The twelfth meeting of the Basel Convention Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG12) is taking place in a planned two-session approach due to the Covid-19 crisis: an online segment on September 1st - 3d and if possible, a face-to-face meeting in March. Recorded briefings on the set-up from UNEP are available in the UN languages here.
The online session will not take any decisions or negotiate any text but instead will focus on presentations of progress of the intersessional process, such as the various technical guidelines followed by interventions. More information about the online segment and meeting documents is available here and here.
IPEN was well represented at the first segment of the 12th Open Ended Working Group of the Basel Convention along with delegates from scores of countries across the globe. The meeting sought to confirm schedules for advancing reviews of key technical guidelines for addressing some of the most critical global pollution issues in the world today including the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes such as plastic, mercury, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The advancement of the technical guidance is to allow their presentation for adoption at COP 15 of the Basel Convention inJuly 2021.
"We were here in the same building in November 2003 as part of SAICM negotiations and we have been engaged in grassroots implementation since the very beginning and have as a network adopted “Toxics-free Future” as our vision for accomplishing SAICM’s goals. In adopting SAICM, governments agreed that advancing chemical safety should be viewed as a necessary component of the sustainable development agenda.
Governments at the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) of the Basel Convention acted to restrict rampant plastic waste exports by requiring countries to obtain prior informed consent before exporting contaminated or mixed plastic waste.
IPEN participated in the Mercury Treaty's 2nd Conference of the Parties (COP2), which took place from 19 to 23 November, 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. Technical briefings on Effectiveness Evaluation and the Specific International Programme kicked off the week on 18 November.
IPEN and PAN met with Gertrude Sahler, President of SAICM, to share information about priorities for and questions about SAICM's Beyond 2020 process. IPEN Steering Committee Member Alexandra Caterbow (HejSupport) facilitated the discussion, which focused on highly hazardous pesticides, financing, and women and chemicals. Dr. Meriel Watts (PAN Asia Pacific) and Yuyun Ismawati (BaliFokus) also shared specific information about the loss of life and damage to health caused by the toxic impacts of pesticides and mercury use.
On 6 December in Nairobi, IPEN released a new report showing high mercury levels among Minamata COP1 delegates. Researchers from IPEN (a global public health and environment network) and BRI (the Biodiversity Research Institute) analyzed mercury levels in hair samples from 180 delegates (104 women and 76 men) from 75 countries who participated the COP1 of the Minamata Convention in Geneva from September 24-29th, 2017.
Today IPENers asked delegates: Is Minamata Only for Gold?
With the focus on gold at the Convention, IPEN would like to remind the delegates about other aspects of the Convention that must be addressed, such as mercury waste, coal-fired power plants' contribution to mercury pollution, mercury in products, human rights and more.