You are here
Countries to brainstorm on saving humanity from hazardous chemicals in Geneva
Seeking to adopt best practices to manage trans-boundary movements of hazardous waste and their disposal, representatives from many countries including India will brainstorm on how to fine-tune the existing guidelines and whether to expand the list of hazardous chemicals for restricted movement at the next round of the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm (BRS) Conventions in Geneva, beginning April 24.
These Conventions are multilateral environmental agreements, which share common objective of protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes.
While the Basel Convention will discuss the control of trans-boundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal, the Rotterdam Convention will deliberate on the prior informed consent procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade and the Stockholm Convention will exchange views on how to protect human health and environment from a class of chemicals known as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
Led by the environment secretary Ajay Narayan Jha, the India delegation will comprise of senior officers from external affairs, chemical & fertilizers, agriculture, health and electronics & information technology ministries. The BRS Conventions will be held back-to-back till May 5.
Since negotiations and deliberations in the conferences of these Conventions have far-reaching ramifications on international trade and industries dealing with industrial chemicals, electronic and electrical, its outcome is keen watched by policy-makers and manufacturers. Besides dealing with health and environmental issues associated with the chemicals and hazardous waste, the participating countries during the conferences generally try to guard the interests of their respective domestic businesses.
"India is committed towards its obligations of BRS Conventions. It is also important, at the same time, to safeguard the country's interest. In this context, the environment ministry is playing an instrumental role in environmentally sound management of hazardous chemicals and waste, keeping in view the overall objectives of sustainable development and (economic) growth", said an official statement of the ministry.
The most important matters to be deliberated during the conferences include listing of chemicals under Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. Though the inclusion of chemicals under Rotterdam Convention does not ban the chemical, it makes it mandatory for the importing countries to strictly follow certain dos and don'ts including the prior informed consent. Listing of chemicals under Stockholm Convention, on the other hand, bans or restricts the chemicals for trade.
The agenda of the 2017 BRS Conference of Parties (COPs) meetings cover a wide range of issues including technical guidelines on trans-boundary movements of electrical and electronic waste and used electrical and electronic equipment; technical guidelines for environmentally sound management of waste, national reporting, capacity building and technical assistance; listing of chemicals viz chrysotile asbestos, paraquat dichloride, fenthion, trichlorfon, short chain chlorinated paraffins, tributyltin compounds, carbofuran and carbosulfan under Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention and listing of chemicals viz short chain chlorinated paraffins, decabromodiphenyl ether and Hexachlorobutadiene under Annex A (elimination), B (restriction), and C (unintentional production) to the Stockholm Convention.
The chemicals listed in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention include pesticides and industrial chemicals that have been banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons by two or more Parties and which the Conference of the Parties (countries) has decided to subject to the prior informed consent procedure.
Countries to brainstorm on saving humanity from hazardous chemicals in Geneva next week