The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is a global treaty between 186 countries to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have harmful impacts on human health or the environment. It is the youngest of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, which together tackle the life cycle of global chemicals and waste. Brief by Pamela Chasek, PhD
The 1989 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is an international treaty between 190 countries on the management, disposal, and transboundary movements of hazardous wastes produced worldwide. It is the oldest of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, which together tackle the life cycle of global chemicals and waste management. Brief by Pamela Chasek, PhD
The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade is a global treaty between 165 countries that provides early warning to countries about a broad range of hazardous chemicals that are traded internationally. The information shared under the Convention, including whether a hazardous chemical is banned or severely restricted in other countries, enables governments to assess the risks posed by these chemicals to human health and the environment, and to make informed decisions on their import. It is one of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions—a triad of agreements that together tackle the life cycle of global chemicals and waste management. Brief by Pamela Chasek, PhD
Never in the history of humanity has the world faced so many environmental threats. Climate change is now called a climate emergency. We are losing biodiversity at an alarming rate. Our oceans are being choked with plastic, and we continue to produce toxic chemicals that are harmful to humans and wildlife. For millions of people, access to fresh water and sanitation is a growing challenge. The basic human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights are at risk. As Article 3 of the Declaration states: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Sadly, too many lives are being lost because of our profligate abuse of the natural environment.
The three Rio Conventions have been linked—at least on paper—since the 1992 Earth Summit. While each treaty stands on its own, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), both of which were opened for signature at the Rio Earth Summit, and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the negotiation of which was called for in the Rio Earth Summit outcome—Agenda 21, remain intricately linked because they address interconnected and interdependent issues.
Achieving consensus in multilateral environmental negotiations is not an easy feat. In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27), UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15), and other key sustainable development negotiations during November and December, we asked experts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin what sets a negotiation up for a successful outcome.
“Forever chemicals,” aka PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are now mainstream news (for example in the Washington Post and on BBC). Yet, comprehensive discussion of the impacts of chemicals on our environment and health tends to be confined to dedicated outlets and niche literature.
The Stockholm Conference in 1972 created the framework that still guides how countries negotiate environmental deals. How do we fulfill its vision?
Once called “the world’s parliament on the environment,” the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) has a unique role in global environmental governance. It is high-level and universal—the only forum for stakeholders from all countries to discuss the environmental challenges we face.