator for political action, observing that IPBES may provide a similar service for biodiversity and ecosystems. Supporting an IPBES, Izabela Teixeira, Vice Minister for Environment, Brazil, emphasized that such a mechanism would only be effective if premised on a bottom-up approach, with Spain noting the need to discuss a model format that would also ensure its independence. Jean-Louis Borloo, State Minister for Ecology and Sustainable Development, France, emphasized the need to establish an IPBES based on the IPCC model. The Republic of Korea offered to host the 3rd IPBES meeting.

 Jochen Flasbarth highlighted the relevance of TEEB for IPBES and, on ABS, said that it was unacceptable not to have a legally binding ABS regime 18 years after the Rio Summit. Juan Rafael Elvira stated the new biodiversity target must be measurable, attainable and profitable.

PRESIDENT’S SUMMARY: GCSS-11/GMEF President Oliver Dulić presented a 13-page draft summary of the ministerial discussions (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.7) during closing plenary and delegates took note of the summary.

On IEG and sustainable development, the summary underlines the need for considering IEG reform within the sustainable development context and the experience of the joint ExCOPs as a crucial milestone for the IEG process.

The summary also notes that the main challenges for IEG include the weakness of the environmental pillar in comparison to the economic and social pillars of sustainable development, the hampered implementation of laws and policies, and the need for broad stakeholder participation in the current process of IEG reforms. It concluded that the main opportunities on IEG include:

  • the development of a system-wide strategy for environment developed by UNEP in collaboration with the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination and UNDP;
  • the design of a roadmap to facilitate the continuation of the Consultative Group of Ministers for improving IEG to provide input into the preparatory process for Rio+20;
  • broader reforms, which could include the establishment of a specialized agency, a World Environment Organization of the integration or UNEP, the GEF and all multilateral environmental agreements into an umbrella organization; and
  • the strengthening of UNEP as the leading authority on the environment within the United Nations system.

On the green economy, the main challenges are summarized including: decoupling of growth from unsustainable resource use and environmental damage; the required public and private funds; the wide gaps between developed and developing countries and countries with economies in transition in terms of human capacity, financing, technology and policy implementation; and the relatively low level of attention for biodiversity in green economy discussions. The main opportunities and messages on the green economy include: the need to develop basic criteria to verify what is truly green; the enhancement of the institutional capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition; that transformative change requires the political will of governments; and that a “basket” of policies and measures are required to enable the transition towards a green economy.

On biodiversity and ecosystems, the summary outlined the main challenges as: the increasing human population and the associated demands on food, water and other resources; how to sustainably use and place economic value on biodiversity; and the incomplete knowledge base, in particular for the social, environment and ecological indicators to redefine calculations of gross domestic product.

As main opportunities, the summary notes the post 2010 targets on biodiversity loss should be realistic, focused, measurable and verifiable and be agreed at CBD COP-10. It also notes as opportunities the 65th General Assembly, the CBD COP and UNFCCC COP in 2010, which should be used to develop synergies between these and other conventions.

The main challenges, opportunities, and messages from the Ministerial Breakfast on the CSD are also summarized and include: the need for a paradigm shift from “business as usual”; using Rio+20 to develop the institutional framework for sustainable development; addressing how to change consumer behavior and lifestyle choices within the current cycle of the CSD; the need for a governance system that can meet the challenges we currently face; and establishing an advisory group from civil society as an important addition to the discussion.

NUSA DUA DECLARATION

A drafting group on the Nusa Dua Declaration, co-chaired by Dian Triansyah Djani (Indonesia) and France Jacovella (Canada), was established and met from Wednesday to Friday.

On climate change, some developing countries requested a reference to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, which was accepted by the group. One developed country party proposed to refer to science as documented by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, which was bracketed by a developing country party. With reference to reducing global emissions in order to limit the increase in global temperature to below 2°C, one party argued that this is one of the scientific views, not a consensus target by parties, and therefore objected to text implying that ministers agree to hold the increase in global temperature below 2°C. After intense discussion, parties reached agreement on a compromise text. Regarding the Copenhagen Accord, two parties opposed text implying that ministers welcome it. Delegates agreed to text stating that at UNFCCC COP 15 and the Conference of the Parties serving as the fifth meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol, the parties took note of the Copenhagen Accord.

On biodiversity and ecosystems, one developed country party objected to the reference to having the international regime on ABS adopted by CBD COP 10 and this part of the text was bracketed.

The drafting group reached consensus on the text of the Declaration including sections on climate change, sustainable development, IEG, green economy, and biodiversity and ecosystems. The Nusa Dua Declaration (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.6) was presented in plenary by Co-Chair Dian Triansyah Djani and adopted.

DECLARATION TEXT: In the Declaration, the Ministers and Heads of Delegation, inter alia:

  • on climate change, recognize the scientific view, as documented by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report,that deep cuts in global emissions are required to hold the increase in global temperature below 2°C; welcome the decision of UNFCCC COP 15 and COP/MOP 5 to extend the mandates of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to continue their work; took note of the Copenhagen Accord; and reaffirm their commitment to the UNFCCC process to work constructively towards a comprehensive agreed outcome within this process by the end of 2010;
  • on sustainable development, welcome the decision to organize the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012, and support active and effective participation of UNEP in its preparation and full and effective contribution to the process;
  • on IEG and sustainable development, welcome the establishment of a process to be led by ministers or their high-level representatives to further address IEG reforms; welcome the activities undertaken by UNEP and the Secretariats of the three chemical and waste-related Conventions to enhance their cooperation and coordination, and welcome the outcome of the ExCOPs; and encourage the COPs of the biodiversity-related MEAs to consider strengthening their efforts in enhancing synergies;
  • on green economy, acknowledge its importance in sustainable development and poverty reduction and UNEP’s important role in this regard; and urge the Executive Director of UNEP to implement fully the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building; and
  • on biodiversity and ecosystems, commit in 2010 to finalize deliberations on improving the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystems services, and to negotiate and reach agreement on whether to establish an IPBES, and welcome the commitment made by parties to the CBD to finalize an international regime on ABS in 2010, in accordance with decision UNEP/CBD/COP/DEC/IX/12 of the CBD COP.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

The COW, chaired by John Matuszak (US), convened from Wednesday to Friday to consider agenda items under the theme “environment in the multilateral system.” The COW considered seven draft decisions prepared by the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR), contained in UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.1, on IPBES, the consultative process on financing options for chemicals, IEG, enhanced UN coordination including the EMG, environmental law, oceans, and the environmental situation in the Gaza Strip. The COW also considered a draft decision on the environmental situation in Haiti, which was proposed by GRULAC. The COW approved eight decisions, which were forwarded to the plenary for adoption. A progress report on mercury was also considered and the 2010 UNEP Year Book was presented.

PROGRESS REPORT ON MERCURY: On Wednesday, the Secretariat introduced the progress report (UNEP/GCSS.XI/6), noting the total cost of the negotiation process is estimated to be US$12.5 million. India underscored its agreement to negotiate a treaty on mercury in the spirit of collaboration, highlighting its preference for voluntary approaches. China stressed the financial implications of the new convention. Switzerland highlighted the need for a strong framework to address chemicals, said the mercury regime should consider this, and looked forward to discussing this at GC-26/GMEF. Delegates agreed to take note of the report.

GCSS-11/GMEF DECISIONS

Draft decisions submitted by the CPR or directly by governments at GCSS-11/GMEF, were considered from Wednesday to Friday in the COW and in a contact group on draft decisions and in Friends of the Chair groups. Unless otherwise mentioned, all decisions were adopted in plenary on Friday.

IEG: This agenda item was introduced in the COW on Wednesday. It was also considered by the contact group on draft decisions, chaired by Daniel Chuburu (Argentina) on Thursday.

Many countries supported the balance established between incremental and broader reforms, as suggested by the consultative group of ministers or high-level representatives, known as the “Belgrade process.” Delegates favored a new consultative process to examine measures for broader reform, noting this could form an important contribution to preparations for Rio+20. Many delegates urged that the GCSS-11/GMEF decision on IEG should remain procedural, leaving substantive issues for discussion in the new process.

The question of forwarding the expected outcome of the new process was also debated, and different opinions were voiced on the timing and the addressees (GC-26/GMEF in February 2011, the UNGA, and the Preparatory Committee for Rio+20).

Switzerland, Kenya, Mexico and others called for quick implementation of the identified incremental reform options, and stressed that UNEP should continue to lead the process of strengthening IEG. The EU said the GCSS-11/GMEF decision should indicate which matters coming out of the consultative group should go to the UNGA. The US emphasized that all incremental options identified by the group were still options. India, Brazil and others stressed the IEG discussion must be in the broader context of sustainable development, many emphasized that “form must follow function.”

During drafting group discussions a number of issues presented difficulties, including: language on transmitting to the UNGA, GC-26/GMEF and the Rio+20 PrepCom, the reform options developed by the Belgrade process and the composition of a new high-level consultative group (whether it should follow the first group’s model). An additional paragraph on the outcome of the ExCOPs and the link to the synergies process was discussed and moved to a separate draft decision. China and Brazil could not agree to this separate draft decision, which also requested the Executive Director to explore further synergies, and agreed to include reference to this in the report of the meeting. Among the last hurdles to overcome was Switzerland’s objection to the Executive Director consulting with governments “through the CPR” on identifying incremental reform suggested by the Belgrade process. The issue was resolved by adding “all” to “governments.”

FINAL DECISION: In the decision on IEG (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.5/Add.1), the GC welcomes with appreciation the result of the process, and takes note of the set of options for improving IEG identified by the consultative group, set out in the annex to this decision. It requests the Executive Director to identify, in full consultation with all governments through the CPR, all incremental changes in the set of options within the mandate of UNEP that can be implemented in 2010 and 2011, and integrated in the work programme for 2012-2013. The GC invites its President to transmit the set of options to the 64th session of the UNGA and decides to establish a regionally representative consultative group (4-6 governments from each region), open to other interested governments. The group will consider broader reform of IEG, and will present a final report to GC-26/GMEF in anticipation of its contribution in time for the second PrepCom of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, and to the 65th session of the UNGA.   

ENHANCED COORDINATION ACROSS THE UN SYSTEM: The item was introduced in the COW on Thursday and discussed in the contact group on draft decisions in the evening. Several countries generally welcomed the Environmental Management Group’s (EMG) current activities, but cautioned that the EMG had shifted away from its original coordinating mandate

FINAL DECISION: In the decision on enhanced coordination across the UN system (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.5/Add.1),the GC encourages the Executive Director to expedite the implementation of the memorandum of understanding between UNEP and UNDP. The GC also requests the Executive Director to strengthen regional offices, and encourages the EMG to continue its cooperation, including with the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination, in enhancing sustainable management practices in the UN system and cooperation in programming activities in the UN system.

IPBES: This item (UNEP/GCSS.XI/7 and UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.1) was discussed in the COW and in a Friends of the Chair group on Wednesday and Thursday.

The discussion focused on the type of decision to be taken by the GCSS-11/GMEF, and the characteristics of a future science-policy interface. Several countries emphasized that the decision was intended to be procedural, so no substantive text should be included, and different delegates expressed support for a third intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder meeting to decide whether to establish an IPBES.

The US suggested that the IPBES would need to, inter alia: have a clear mission; be independent from but responsive to policy bodies; and have a rigorous peer review process. Brazil pointed out the need for IPBES to include capacity building, and China said it should not increase the burden on developing countries. Switzerland preferred one mechanism, scientifically independent, following the model of the IPCC, and supporting all biodiversity-related institutions.

FINAL DECISION: In the decision on an IPBES (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.5), the GC invites governments and relevant organizations to finalize in 2010 their deliberations on improving the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development, having considered the report of the Executive Director on an IPBES (UNEP/GCSS.XI/7). It requests the Executive Director to:

  • convene, in June 2010, a third and final ad hoc intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder meeting to negotiate and reach agreement on whether to establish an IPBES;
  • transmit, on behalf of the GC, the outcomes of and necessary documentation from the third and final meeting to the 65th session of the UNGA for consideration during the high-level segment on biological diversity, scheduled for September 2010 and thereafter; and
  • cooperate closely with the relevant secretariats of MEAs, financial institutions and international organizations to ensure the full involvement of key stakeholders in the preparations for the third meeting.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW: This agenda item (UNEP/GCSS.XI/8 and UNEP/GCSS.XI/8/Add.1) was discussed in the COW and in a Friends of the Chair group on Thursday. The Secretariat introduced the draft guidelines for the development of national legislation on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters and the draft guidelines for the development of domestic legislation on liability, response action and compensation for damage caused by activities dangerous to the environment. The discussion focused on whether the guidelines should be welcomed or adopted by GCSS-11/GMEF, and whether the annexes and commentary should be considered part of the guidelines. After discussion in the Friends of the Chair group, the COW agreed to recommend that guidelines be adopted, and approved the draft decisions.

FINAL DECISION: In the decision on environmental law (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.5) the GC, inter alia:

  • adopts the guidelines for the development of national legislation on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters, noting that these guidelines are voluntary. The GC also decides that the Secretariat shall disseminate the guidelines to all countries, and that the commentary on the guidelines shall also be distributed to all countries for further comments to enhance its quality;
  • requests the Executive Director to assist countries, upon their request, with the development or amendment of national legislation, policies and strategies on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters;
  • adopts the guidelines for the development of domestic legislation on liability, response action and compensation for damage caused by activities dangerous to the environment and affirms that these guidelines are voluntary and do not set a precedent for the development of international law. It also invites countries to provide comments on the draft commentary and annexes to enhance their quality, with a view to their subsequent distribution.
  • invites countries to take the guidelines into consideration in the development or amendment of their national legislation; and
  • requests the Executive Director to assist countries, upon their request, with the development or amendment of national legislation, policies and strategies on liability, response action and compensation for damage caused by activities dangerous to the environment.

ENVIRONMENTAL SITUATION IN THE GAZA STRIP: This item (UNEP/GCSS.XI/9 and UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.1) was introduced by the Secretariat on Thursday in the COW and discussed in informal consultations on Thursday evening.

Palestine suggested an amendment to the CPR’s draft decision, which, inter alia, requests the Executive Director to address “some aspects of deficiency” in his report on the environmental situation in the Gaza Strip, and refers the report to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Saudi Arabia, as a GC member, on behalf of the Arab Group, formally proposed the amendment. Many Arab states expressed their support, while Japan expressed concern about the financial implications, and Switzerland said that the GC should focus on its mandate. Several delegates said they needed to consult their capitals overnight. After informal consultations, on Friday morning the COW Chair proposed a compromise draft decision. Delegates approved the document with minor amendments and forwarded it to the plenary.

FINAL DECISION: In the decision on the environmental situation in the Gaza Strip (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.5/Add.1), the GC, inter alia:

  • requests the UNEP Executive Director to take the necessary measures, within its mandate and available resources, to assist in the implementation of the recommendations of the report entitled “Environmental Assessment of the Gaza Strip following the escalation of hostilities in December 2008 – January 2009”; and
  • invites governments, the UN system entities and the international financial institutions to provide financial, technical and logistical support and assistance to ensure the success of the further work of UNEP in the Gaza Strip.

OCEANS: This item (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.1) was introduced in the COW on Thursday. Several countries praised Indonesia for sponsoring the draft decision, and congratulated it on holding the World Ocean Conference 2009 and on the Manado Declaration. The COW approved the draft decision with minor amendments and forwarded it to plenary.

FINAL DECISION: In the decision on oceans (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.5), the GC, inter alia:

  • requests the Executive Director to strengthen the work of UNEP regarding the protection and sustainable management of marine and coastal ecosystems, to mainstream the UNEP marine and coastal strategy into the implementation of the programme of work and the medium-term strategy for the period 2010-2013, to extend UNEP’s cooperation with other relevant UN agencies to support the implementation of the Manado Ocean Declaration, and to support developing countries’ capacity to manage marine and coastal ecosystems;
  • urges governments to achieve the long-term conservation, management and sustainable use of marine resources and coastal habitats through the appropriate application of the precautionary and ecosystem approaches;
  • calls upon governments to reduce the land-based and sea-based pollution of ocean and coastal areas, and to promote the sustainable management of fisheries;
  • calls upon governments, international organizations and oceanographic institutions and other research and development agencies to enhance research, systematic observation, knowledge management, capacity-building, information and data exchange related to vulnerability and risk assessment of climate change impacts on marine ecosystems, communities, fisheries and other marine-related industries; to improve emergency preparedness, monitoring and forecasting climate change and ocean variability; and to improve public awareness on early-warning system capacity;
  • invites governments, international and regional financial institutions to make coordinated efforts to support developing countries in implementing marine and coastal initiatives; and
  • requests the Executive Director to report on UNEP’s activities in implementing this decision to GC-26/GMEF.

FINANCING OPTIONS FOR CHEMICALS AND WASTES: This item (UNEP/GCSS.XI/6 and UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.1) was considered in the COW on Wednesday and in a Friends of the Chair group on Thursday.

The Secretariat invited parties to provide guidance on the consultative process on financing for chemicals and wastes. In the ensuing discussion, India highlighted the need for a substantial transfer of resources to finance chemical and waste obligations. Brazil noted that the financing options included in the paper should be narrowed down. Norway and Jordan said the informal consultative process should be formalized. Mexico highlighted the links between the consultative process and the synergies process. The EU stressed the need to bring others, including chemical and waste Secretariats, into the consultative process. The US noted the relevance of linking the consultative process and SAICM. Delegates agreed to establish a Friends of the Chair group, chaired by Mexico, to finalize the draft decision on the consultative process. Discussions in this group were successful, resulting in two additional paragraphs requesting the Secretariat to distribute necessary documentation in a timely fashion, and requesting the Executive Director to take into account and incorporate contributions from governments into the paper on policy options. Delegates approved the draft decision, and it was adopted by the plenary on Friday.

FINAL DECISION: In the decision on the consultative process on financing options for chemicals and wastes (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.5) the GC, inter alia:

  • welcomes the establishment of a consultative process on financing options for chemicals and wastes;
  • reminds the Secretariat to distribute all necessary documents relevant to this process in a reasonable time and no less than five weeks prior to any future meeting related to this process;
  • takes note of the preliminary findings set out in the desk study on financing options for chemicals and wastes;
  • requests the Executive Director to: continue leading the consultative process, and suggests drawing more on the experience of the MEAs and the work of the International Conference on Chemicals Management, the GEF, UNDP, the World Bank and other relevant organizations; report on the progress made to relevant intergovernmental processes; and, in preparing documents for the next stage of the consultative process, to ensure that the comments and the contributions of governments are incorporated in a revised version of the note by the Executive Director on financing the chemicals and wastes agenda and in the action-orientated summary of policy options for financing chemicals and wastes; and
  • recommends that the consultative process consider the financial challenges faced by developing countries and countries with economies in transition to implement their chemicals and wastes agendas effectively. 

ENVIRONMENTAL SITUATION IN HAITI: This issue was discussed in the COW on Wednesday and Thursday. The Secretariat introduced the draft decision, which was supported by many countries, and the Chair asked delegates to submit any proposed amendments in writing. Discussion focused on the extent to which UNEP’s efforts in Haiti would fall under the coordination of the UN country team. The COW approved the draft decision with minor amendments.

FINAL DECISION:In the decision on the environmental situation in Haiti (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.5), the GC notes with deep concern the devastating impact of the earthquake of 12 January 2010 on the people, economy and environment in Haiti, and in particular the suffering of Haiti’s people, and urges UNEP to assist actively the people of Haiti and the United Nations country team during the emergency recovery phase and the rehabilitation and reconstruction phases. It also requests the Executive Director to make every effort to ensure that UNEP performs its key role in addressing environmental restoration and management, under the overall coordination of the UN country team and by taking part in relevant clusters, in particular with regard to human vulnerability and poverty eradication, taking into account the role of integrated coastal-zone management, land-use planning and ecosystems management.

CLOSING PLENARY

On Friday morning in plenary, delegates adopted the decisions on IPBES, strengthening the environmental response in Haiti, oceans, financing options for chemicals and wastes, and environmental law (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.5), without amendment. The Nusa Dua Declaration (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.6), submitted by the drafting group, was also adopted without amendment.

In the closing plenary, GC/GMEF President Olivier Dulić introduced the President’s Summary of the Ministerial Consultations (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.7). He stated that the summary identifies some of the main challenges, opportunities, and messages from the meeting. The GC also approved the verbal report on credentials.

COW Chair Matuszak presented the provisional draft report of the COW (UNEP/GCSS.XI/CW/L.1 and Add.1) and draft decisions (UNEP/ GCSS.XI/L.5/Add.1) approved by the COW on IEG, enhanced coordination across the UN systems including EMG, and the follow-up report on the environmental situation in the Gaza Strip. Chair Matuszak expressed appreciation to delegates, the GC Bureau and the Rapporteur Alexis Minga (Republic of Congo) for their commitment and cooperation, which had made it possible to find common ground. Delegates adopted the report of the COW and the decisions. The report of draft proceedings of GCSS-11/GMEF (UNEP/GCSS.XI/L.3) was also adopted.

Under other matters, the United Arab Emirates drew attention to the Eye on Earth Summit to be held from 15-17 November 2010 in Abu Dhabi, hosted in cooperation with UNEP and the EU Environmental Agency.

Indonesia expressed appreciation for the positive outcome of the historic meeting, which had resulted in a number of important decisions. The EU expressed satisfaction with the adoption of the Nusa Dua Declaration and the decision on IEG. The US highlighted practical and productive exchanges, noting however, that too many decisions had been proposed for the meeting. Chile, on behalf of GRULAC, emphasized the need for implementation after the adoption of the important decisions. Senegal said the session was an important benchmark for the organization and paid tribute to the UNEP Executive Director for his exemplary leadership. India welcomed the Declaration as a decisive step forward, demonstrating the commitment of global environmental ministers to take action on the challenges ahead.

Achim Steiner, recapping a “very intense meeting,” said the GCSS-11/GMEF comes after Copenhagen on the road to Nagoya in anticipation of Cancun and looks towards the Rio+20 Summit. He said that Environment Ministers had found their “collective voice” again in the Nusa Dua Declaration. Olivier Dulić expressed satisfaction with the continued commitment by governments to this process, and said the conference “would have far reaching impacts on our planet,” and that results were due in large measure to political will. He expressed thanks to the government and people of Indonesia, and closed the meeting at 4:29 pm.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE EXCOPS AND GCSS-11/GMEF

Environmental ministers gathered in Bali for their first meeting since Copenhagen Climate Change Summit to take stock of the state of international environmental governance. Both the simultaneous Extraordinary Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and the 11th special session of UNEP’s Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environment Forum convened in Bali with the shared objective of enhancing cooperation and coordination and improving synergies in multilateral environment agreements (MEAs). This brief analysis will attempt to examine the two events, which broke new ground and set an example of resource-saving coherence among MEAs and, perhaps, in the UN system.

SYNERGIZING CHEMISTRY

The first ever simultaneous ExCOPs represented the culmination of nearly five years of work on synergies of the chemicals and wastes conventions. The process focused on their joint management, activities and services. Initially, the synergies process was initiated and agreed to by all the parties. However, the negotiation of details by the Ad Hoc Joint Working Group, a limited body of just 45 parties and closed to observers, was treated by some with suspicion. They also wondered if the process was being driven by the UNEP Secretariat.  

The most visible decision taken at the ExCOPs was the establishment of a “joint head” position to oversee the work of the Secretariats. While the EU and Switzerland emphasized this raised the profile of the chemicals and wastes conventions, several developing countries’ delegates pointed out that this position is up for review in 2013. Some misunderstandings were cleared, particularly over the claim that since synergies increase efficiency, more resources will be on hand for national-level implementation. In reality it means more Secretariat staff focusing on implementation assistance, as opposed to administrative tasks.

While the outcome of the ExCOPs provides a boost to the chemicals and wastes agenda, another beneficiary is UNEP. UNEP not only demonstrated that synergies are possible but also that it can handle them. In addition, some parties hope to replicate the lesson learned in other areas.

