Wednesday, 21 December 2011

International NGOs call on EU Commission, EU Parliament and EU Member States not to lower the health and safety standards in its EU PIC Regulation

The right to Prior Informed Consent (PIC), as provided by the Rotterdam Convention, is an essential right, both to ensure responsible management of hazardous chemicals and pesticides and also to ensure that developing countries control how their environment is used in pursuit of sustainable development.

The EU is a leader in the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention and its objectives through the current EU PIC Regulation. Therefore we are very concerned about new proposals put forward by the EU Commission to weaken the EU PIC Regulation. These proposals would result in an increase in the export of hazardous chemicals to our countries, potential importing countries. Our countries often lack information and technical and financial resources to handle these chemicals. These proposals not only pose direct risk to human health and the environment in our countries, but also undermine the very purpose of the Convention.

We, as NGOs from potential importing countries, strongly call on EU politicians and decision makers to:

1. Withdraw the 2 exemptions mentioned in Article 14/7, which would allow continued exportation of the chemicals even if no response or notification permitting importation had been received after 60 days. Moreover, the proposal made by the Commission, states that the export would be allowed if the chemical has been used or imported in the last 5 years and no regulatory action has been undertaken to prohibit its use.

2. Support Amendment 5 to article 14/7 of rapporteur Dan Jorgensen to ensure inclusion in the substances excluded from PIC derogation regime of all categories of hazardous substances classified CMR 1A or 1B under CLP regulation or PBT/vPvB and endocrine disrupting substances under REACH regulation EC No 1906/2006.

3. Consider the inclusion in this list of article 14/7 of substances of Annex XIV (substances of very high concern) and substances of Candidate List of REACH regulation EC No 1906/2006.

We believe that the EU does not want to lower its standards to protect human health and the environment by inventing derogations aimed at increasing the export of dangerous chemicals/pesticides, which are banned, not authorized or severely restricted in the EU, to non-EU countries, especially developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

The proposed changes would increase environmental injustice by exposing populations of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to greater risk of harm.

We call on you to support environmental justice by maintaining or even enhancing the existing standards. Thank you for your support.

Signatories from Non-EU countries
Friends of the Earth, Malaysia 
Ecological Restorations, Ghana 
SEEPOM (Association d'Éducation Environnementale et de Protection des Oiseaux au Maroc, Morocco 
Alaska Community Action on Toxics, Alaska 
Eco Accord, Russia 
Pesticide Action Network Aotearoa, New Zealand 
Uganda Network on Toxic Free Malaria Control (UNETMAC), Uganda 
ToxicsWatch Alliance, India 
Asociation of Ecotoxicologist from Moldova, ECOTOX, Moldova 
Journalists for Human Rights, Macedonia 
CUTEZATORUL Association, Moldova 
Association for Farmers Rights Defense, AFRD, Georgia 
Terra-1530, Moldova 
TOXISPHERA – Environmental Health Association, Brazil 
APROMAC – Environmental Protection Association, Brazil 
MAMA86, Ukraine 
CAATA ( Cener for Analyses on Toxics and Alternatives), Mexico 
Indonesia Toxics-Free Network, Indonesia 
Corporate Accountability Desk-The Other Media, India 
"Khazer" Ecological and Cultural NGO, Armenia 
AEEFG, Tunesia 
Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE), Armenia 
Sciencecorps, USA 
Alliance Nationale des Consommateurs et de l'environnement (ANCE-Togo), Togo

Supporting signatories from EU countries
WEN, