19 October 2022. Pacific nations gathered in the Cook Islands, from 18 to 20 October 2022, to participate in a regional training programme aimed at strengthening the capacity of Parties in the Pacific region to implement the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS).
The training programme focused on national and institutional frameworks to implement the Conventions, as well as enforcement, prevention and combating the illegal trade and traffic of hazardous chemicals and waste.
Small island developing states are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of poor chemical and waste management. While there is a desire to use chemicals and various products to improve our lives, we do not always have the capacity to deal with the wastes that are produced.
An important step in ensuring our people and environment is protected from the harmful impacts of waste and chemicals is being part of global agreements on how waste and chemicals that cross international borders are managed.
The BRS conventions provide the foundational framework for the management of chemicals and waste: from prevention and minimization to restrictions and environmentally sound use, to elimination, use and recycling.
The training was jointly organized and delivered by the BRS Secretariat and SPREP in its capacity as the regional centre for the joint implementation for the Basel and Waigani Conventions for consenting Parties in the Pacific region. SPREP supports sound management of chemicals and waste and implementing the BRS conventions for its member countries.
SPREP Deputy Director General, Ms Easter Chu Shing said “the training is part of the service SPREP provides to its member countries as the regional centre. This important training will enhance Pacific knowledge of the BRS and key aspects of their implementation surrounding areas such as legal and institutional frameworks, as well as enforcement of provision in illegal traffic and trade in chemicals and hazardous wastes.
She further highlighted the importance of the training at this time, “the regional training on BRS comes at a time when countries around the globe are grappling with ways in which they can balance meeting the demands of an increasing population, with environmental and natural resource protection”.
The hybrid training was delivered remotely from Papua New Guinea and Palau and received by audiences gathered across the Pacific. Participants took part in a combination of face-to-face sessions and online regional training and include government officials from ministries and departments responsible for environment, customs, agriculture, law enforcement, legal and industry who are key state actors in the implementation of BRS.
Funded by the European Union, the training was delivered by experts from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Criminal Police Organisation and the World’s Customs Organisation. There were also experts who shared their experiences in implementing the BRS conventions from New Zealand and Australia.
The regional training to strengthen capacity of parties in the Pacific region related to national and legal and institutional frameworks, enforcement, prevention and combating of illegal traffic and trade in hazardous chemicals and wastes to implement the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm hybrid workshop was held from 18 – 20 October 2022, in selected venues across the Pacific. The workshop was organized thanks to the generous support of the European Union.