SYNERGIZING ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE

The prevailing sentiment in Bali was that the ExCOPs experience added stimulus to the drive towards a less fragmented international environmental governance (IEG) regime, particularly by “clustering” MEAs. Some even thought the biodiversity-related conventions, including the Convention on Biological Diversity, UN Convention to Combat Desertification, Ramsar Convention and Convention on Migratory Species, might be the next step. Others were not so confident, citing considerable difference between these conventions. Discussion of the matter indicated a possible way further MEA synergies could be addressed, and it is here that the greater significance of the ExCOPs seems to lie.

 UNEP has long been at the center of discussions on improving IEG. The process has been laborious, with the issue shuttling back and forth between UNEP and the UN General Assembly. However, the consultative group on IEG (also known as the “Belgrade process”), established by the UNEP Governing Council last year did come out with a set of reform options, ranging from incremental to sweeping. GCSS-11/GMEF made an important decision, giving the green light to implement incremental reform measures, as well as establishing a new high-level consultative group to grapple with far-reaching reform, essentially continuing the Belgrade process. It has less than a year to come up with new recommendations.

Governments’ expectations of what will happen or, in fact, needs to happen, are mixed. Some hold the view that the reform options (including the transformation of UNEP into a UN Environmental Organization (UNEO) have been brought an inch further. The gradual build-up of UNEP’s substantial work programme, buoyed by greater funding, has helped fill the desired “form” with robust “function.” Other participants are more circumspect, suggesting that prospects for bolder reform, including universal GC membership, must wait. The usual calls by the EU and South Africa for a UNEO were not as passionate as in recent years, and delegates seemed to prefer to proceed more slowly, but surely. UNEP might be interested in keeping the issue on the table, and the discussion in Bali and the decision on IEG show that the issue remains highly visible.

SYNERGIZING WITH SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

The role of UNEP in the lead-up to Rio+20 figured prominently in formal debates and corridor conversations. The agenda of the CSD-18 and -19 cycle is opportune: most issues are closely aligned with the current purview of UNEP, such as chemicals, green economy, biodiversity and, of course, IEG. UNEP has made a convincing case for its contribution to the upcoming CSD session in May by preparing a substantive paper, and aligning its activities to the CSD cycle’s agenda. Furthermore there has been a surge in activities of the Environment Management Group, which go beyond sustainable procurement in the UN and facilitate cooperation across the UN system to assist countries in implementing the environmental agenda.

Some have commented that UNEP’s enthusiastic participation in the preparatory work for Rio+20 is adding to its political stature. One developing country delegate wondered if the true path did not lie in shifting the focus to improving sustainable development governance. This might embrace IEG and aim for even higher stakes: establishing an umbrella International Sustainable Development Organization. After all, they reason, environment is just one pillar of sustainable development, and the other two pillars—economic and social development—should not be subsumed. This is the deeper reason, they say, for the hesitation some developing countries feel about rushing into a radical transformation of IEG within the boundaries of UNEP. Thus, many of those assembled in Bali considered that IEG reform can only happen in the context of sustainable development. Within this context, “green economy,” as a concept that embraces environment, poverty eradication, and social and economic progress, might become the bridge between the three pillars and may even solidify the concept of sustainable development governance.

WHAT LIES AHEAD

GCSS-11/GMEF was a singular success and a high point in recent UNEP history. Never has UNEP been blessed with such a generous budget (running at some US$90 million a year), which allows it to launch and deliver meaningful programmes. With the financial and economic crisis still haunting many national economies and the debacle of the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen still fresh on people’s minds, UNEP’s focus and capacity to deliver are making a strong impact on the world’s environmental agenda. UNEP is forging vigorous links with other partners in the UN family, with different stakeholders, the UNGA, the CSD, UNDP and the preparatory process for Rio+20. The Nusa Dua Declaration shows, perhaps more than the decisions adopted in Bali, that, ten years after the Malmö Declaration, ministers decided to provide additional guidance to UNEP as a mark of their increased confidence in the organization.

However, at the end of the day, as delegates congratulated UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and each other in the grand Nusa Indah Hall, some questions lingered. Is further MEA clustering the sure path to building a more “synergized” governance structure? Will the Rio+20 preparatory process benefit UNEP as a UN programme quickly growing in stature? What will “broader reform” mean in practice: the establishment of a UNEO, a WEO, or the integration of UNEP and the MEAs into a World Sustainable Development Organization? Most importantly, do countries really need such bold changes at this particular time? As a keen observer noted, in a sense UNEP is a victim of its own success. If it’s “a going concern,” will radical transformation of the present IEG format bring fundamental advantage and overcome the complexities of the current regime? These thoughts, in anticipation of an event-filled 2010, and a negotiating marathon up to Rio+20, were on delegates’ minds as they concluded their meeting and stepped into the brilliant Bali sunshine.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

SECOND LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN REGIONAL MEETING ON SAICM: The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) Secretariat, in collaboration with the Ministry of Land and Environment, Jamaica, is organizing a Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) regional meeting on the SAICM, taking place from 5-13 March 2010, in Kingston, Jamaica. In addition, short meetings are being organized on: assisting countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region to prepare for the upcoming negations on mercury as mandated by the UNEP Governing Council in its decision 25/5; nanotechnology and manufactured nanomaterials; industrial chemicals management, organized by the Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention and the World Health Organization; and resource mobilization to support implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. For more information, contact the SAICM Secretariat: tel: +41-22-917-8532; fax: +41-22-797-3460; e-mail: saicm@chemicals.unep.ch; internet: http://www.saicm.org

REGIONAL TRAINING WORKSHOP ON PCBS AND POPS WASTES FOR FRENCH-SPEAKING AFRICA: This regional training workshop, taking place 8-11 March 2010 in Bamako, Mali, is organized by the Ministry of the Environment of Mali and the African Stockpile Programme in Mali. It is targeting national experts on the Environmentally Sound Management of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) wastes from the French-speaking African region. For more information, contact the Stockholm Convention Secretariat: tel: +41-22-917-8729; fax: +41-22-917-8098; e-mail: ssc@pops.int; internet: http://chm.pops.int

ROTTERDAM CONVENTION SIXTH MEETING OF THE CHEMICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE: Taking place from 15-19 March 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland, this meeting will review notifications of final regulatory actions to ban or severely restrict chemicals, including: amitraz, azinphos-methyl, endosulfan, methyl bromide, and paraquat. For more information, contact the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat: tel: +41-22-917-8296; fax: +41-22-917-8082; e-mail: pic@pic.int; internet: http://www.pic.int

FOURTH POLICY BOARD MEETING OF THE UN-REDD PROGRAMME: The Fourth Policy Board meeting of the UN-REDD Programme will take place 17-19 March 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya, and will include a field visit to explore current issues, challenges and concerns about REDD+. For more information, contact: Reem Ismail, Events Coordinator, UN-REDD Programme; tel: +41-22-917-8442; e-mail: reem.ismail@un-redd.org; internet: http://www.un-redd.org/

CBD WORKING GROUP ON ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING (ABS WG 9): Organized by the CBD Secretariat, this meeting will take place 22-28 March 2010 in Cali, Colombia. The meeting will continue negotiations on the international regime on access and benefit-sharing. It will be preceded by two days of regional and interregional consultations, from 20-21 March 2010, and a three-day interregional informal consultation hosted by the Working Group Co-Chairs, from 16-18 March 2010. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int; internet: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=ABSWG-09

HIGH-LEVEL DIALOGUE ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT: Taking place 23-24 March 2010 at UN Headquarters in New York, this year’s Dialogue will focus on the overall theme “The Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration on Financing for Development: status of implementation and tasks ahead.” The first day of the Dialogue will consist of plenary meetings chaired by the President of the General Assembly, and the second day will be devoted to three interactive multi-stakeholder round tables followed by an informal interactive dialogue with the participation of all relevant stakeholders. For more information, contact the Financing for Development Office: fax: +1-212-963-0443; e-mail: ffdoffice@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/hld/HLD2010/

GLOBAL SUMMIT: POWERING GROWTH FOR THE GLOBAL GREEN ECONOMY: The Business for Environment Global Summit (B4E) will take place from 21-23 April 2010 in Seoul, Republic of Korea, and will address resource efficiency, renewable energies, new business models and climate policy and strategies. At the meeting, CEOs and senior executives join leaders from government, international agencies, NGOs and media to discuss environmental issues, forge partnerships and explore innovative solutions for a greener future. For more information, contact: Michelle Ko; tel: +65 6534 8683; fax: +65 6534 8690; e-mail: michelle.ko@globalinitiatives.com; internet: http://www.b4esummit.com/?page_id=106

FIFTH GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON OCEANS, COASTS, AND ISLANDS: This meeting will take place from 3-7 May 2010 in Paris, France. The conference will be organized around the theme “Advancing integrated ocean governance at national, regional, and global levels.” For more information, contact: Miriam C. Balgos, Program Coordinator, Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands; tel: +1-302-831-8086; fax: +1-302-831-3668; e-mail: mbalgos@udel.edu; internet: http://www.globaloceans.org/

CSD-18: The 18th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development will take place from 3-14 May 2010 at UN Headquarters in New York. This review-year session will evaluate progress and identify constraints to implementing the issues on the thematic cluster for the CSD 18-19 cycle: transport, chemicals, waste management, mining and the Ten-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns. For more information, contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/

SEVENTH SESSION OF THE BASEL CONVENTION OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP: The Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) of the Basel Convention is scheduled to meet from 10-14 May 2010, in Geneva. For more information, contact the Basel Convention Secretariat: tel: +41-22-917-8218; fax: +41-22-797-3454; e-mail: sbc@unep.ch; internet: http://www.basel.int/

CBD SBSTTA 14: The 14th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice is organized by the CBD Secretariat, and will take place from 10-21 May 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int; internet: http://www.cbd.int/sbstta14/

FIRST PREPCOM FOR UN CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (RIO+20): This meeting will take place from 17-19 May 2010 at UN Headquarters in New York, immediately following CSD-18. The UN General Assembly, in December 2009, adopted a resolution calling for a UN Conference on Sustainable Development to be convened in Brazil in 2012. This meeting will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development. For more information, contact the Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/

CBD WGRI 3: The third meeting of the CBD Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention will take place from 24-28 May 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int; internet: http://www.cbd.int/wgri3/

32ND SESSIONS OF THE UNFCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES, AWG-LCA 9 AND AWG-KP 11: The 32nd sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC—the SBI and the SBSTA—are scheduled to take place from 31 May to 11 June 2010, in Bonn, Germany. At the same time AWG-LCA 9 and AWG-KP 11 are expected to take place. For more information, contact UNFCCC Secretariat: tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int; internet: http://unfccc.int/

FIRST SESSION OF THE INC TO PREPARE A GLOBAL LEGALLY BINDING INSTRUMENT ON MERCURY: Taking place from 7-11 June 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden, this meeting is the first of five Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee meetings to negotiate a legally binding instrument on mercury. For more information, contact UNEP Chemicals Mercury Programme: tel: +41-22-917-8183; fax: +41-22-797-3460; e-mail: mercury@chemicals.unep.ch; internet: http://www.chem.unep.ch/mercury/OEWG/Meeting.htm

IPBES III: The 3rd Ad Hoc Intergovernmental and Multi-stakeholder meeting on an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES III) is tentatively scheduled for 7-11 June 2010 at a location to be confirmed. For more information, contact: the UNEP IPBES office; tel: +254-20-762-5135; fax: +254-20-762-3926; e-mail: ipbes.unep@unep.org; internet: http://ipbes.net/en/Index.asp

G-20 SUMMIT: The June G-20 Summit will take place in Toronto, Canada from 26-27 June 2010. For more information, see: http://www.international.gc.ca/cip-pic/G20/

BIOSAFETY PROTOCOL COP/MOP 5: The fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol (COP/MOP 5) will be held from 11-15 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int; internet: http://www.cbd.int/mop5/

CBD COP 10: The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the CBD will be held from 18-29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Japan. The High-level Segment will be held from 27-29 October 2010. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int; internet: http://www.cbd.int/cop10/

SIXTH MEETING OF THE PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANT REVIEW COMMITTEE (POPRC-6): This meeting will take place 18-22 October 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland. The POPRC is a subsidiary body to the Stockholm Convention established for reviewing chemicals proposed for listing in Annex A, B, and/or C. For more information, contact the Stockholm Convention Secretariat: tel: +41-22-917-8729; fax: +41-22-917-8098; e-mail: ssc@pops.int; internet: http://chm.pops.int/

G-20 SUMMIT: The November G-20 Summit will take place in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 11-13 November 2010. For more information, contact: Presidential Committee for the G-20 Summit; e-mail: G20KOR@korea.kr; internet: http://www.g20.org/

EYE ON THE EARTH SUMMIT: Building on the success of the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative, which was launched by the United Arab Emirates, in collaboration with UNEP at the WSSD in Johannesburg in 2002, Abu Dhabi is now calling for an “Eye on Earth” Global Summit to take such action forward. This Summit will take place in Abu Dhabi from 15-17 November 2010. For more information, contact Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary-General, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi; tel: +971-2-693-4567; fax: +971-2-446-4797; e-mail: EoE@ead.ae; internet: http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=612&ArticleID=6480&l=en&t=long

 SIXTEENTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE UNFCCC AND SIXTH MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE KYOTO PROTOCOL: This meeting will take place 29 November - 10 December 2010 in Cancun, Mexico. For more information, contact UNFCCC Secretariat: tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int; internet: http://unfccc.int/

UNEP GC-26/GMEF: The 26th session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF) is scheduled to convene from 21-25 February 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information, contact: Jamil Ahmad, Secretary of the UNEP Governing Council; tel: +254-20-7623431/7623411; fax: +254-20-762-3929; e-mail: jamil.ahmad@unep.org; internet: http://www.unep.org

SECOND PREPCOM FOR UN CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (RIO+20): This meeting is scheduled to take place from 28 February – 1 March 2011 at UN Headquarters in New York. For more information contact the Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: dsd@un.org; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/

FIFTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE ROTTERDAM CONVENTION: This meeting will take place 20-24 June 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, contact the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat: tel: +41-22-917-8296; fax: +41-22-917-8082; e-mail: pic@pic.int; internet: http://www.pic.int
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This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Asheline Appleton, Melanie Ashton, Anne Roemer-Mahler, Ph.D., Andrey Vavilov, Ph.D., Ingrid Visseren-Hamakers, Ph.D., and Kunbao Xia. The Digital Editor is Dan Birchall. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development – DFID), the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV), and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. General Support for the Bulletin during 2010 is provided by the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI), the Government of Iceland, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, the Province of Québec, and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, USA.

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