What's inside

Key linkages

To global sustainable development.


One of the main drivers of biodiversity loss.


And building on the Interlinkages study.

About the four conventions

The 1989 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, the 1998 Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and the 2013 Minamata Convention on Mercury all aim at protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes.

The preparation of the exploratory study was inspired by ongoing discussions of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework and illustrates the interlinkages between the work of the above four global chemicals and waste conventions and the subjects preoccupying the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other biodiversity-related conventions, thereby positioning the four conventions to contribute to ongoing discussions and the implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and future work of the CBD and other biodiversity-related instruments.



Feel Interested?


Rolph Payet

"The report shows that the sound management of chemicals and waste, including plastic waste, would significantly reduce the impacts on our planet’s habitats and species, plus deliver a whole series of other benefits including better human health, stronger moves towards a circular economy, and more equitable, sustainable development in the poorest regions of the world".

Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS)

Monika Stankiewicz

"This study sheds a light of hope on what the chemicals and waste conventions can do – by working in close collaboration – to better protect biological diversity, ecosystem services and human health. If we want to effectively address the critical role of pollution in biodiversity loss, we must understand that such a worldwide, complex problem needs solutions that are interconnected, smart-targeted and shared".

Monika Stankiewicz, Executive Secretary of the minamata Convention on Mercury


Pollution from chemicals and wastes a key driver of biodiversity loss

Joint Statement by the Secretariats of the Basel, Minamata, Rotterdam, & Stockholm conventions in launching Key Insights from a Study on the Interlinkages between Chemicals and Waste and Biodiversity.

Social media campaign launched during the week to #BiodiversityDay 2021

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (BRS)

Minamata Convention on Mercury

Building on the Interlinkages Study

This exploratory study provides a baseline for future work and collaboration between conventions in different spheres and within them. To achieve the 2050 vision of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) through its post-2020 global biodiversity framework and its 2030 pollution target, the significant ongoing contributions of the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata conventions need to be fully harnessed. Conversely, knowledge and insights garnered through collaboration with the CBD and related protocols and conventions can benefit the work of the four global chemical and waste conventions.

As the international community finalizes and implements the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, collaboration between the four chemicals and waste conventions and the biodiversity-related conventions can provide ongoing refinements to the targets and indicators on pollution as they relate to mercury, POPs, pesticides and hazardous and other wastes. This is particularly important as the 2020 GBO-5 concluded that CBD Aichi pollution Target 8 was not achieved.

and information in this study and the ongoing work of the four conventions can contribute to achieving the CBD’s 2030 pollution target. Their ongoing work includes national reporting, environmental monitoring, and treaty effectiveness and strategic framework evaluations where biodiversity considerations could be increasingly integrated, along with efforts to contribute to the 2030 SDGs, which this study highlights as a point at which chemicals, waste and biodiversity issues also converge.

More specifically, whether or not the 2030 biodiversity pollution target is drafted to reflect priority pollutants/chemicals such as mercury and other heavy metals, POPs, pesticides, wastes (including plastics) this study provides baseline information about key interlinkages that can serve the four conventions’ governing bodies to consider the detailed contributions they could make to the refinement and implementation of the CBD’s 2030 pollution target and indicators going forward. Examples could include specific targets related to mercury air emission reductions, reduction of concentrations of POPs in environmental media, enhanced focus of the Rotterdam Convention on neonicotinoids and glyphosate pesticides, the enhancement of legislative implementation of the Basel Convention’s plastic waste amendments, or decisions on international cooperation and coordination that build these inter-convention connections (e.g. forwarding this study to the CBD Conference of the Parties, or working on common areas of concern such as ASGM).

This study also highlights that current research on and regulation of chemicals in the environment tends to take a simplistic view and does not account for the complexity of the real world, including how to differentiate and quantify the effects of multiple stressors on ecosystems and how to improve risk assessment of such stressors (including at different levels of biological organization) to enhance predictability. Enhanced and focused collaboration between the chemicals and waste conventions and those related to biodiversity provides an opportunity for each to share their pressure points and complexities and mobilize limited resources towards prioritized solutions that benefit both. Collaboration on ASGM, plastics, e-waste, pesticides and pollinators, illegal trade, the sharing of monitoring data and scientific research, along with shared communications and messaging, could produce significant benefits to both the biodiversity and chemicals and wastes worlds.

This study has identified UNEP’s Assessment Report on Issues of Concern for UNEA-5, which consists of an assessment of eight emerging policy issues and other issues of concern under SAICM (e.g. nanomaterials, e-waste) and 11 issues with emerging evidence of risks identified by GCO-II, and identified possible contributions of the four MEAs to addressing those issues. It also identified the ongoing SAICM intersessional process as it shapes the beyond-2020 framework on chemicals and wastes and how this relates to the four chemicals and waste conventions.

Interested in the full report?

The complete study will be released at the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (July 2021), and considered at the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention (November 2021), as well as the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity convening to adopt the Global Biodiversity Framework, in late 2021.

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