cop-basel-stockholm-and-rotterdam-convention

In news: Recently, the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (BC COP-14), the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (RC COP-9) and the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP-9) held in Geneva.

  • The theme of the meetings was "Clean Planet, Healthy People: Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste".

Outcome of the Meet

On Rotterdam Convention

  • The establishment of a compliance mechanism under the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.
    • Two chemicals, the pesticide phorate and the industrial chemical hexabromocyclododecane were added to Annex III of the convention, making them subject to the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure, through which countries can decide on future imports of these chemicals. 

On Basel Convention

  • The adoption of an amendment to address certain plastic wastes under the Basel Convention (BC) on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.
    • It will make global trade in plastic waste more transparent and better regulated, whilst also ensuring that its management is safer for human health and the environment. 
    • It would also empower developing countries to refuse plastic waste dumping. 
    • Parties to the BC also adopted technical guidelines on environmentally sound management of electrical and electronic wastes (e-wastes).

On stockholm Convention

  • The listing of dicofol and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts, and PFOA-related compounds under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
    • End some of the exemptions for the continued production and use of certain industrial chemicals.
    • Dicofol is used as a miticide on a variety of field crops, fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and tea and coffee and is known to cause skin irritation and hyperstimulation of nerve transmissions in humans as well as being highly toxic to fish, aquatic invertebrates, algae and birds. 
    • PFOA is a widely-used industrial chemical used in the production of non-stick cookware and food processing equipment, as well as a surfactant in textiles, carpets, paper, paints and fire-fighting foams. 
    • As a substance of very high concern, it is known to be linked to major health problems including kidney cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid disease and hypertension in pregnancy. 

 

Important Conventions

Basel Convention

  • The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted on 22 March 1989 in response to a public outcry following the discovery, in the 1980s, in Africa and other parts of the developing world of deposits of toxic wastes imported from abroad.
  • The overarching objective of the Basel Convention is to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes.
  • The Convention also provides for the establishment of regional or sub-regional centres for training and technology transfers regarding the management of hazardous wastes and other wastes and the minimization of their generation to cater to the specific needs of different regions and subregions.
  • Regulatory system: It is the cornerstone of the Basel Convention as originally adopted. Based on the concept of prior informed consent, it requires that, before and export may take place, the authorities of the State of export notify the authorities of the prospective States of import and transit, providing them with detailed information on the intended movement.

Stockholm convention

  • The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was adopted on 22 May 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden. 
  • The Convention entered into force on 17 May 2004.
  • The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have harmful impacts on human health or on the environment.
  • The objective of the Stockholm Convention is to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants.
  • Annex A allows for the registration of specific exemptions for the production or use of listed POPs.
  • Restrict the production and use, as well as the import and export, of the intentionally produced POPs that are listed in Annex B to the Convention.

Rotterdam Convention

  • The Rotterdam Convention (formally, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade) is a multilateral treaty to promote shared responsibilities in relation to importation of hazardous chemicals. 
  • The convention promotes open exchange of information and calls on exporters of hazardous chemicals to use proper labeling, include directions on safe handling, and inform purchasers of any known restrictions or bans.
  • It was adopted in September 1998 and entered into force on 24 February 2004.
  • It’s jointly administered by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UN Environment (UNEP).
  • The Convention covers pesticides and industrial chemicals that have been banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons by Parties and which have been notified by Parties for inclusion in the PIC procedure.