Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Regional Workshop in Support of the Ratification and Effective Implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury

The Regional Workshop in support of the Ratification and Effective Implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from the 16th to 17th of April 2015 hosted by the Minamata Secretariat,.

In attendance at the Workshop were regional Parties to the Minamata Convention (e.g. Guyana, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica), as well as representatives from the regional Parties to at least one of the following: the Stockholm, Rotterdam or Basel Conventions. Ms. Keima Gardiner, Environmental Engineering Specialist, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources represented Trinidad and Tobago. 

Ms. Gardiner with a tuna-can model of a shark that was created by school  children and presented to Uruguayan Government Officials in an effort to raise awareness of mercury poisoning and the Minamata Convention at the  Regional Workshop.

Additionally, there were members from Basel and Stockholm Regional and Coordinating Centres, an array of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and intergovernmental government organisations (IGOs), and representatives from the BRS Secretariat. 

The Workshop commenced with a joint session between the Minamata and the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions on matters related to financing and coordination and cooperation. The remainder of the two-day session focused on matters related to the inter-governmental negotiating committee (INC), financial mechanisms and enabling activities to support implementation, technical advice on ratification and regional country-level experiences on the process of ratification or implementation of the Convention.

Trinidad and Tobago benefited from attending this regional workshop as there was current information presented about this hazardous chemical, and the progress made on the implementation of the Convention from a Secretariat and country scale. This feedback can be used to facilitate informed decision making and policy development as the country arrives at a definitive position on the issue of ratification of the Minamata Convention.


Friday, 17 April 2015

Regional Preparation for the BRS COPs 2015

The Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention Conference of the Parties (COPs) was held in Montevideo, Uruguay from 14-15 April, 2015. 

As a Party to these three (3) multilateral environmental agreements, otherwise  referred to as the BRS Conventions, Trinidad and Tobago participated in this Regional Preparatory Meeting. The country was represented by  Ms. Keima Gardiner, Environmental Engineering Specialist, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

The Meeting was also attended by representatives from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) who were Party to at least one of the three aforementioned chemical and waste Conventions. In addition, there were observers from regional Basel and Stockholm Regional Centres and Coordinating Centres, a range of Intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), representatives from the BRS Secretariat, as well as, the President of the Bureau of the COP to the Stockholm Convention and a representative from the donor country, Switzerland.

The aim of the regional preparatory meeting was to provide parties with an opportunity to consult each other, in advance of the Meetings of the COP, in order to identify regional priorities and challenges, consider meeting documents and discuss substantive joint BRS matters.  Ms. Gardiner chaired one of the sessions of this meeting, in her capacity as one of the Vice Presidents to the Bureau of the COP to the Stockholm Convention. 

Key recommendations that would be presented, as a region, at the COPs of the BRS Conventions in May, 2015 included proposals related to regional initiatives, strategic issues, financial and technical support, fostering partnerships for ensuring that hazardous wastes are managed and disposed of in an environmentally sound manner and discussing matters as it relates to guidance on the operations of the Basel Regional Centre for the Caribbean.