The Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 2019 Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Conference of the Parties (COPs) was held in Montevideo, Uruguay from March 27th-30th, 2019. Trinidad and Tobago participated as a Party to the three (3) multilateral environmental agreements in the chemicals and waste cluster: the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, which are commonly referred to as the BRS Conventions. The country was represented by Ms. Keima Gardiner, Waste Management Specialist, Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit, Environmental Policy and Planning Division, Ministry of Planning and Development. The Ministry of Planning and Development serves as the Focal Point to these Conventions.
The aim of the regional preparatory meeting was to provide the GRULAC Parties with an opportunity to consult with each other in advance of the meetings of the triple BRS COPs, identify regional priorities and challenges, consider meeting documents and discuss substantive matters with an aim of arriving at regional positions in advance of the COPs.
The meeting was attended by a total of ninety-one (91) participants, including sixty (60) representatives from twenty-six (26) Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) countries. The agenda of the Preparatory Meeting comprised of a three (3) day session on a range of topics, inclusive of a small ceremony to commemorate the thirtieth (30th) anniversary of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal.
Under the joint BRS session, the main topics of discussion were on technical assistance and the Basel and Stockholm Convention Regional Centres, of which Trinidad and Tobago is the host country for the Basel Convention Regional Centre for the Caribbean region. Discussions also centred on the two (2) chemicals under consideration for listing to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs); PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related compounds, and dicofol, and those proposed for listing under the Rotterdam Convention, namely: acetochlor, hexabromocyclododecane, phorate, carbosulfan, chrysotile asbestos, fenthion and paraquat formulations. Under the Basel Convention, the key issues related to marine litter and plastic waste, household waste, the technical guidelines on POPs, e-wastes, mercury wastes and landfills, and the Ban Amendment which was established to prevent disposal of hazardous wastes in specified territories.
There was a also a Gender Training Workshop and an Information Session on the Minamata Convention on Mercury, held in conjunction with the preparatory meeting. The objective of the interactive Gender Training Workshop was to improve understanding of gender, promote mainstreaming and describe how it contributes to the sound management of chemicals and waste, as well as to catalyse implementation of the BRS Gender Action Plan. During the information session on the Minamata Convention on Mercury participants were apprised about the emerging technical, policy and financial issues under the Minamata Convention.
|Ms. Keima Gardiner - T&T's representative at the 2019 GRULAC Preparatory Meeting|
|GRULAC Delegates at the Regional Preparatory Meeting|
|The Caribbean Contingent at the GRULAC Preparotory Meeting - Ms Keima Gardiner (2nd from right)|