Environment & sustainability

Supporting Multilateral Environmental Agreements on chemicals and waste with scientific evidence

[ICP 2020]
Plastic carrier bags and other garbage pollution in ocean|MEA_pic|image.imageformat.fullwidth.1299242578
Written by
Published on
July 15, 2020


The Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) play a fundamental role in achieving sound management of chemicals and waste at the global level. To support informed policymaking and effective implementation of the MEAs, different scientific evidence is needed. This project will analyse and translate these policy needs into a scientific research agenda accessible through an online tracker.


The MEAs including the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm (BRS), and Minamata Conventions have grown increasingly complex over time. Policy needs for specific scientific information are often scattered over new provisions and decisions. While clearing-house mechanisms have been developed under the MEAs, it is often still challenging for scientists to capture, keep up with and understand specific policy needs under the MEAs. This is because the clearing-house mechanisms have different focuses and target audience. An additional step is often needed to digest and translate policy needs under the MEAs into specific scientific questions. Consequently, despite vast interest, scientists increasingly cannot generate the required scientific evidence in a timely manner if at all.


This project aims to foster engagement of the scientific community to support informed policymaking and effective implementation of the MEAs.

To do so, it will build a user-friendly online trackers to monitor and present policy needs to the scientific community (stage 1) and make scientific information available to policymakers (stage 2).


The project envisions two main impacts:

  1. The scientific community will be able to plan research and produce relevant evidence in a timely and coordinated manner in support of the MEAs.
  2. MEAs-related policy and implementation actors will be able to base increasingly their decisions on sound evidence and design more effective policies.

Key Activities

  1. Detailed review of the provisions and decisions under the BRS Conventions – with the participation of key stakeholders and leading scientists in the relevant fields.
  2. Identification of needs for scientific information, and translation into specific scientific questions.
  3. Creation of a user-friendly online tracker to make these results available, using an iterative multi-stakeholder approach.
  4. Launch and promotion of the platform to the wider scientific community.
  5. If this pilot is successful, more MEAs will be covered by the tracker in future phases.

Project updates


15 July 2020 - 31 July 2021

Project collaborators


  • Dr Zhanyun Wang, Chair of Ecological Systems Design, ETHZ: zhanyun.wang @ifu.baug.ethz.ch
  • Dr Frédérique Guérin, Executive Officer, GSPI: frederique.guerin @unige.ch

More projects

Ongoing projects
Collaboration projects
July 1, 2020

MAPMAKER: MArine Plankton diversity bioindicator scenarios for policy MAKERs

Environment & sustainability
Collaboration projects
September 14, 2023

Equitable access to outer space: specifying new regulatory needs for radio spectrum management

Human rights
Collaboration projects
September 11, 2023

Supporting the routine use of evidence during the health policy-making process: a pilot project of World Health Organization checklist

Human rights