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Editor’s Note No. 149
Friday, 7 May 2010
Chris Spence
Chris Spence.
Deputy Director, IISD RS
The Chemicals Agenda
Following the simultaneous meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (ExCOPs) in Bali earlier this year, chemicals and waste management are again front-and-center in major UN discussions this month. The ExCOPs, which took place alongside UNEP’s Governing Council in February, made history by being the first occasion when three independent treaty conferences had gathered simultaneously. They delivered in style with a decision promising greater synergies—an outcome that has been noticed by other parts of the international environmental community.

This week, chemicals and waste management are again the focus of international attention, this time at the Commission on Sustainable Development in New York. The Commission’s 18th session is providing an early opportunity for delegates to discuss further options to rationalize the international approach on chemicals management and consider emerging issues such as e-waste. Discussions will continue until 14 May, and colleagues with our sister publication, Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB), are in New York providing in-depth coverage. For daily reports on these and the other topics on the Commission’s agenda (including transport, mining, and sustainable consumption and production) visit:

In the weeks ahead, there will also be sessions of the Basel Convention’s Open-ended Working Group, as well as the First Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to Prepare a Global Legally Binding Instrument on Mercury. Future issues of Linkages Update will bring you news of these events, and we will also have a team of ENB experts covering the mercury meeting first hand and in depth. 

A Biodiversity Marathon Begins
Another topic set to occupy many delegates’ minds in the coming weeks is biodiversity. Three weeks of negotiations start next week in Nairobi, when the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) holds a two-week session. This will be followed by a meeting of the Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention (WGRI) in late May, while in early June participants will fly to Busan,Republic of Korea, for IPBES III (also known as the Ad Hoc Intergovernmental and Multistakeholder meeting on an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services).
IISD Reporting Services plans to field ENB teams at all three events. We will also bring you updates every two weeks in Linkages Update.

Looking further ahead, we will also update you on other milestones as we approach the key biodiversity event of 2010—the Convention’s tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties and the Biosafety Protocol’s fifth COP/MOP—taking place in Nagoya, Japan, in October.
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