Annual Meeting of the Basel & Stockholm Regional Centres and FAO & UNEP Regional Offices 2012

Group photo of the meeting participants
On the 1st and 2nd of October 2012, the joint meeting between the Basel and Stockholm Conventions Regional Centres was held at the International Environment House in Geneva. This meeting is held annually in order to fulfill the mandate handed down by the 2011 'Synergies Decisions' of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions of ensuring greater collaboration and coordination among the three conventions. As a result, these joint annual meetings between the Centres is expected to aid in the sharing of success stories and challenges in their operation as well as discuss on how to maximise their effectiveness by cooperating and coordinating their work in their respective regions.

Twenty of the Basel and Stockholm Regional Centres were present at the 2012 meeting. This primary objective of this meeting was to share information, experiences, best practices, success stories and challenges as well as discuss on how to maximize their effectiveness by cooperating and coordinating their work in their respective regions.
At the meeting, the restructuring of the Secretariat and strategy on regional delivery of technical assistance was shared with all of the Centres. The meeting also discussed on the draft methodology on performance evaluation, on the preparation of the Business Plans/workplans for 2013-2014 and activity reports. Five Centres shared their success stories in the areas of resource mobilization, training and capacity building, promoting effective partnerships and technology transfer.

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Secretariat was also invited to participate in the meeting in order to brief on the ongoing efforts by the Secretariat in order to assist in the strengthening of the Centres. The Centres were informed on the possible opportunities available for accessing funding through the GEF. The Centres were also briefed by a UNEP representative on the consultative process on financial options for chemicals and wastes. One outcome of this meeting is the hosting of a project fair during the 2013 Conference of the Parties (COPs) which is being planned by the Secretariat with the possibility of meeting donors.

Additionally, Regional Centres had the opportunity to meet in smaller regional working groups in order to share information and discuss future cooperation and collaboration. Coming out of these groups, the Centres were able to develop proposals for future activities and projects, common newsletters, on-line meetings, mapping activities, and enhancing the visibility of the Regional Centres' work.

Immediately following this two-day meeting, there was a joint meeting held on October 3rd between the Basel and Stockholm Conventions Regional Centres, the UNEP Regional Offices and FAO Regional and Sub-regional Offices. This was a follow-up meeting to the one held in 2010 in order to review and follow up on the activities that have taken place since then. It was also a chance to promote even greater information exchange through the sharing of experiences by regional entities. Moreover, there was the possibility to consolidate and mobilise regional expertise and other available resources that will benefit the Parties of the various regions.