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Meeting on POPs Treaty to Decide Fate of Endosulfan

Written By krishna on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 | 9:45 AM

Note:The website of UN's Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)informs that ministers and officials from more than 125 Governments are meeting this week to boost global action to eliminate the most hazardous chemicals produced on the planet.

All eyes are on the fate of Endosulfan which faces imminent ban pursuant to decisions taken at this meeting. Some 80 countries have alaready banned it.

Some 700 participants, representing governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and UN agencies are attending the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP-5) to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) from 25–29 May 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The conference will mark the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Stockholm Convention on POPs under the theme “Stockholm at 10: Chemical Challenges, Sustainable Solutions”.

ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)has written to Government of India's Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs to pay heed to the recommendations of National Human Rights Commission seeking immediate ban Endosulfan.

Gopal Krishna

India Seeks Consensus Decision on Endosulfan

Amid demands for a central ban on endosulfan at home, India today said any final recommendation on the ban of the pesticide must be based on "consensus" as well as thorough scientific and technical evidence.

During the ongoing fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants here, a senior Environment Ministry official intervened twice to drive home the message that India wants to know the scientific and technical data underlying the recommendation by the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) to include endosulfan in Annex A.

Several other developing nations have also called for "exceptions" and unimpeded access to alternatives in the event endosulfan is included in Annex A list of chemicals by the POPRC.

Even as Kerala Chief Minister V S Achutahananandan raised the political heat by calling for the immediate ban of endosulfan, the Centre adopted a cautious position that all aspects relating to this deadly pesticide must be properly examined and decided through consensus.

Chemicals listed in Annex A are banned for production and use due to the threat they pose to living beings, particularly environment. In its review meeting last year, POPRC included endosulfan in Annex A.India said a decision on endosulfan must be based on "consensus" as per the practise in all multilateral meetings.

In the face of concerted lobbying by a group of industrialised countries in Europe who are calling for a vote to decide the proposed ban on endosulfan, India along with several developing countries said there should be no departure from "consensus" decision-making process, sources said.

Further, several developing countries in Asia and Africa pressed for more information on "alternatives" to endosulfan if it is included in the Annex A. (More)

Ravi Kanth,
April 26, 2011

NGO seeks ban on Endosulfan, wants implementation of NHRC report

ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), a non-governmental organisation, has urged the Centre to immediately ban pesticide Endosulfan.

Indiscriminate use of the chemical in cashew groves in Kasargod district and adjoining areas in Kerala for several years has reportedly left many local people with deformities and genetic disorders. The issue had led to a series of agitations in the State by NGOs and political parties.

TWA convenor Gopal Krishna, in a petition to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), recalled the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) as early as December 2010, suggesting a total ban on Endosulfan.

“I urge you to resist the unethical and immoral influence of Endosulfan manufacturers and protect the health of present and future generations by approving and endorsing a ban on Endosulfan,” Mr. Krishna said, adding that the Indian government take a concrete stand on banning the chemical in the upcoming Fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N.’s Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (COP-5) to be held during April 25-29 in Geneva.

NHRC had asked the Centre to “join the international consensus at the Geneva meeting and permit the listing of Endosulfan as an Annexe A chemical,” he said.

Meanwhile, members of the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), led by its general secretary Annie Raja, protested in front of Krishi Bhawan (Agriculture Ministry) on Wednesday demanding a ban on Endosulfan.

NFIW alleged that the Agriculture Ministry was safeguarding the interests of companies including multinational ones at the expense of people’s lives. A few students of Delhi University also joined the stir.

Keywords: endosulfan, human rights

J. Balaji, The Hindu

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