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  • Article
    BRS COPs Subject E-waste to PIC, Ban Chemicals Harmful to Firefighters

    BRS COPs Subject E-waste to PIC, Ban Chemicals Harmful to Firefighters

    The three Conventions took seven joint decisions, including on strengthening efforts to combat illegal trafficking and trade of hazardous chemicals and wastes. Parties to the Stockholm Convention were unable to advance work on establishing a compliance mechanism, with several developing countries emphasizing the need for funding for implementation as a precondition to any future agreements to establish such a mechanism. Consensus on e-waste amendments reached by parties to the Basel Convention is significant, given e-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world, with only 17% recycled or recovered in 2019.  Read More
  • Article
    Event Explores How Multilateral Trade Can Address Environmental Challenges

    Event Explores How Multilateral Trade Can Address Environmental Challenges

    Speakers explored how multilateral trade initiatives are protecting biodiversity, helping curb overfishing, enabling adaptation to climate change, facilitating the decarbonization of industries and economies, and supporting the reduction of plastic pollution. They discussed WTO members’ work under the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions and the Informal Dialogue on Plastics Pollution and Environmentally Sustainable Plastics Trade. Read More
  • Article
    ISLANDS Initiative to Help SIDS Manage Hazardous Chemicals and Waste

    ISLANDS Initiative to Help SIDS Manage Hazardous Chemicals and Waste

    SIDS have limited disposal capacity and excessively high export costs, leading to biodiversity loss, accelerated climate change effects through emissions from waste, decreased revenue from tourism, and health impacts for from pollution exposure. ISLANDS is a five-year USD 515 million initiative that will help countries control the import of hazardous substances, dispose of harmful chemicals and waste in a sound manner, and establish circular production systems, partnering with the private sector. Through the ISLANDS Waste-Free Shipping Partnership, companies have committed to ship recyclables free of charge to recycling facilities. Read More
  • Article
    CEE Countries Provide Updates on Progress on SAICM Objectives

    CEE Countries Provide Updates on Progress on SAICM Objectives

    The Central and Eastern Europe regional meeting discussed the outcomes of the four Virtual Working Groups, which were established to maintain momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the document compiling recommendations for SAICM beyond 2020 contains brackets and will be further discussed at IP4 in Bucharest, Romania, at the end of August. Suzana Andonova of North Macedonia was appointed the new regional focal point for the region. Read More
  • Article
    Montevideo Law Programme Focuses Work on Triple Planetary Crisis

    Montevideo Law Programme Focuses Work on Triple Planetary Crisis

    Montevideo Programme V will help countries with legal responses to implement their obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Basel Convention on Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes, “while cooperating with the MEA secretariats to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure synergies”. NFPs broadly welcomed the roadmap on air pollution, and requested the Secretariat to prepare similar roadmaps for climate change, biodiversity, and waste, as well as compliance and enforcement to address pollution. Read More
  • Article
    Environmental Law Programme to Identify Priorities for Legal Responses

    Environmental Law Programme to Identify Priorities for Legal Responses

    The Montevideo Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law has informed priorities for global environmental lawmaking and review for four decades. It has also led to a number of MEAs, including the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, which work to protect human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes, and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The resumed First Global Meeting of National Focal Points for the Fifth Montevideo Programme will continue deliberations on key arrangements and strategic guidance for the Programme, including the full set of priority areas for implementation. Read More
  • Article
    Countries Take First Steps Towards Plastic Pollution Treaty

    Countries Take First Steps Towards Plastic Pollution Treaty

    Approximately 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced since the 1950s, of which 6.3 billion tonnes are now waste. UNEA resolution 5/14 titled, ‘End plastic pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument,’ mandates the process to develop an international treaty to address plastic pollution. The meeting sought to establish a foundation for the work of the intergovernmental negotiating committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment. Read More
  • Article
    UNEP Technical Guidelines: Lead Paint Reformulation “Entirely Possible”

    UNEP Technical Guidelines: Lead Paint Reformulation “Entirely Possible”

    The Technical Guidelines were developed to help address both capacity constraints and technical barriers to substituting lead compounds in paints, focusing on the needs of SMEs. Twenty-two SMEs in Nigeria, Jordan, Peru, China, Ecuador, and Colombia have completed pilot demonstrations using the guidelines. More SMEs are expected to start the process of phasing out lead from their paint production following the guidelines’ publication. Read More
  • Article
    LAC Region Prepares for Chemicals and Waste Management Beyond 2020

    LAC Region Prepares for Chemicals and Waste Management Beyond 2020

    The LAC regional meeting discussed the outcomes of the four Virtual Working Groups, which were established to maintain momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the document compiling recommendations for SAICM beyond 2020 contains brackets and will be further discussed at IP4 in Bucharest, Romania, at the end of August. Read More
  • Article
    Chemicals and Waste Briefing Updates on Negotiations, Progress Made

    Chemicals and Waste Briefing Updates on Negotiations, Progress Made

    The High-level Segment of the BRS COPs, taking place in connection with the Stockholm+50 conference, will provide an opportunity to raise awareness on the contributions of BRS Conventions to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Chemicals and waste, including mercury, are a priority issue in the 8th replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund. Sixteen countries have passed legislation to phase out lead in paint, and 21 paint producers in seven countries are receiving support to eliminate lead in paint, as a result of the SAICM-GEF process. Read More
  • Article
    Greater Industry Engagement Key to Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste

    Greater Industry Engagement Key to Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste

    Although the integrated approach is an aspirational tool for involving industry, its concrete implementation has been hampered by a lack of clarity regarding what constitutes industry involvement. The study supports tracking progress in industry involvement, through the creation of an efficient tracking system to measure inputs, activities, outcomes, and impacts. The report identifies activities for industry involvement, grouped into regulatory measures, economic instruments, and voluntary measures, as well as mixed measures that may be voluntary or mandatory, depending on the country.  Read More
  • Article
    Basel Convention Working Group Prioritizes Issues Ahead of June COP

    Basel Convention Working Group Prioritizes Issues Ahead of June COP

    Participants urged that further work to update the plastic waste technical guidelines fully reflect UNEA decisions on plastics. Some called for a moratorium on plastic waste shipments while Africa carries out an assessment on plastic waste using the new guidance on inventories for national reporting. Read More
  • Article
    Agreement Scales Up GEF Funding to Address Biodiversity, Climate Change, Pollution

    Agreement Scales Up GEF Funding to Address Biodiversity, Climate Change, Pollution

    The total pledges for GEF-8 represent an increase of nearly 30 percent compared to GEF-7. Four focal areas will receive 89.2% of the GEF-8 resources, with biodiversity receiving 36%; climate mitigation receiving 16%; land degradation receiving 11.6%;  chemicals and waste receiving 15%; and international waters receiving 10.6%.  Read More
  • Article
    Public Consultation: Lead Paint Law Compliance and Enforcement Guidance

    Public Consultation: Lead Paint Law Compliance and Enforcement Guidance

    Under the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, the United Nations Environment Programme has developed draft Lead Paint Law Compliance and... Read More

  • Article
    GEF Provides Overview of Efforts to Better Manage Chemicals and Waste

    GEF Provides Overview of Efforts to Better Manage Chemicals and Waste

    As of March 2022, over USD 2 billion has been programmed to support work on chemicals and waste in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Work under SAICM has focused on lead in paints, chemicals in products (including textiles), highly hazardous pesticides, and managing e-waste. Neonicotinoid pesticides—the most widely used insecticides in agriculture—have been linked to the decline in bee populations.  Read More
  • Article
    Minamata Convention Parties Agree to Strengthen Action on Mercury

    Minamata Convention Parties Agree to Strengthen Action on Mercury

    The Minamata Convention aims to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury. Parties agreed to consult with Indigenous Peoples and local communities in developing national action plans on artisanal and small-scale mining, the largest source of mercury emissions. Parties adopted the Bali Declaration on Combatting Global Illegal Trade of Mercury, a non-binding political declaration that aims to enhance international cooperation, develop practical tools to monitor and share information, and exchange experiences and practices to combat the illegal trade of mercury.  Read More
  • Article
    Pesticide Overuse Locked into European Agriculture, Says Paper on Pollution

    Pesticide Overuse Locked into European Agriculture, Says Paper on Pollution

    Excessive pesticide use is leading to severe water quality problems in Europe, with aquatic ecosystems negatively affected by the hazardous effects of past and present chemical pollution, according to a paper in Environmental Science and Policy journal. A transformation away from the lock-in of pesticide overuse and towards a sustainable chemical policy in agriculture is needed. Infrastructural and technological, institutional, and behavioral lock-ins all require “tremendous resources, time, or extraordinary windows of opportunity” to overcome, the authors explain.  Read More
  • Article
    UNEA Launches Negotiation of Plastic Pollution Treaty, Science Body on Chemicals

    UNEA Launches Negotiation of Plastic Pollution Treaty, Science Body on Chemicals

    Governments at UNEA 5.2 agreed to negotiate an internationally legal binding instrument by 2024 to end plastic pollution and to establish a science-policy panel on chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution. The plastics treaty is expected to address the full lifecycle of plastics, including production, design, and disposal. UNEP notes that the timeline for drafting the treaty is very short (approximately two years), while most global treaties require five to ten years of negotiation. Read More
  • Article
    Global Plastic Outlook Calls for More Circularity, National Roadmaps

    Global Plastic Outlook Calls for More Circularity, National Roadmaps

    In 2019, plastics generated 1.8 billion tonnes of emissions, with 90% from their production and conversion from fossil fuels. The report investigates the ways in which plastics use and waste have been affected by COVID-19 across sectors and regions. The report provides a picture of the full lifecycle of plastics globally, including production, consumption, waste, recycling, disposal, leakage, and GHG emissions. Read More
  • Article
    Pollutant Registers Used to Assess Progress on Sustainability

    Pollutant Registers Used to Assess Progress on Sustainability

    The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development published a report on using pollutant release transfer register information to evaluate progress towards SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production). PRTRs collect and disseminate information on environmental releases and transfers of pollutants from industrial and other facilities, but have not previously been analyzed for tracking progress toward the SDGs. Future work could be expanded to include additional pollutants and economies.  Read More
  • Article
    Pesticide, Plastic Stabilizer among Chemicals Advanced for Stockholm Review

    Pesticide, Plastic Stabilizer among Chemicals Advanced for Stockholm Review

    The POPRC agreed to recommend that the COP decide to list the pesticide methoxychlor under Convention Annex A, without exemptions, which would effectively eliminate its production and use. POPRC-17 also reviewed three chemicals that were nominated due to their persistence, bioaccumulation, long-range environmental transport, and adverse effects. For UV-328 and Dechlorane Plus, the POPRC followed a precautionary approach, agreed global action is warranted, and moved the chemicals to the final review stage. Read More
  • Article
    In-Person Segment of UNEA-5 to Address Chemicals, Marine Plastics, Green Recovery

    In-Person Segment of UNEA-5 to Address Chemicals, Marine Plastics, Green Recovery

    Environment ministers are expected to adopt a declaration on strengthening actions for nature to achieve the SDGs. Draft resolutions call for establishing a negotiating committee on a legally binding instrument on marine litter and plastic pollution, and for establishing a science-policy panel to support action on chemicals, waste, and pollution. Read More
  • Article
    Ecolabeling a Critical Tool to Manage Chemicals in Electronics

    Ecolabeling a Critical Tool to Manage Chemicals in Electronics

    According to a report from UNEP, ecolabels can recognize best practices and are a practical tool for the industry to enhance transparency and traceability through the value chain and drive progress beyond regulations. Because electronic products have value chains spanning the globe, the report calls for increasing alignment and interoperability of criteria across labeling initiatives. Labeling initiatives can be used both as tools for consumers to make informed choices around product purchase, use and end of life, as well as to incentivize producers to trace and improve life cycle management of chemicals present in products.  Read More
  • Article
    Study Finds 55 Chemicals of High-Concern Used in Building Materials

    Study Finds 55 Chemicals of High-Concern Used in Building Materials

    The study suggests inhalation is the dominant exposure route, followed by dermal intake, while dust ingestion is negligible. Fifty-five substances were identified as chemicals of high concern, underscoring the need for more refined investigations to select safer alternatives. This study was funded by the GEF project on Global Best Practices on Emerging Chemical Policy Issues of Concern under SAICM. Read More
  • Article
    Study Estimates Risk of Chemicals in Products to Young Children

    Study Estimates Risk of Chemicals in Products to Young Children

    The study aims to develop a mouthing exposure model to predict migration into saliva, mouthing exposure, and related health risks from a range of chemical-material combinations in children’s products. The model represents a green and sustainable chemistry tool that industries can apply to assess whether the chemicals present in their products could pose a risk to children. Read More