February 22, 2018
SERI is extremely pleased to announce the return of Dr. Katharina Kummer Peiry to SERI’s Board of Directors. During her five-year tenure as head of the Secretariat of the Basel Convention, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), she championed the concept of waste as a valuable resource. Her efforts in this area contributed to the inclusion of this concept in the Basel Convention’s 10-year Strategic Framework, and in the
Cartagena Declaration on the Prevention, Minimization and Recovery of Hazardous Wastes.
She continues to lend her expertise and forward thinking in international law and policy related to waste management and the circular economy through her consulting firm, Kummer EcoConsult, where she advises and supports both public and private sector entities.
While most of her career has focused on environmental policy, Dr. Kummer Peiry also served at the World Health Organization (WHO) from 2015-2017, where she was Senior Legal Advisor with the Secretariat of the WHO
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Among her most notable accomplishments at WHO include her work on the
Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, and the establishment of the Panel of Experts on the Protocol to advise countries on the complex mechanisms they must establish to be able to implement the Protocol. Kummer Peiry notes that combatting illegal trade in tobacco products poses many of the same challenges as combatting illegal traffic in e-waste.
Her decision to rejoin the SERI board stemmed from a desire to return to the arena of sustainable waste and materials management. “Ten years ago, as Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention, I put a lot of effort into promoting the idea of treating waste as a valuable resource rather than a costly problem – an idea not widely accepted at the time,” said Kummer Peiry. “With the transition to a Circular Economy recently becoming a key objective with broad support, and waste management finally moving up from the bottom of the political agenda, I wanted to be back in this field. Rejoining SERI will allow me to be part of this development and make a concrete contribution.”
SERI’s executive director, John Lingelbach, noted the respect that Kummer Peiry has earned world-wide. “Katharina’s stature and expertise in international policy, particularly as is it relates to environmental sustainability and the Circular Economy, will be a tremendous asset to SERI as it works to improve the way used and end-of-life electronics are managed around the world. The contributions she has made to the Basel Convention and to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are significant, and we look forward to the leadership, knowledge and experience she will bring to SERI.”