The sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (BC COP-16), the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (RC COP-11) and the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP-11) are currently being held back to back from 01st to 12 May at the Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG). The theme for the Conferences of the Parties is “Accelerating action: Targets for the sound management of chemicals and waste”.
It is estimated that over 2000 delegates representing parties to the three Conventions as well as observers are taking part in the COPs. During the two weeks, the delegates are expected to discuss on a number of guidelines to be adopted on issues relating to the implementation of the Conventions. Discussions being held relate to the listing of Chemicals to be considered for elimination under the Stockholm Conventions as well as on the proposal of Environmentally Sound Management of Plastic Wastes, Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and E-Wastes.
Parties are also actively engaged in discussion on the ways to improve the functioning of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure, which is one of the most important procedures when considering the control of transboundary movements of wastes. The sharing of experiences by parties is notable during the discussions especially on the challenges being faced by countries and respective competent authorities when implementing and complying to the implementation of the conventions by parties. In his opening statement the Executive Secretary of the BRS Conventions Professor Rolph Payet made references and reminded parties of the deadline to eliminate the use of “the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in equipment by 2025 amongst others.
It must be noted that Seychelles is on track and is in the final stages of removal of PCB contained equipment within the country.
During the meeting Seychelles delegates have made several interventions highlighting the challenges that the country and other Small Islands States (SIDS) face when it comes to the full implementation of the Conventions. As a SIDS, Seychelles continue to encounter difficulties notably in the area of technical capacity, financial resources, and lack of updated legislation. Seychelles have welcomed the proposal for continued training and strengthening of the Competent Authorities within country parties as well as the need to improve National Legislation and ways in which notifications are considered, this with the main objectives of strengthening the enforcement and the implementation of the Conventions.
The Seychelles 3-member’s delegation at the COPS comprises of Nanette Laure – Director General Waste Enforcement and Permit (Basel Convention National Focal Point) as the head of delegation, Mr. Fredrick Kinloch (Stockholm Convention National focal Point) and Ms. Sharon Gerry – Senior Legal Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment.