Submitted by leannem on Wed, 05/18/2022 - 17:17
Waste containers
May 18, 2022 by leannem
Waste Management and Pollution Control

17 April 2022, Apia – Pacific Island parties to the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions have met to prepare for the upcoming joint Conference of the Parties (COPs) in Geneva, Switzerland. 

The 15th meeting of the COP to the Basel Convention, the tenth meeting of the COP to the Rotterdam Convention and the 10th meeting of the COP to the Stockholm Convention will be held in June, and Pacific Island parties gathered for a two-day preparatory meeting to identify regional priorities and positions to take to the COP, discuss the agenda and identify matters of concern and interest to the region. 

The meeting also looked at the kind of support required by parties at the Triple-COPs and who is best suited to provide that support and assistance. 

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure, and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants are the world’s most eminent multilateral environment agreements that provide a global framework for the management of chemicals and hazardous wastes to prevent harm to human health and the environment. 

SPREP hosted the meetings in its capacity as the Pacific Regional Centre for the Joint Implementation of the Basel and Waigani Convention.

 The Centre was established at SPREP as a result of a resolution adopted during the Basel Convention COP6 in 2002 and it plays a fundamental role in providing capacity-building, technical and policy assistance to SPREP Member countries and supports the effective and coordinated participation by the Pacific at the BRS COPs. 

At the opening of the two-day talanoa, the Executive Secretary of the BRS Secretariat, Mr Rolf Poyet, highlighted some of the important issues which will be covered in the agenda for BRS face-to-face Triple-COP, and said that the preparatory meeting will contribute significantly to the success of COPs by considering the matters to be discussed. 

As most Pacific Islands begin to lift travel restrictions, Mr Poyet said he hopes representatives from the Pacific will be able to travel to Geneva to deliver the region’s priorities to the COPs, a statement that was echoed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme’s (SPREP) Director General, Mr Sefanaia Nawadra. 

“The BRS and Waigani Conventions, along with other such conventions, are Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) that form the global legal framework for our collective efforts to manage the use and where we can rid the planet of hazardous substances,” Mr Nawadra said. 

He added that the impact of the Conventions resonates beyond their scope, with the second session of the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly agreeing to a resolution to begin negotiations to put in place a legally binding global instrument to address plastic pollution by 2024. 

“Our experiences implementing waste MEAs such as the BRS Conventions will provide many lessons for this important intergovernmental negotiation process.”

To prepare for the BRS COPs, participants who will be representing the Pacific will need to put in the work, according to Mr Nawadra. 

“The BRS COPs has an extensive agenda that covers all facets of their implementation, which will require us to dedicate long hours over two weeks to get through. As your regional centre, SPREP has organised this preparatory meeting with the aim of identifying matters of concern to the Pacific region.”

For more information, please contact Mr Joshua Sam, SPREP Hazardous Waste Adviser and Director, Pacific Regional Centre Basel Convention (PRCBC) at [email protected]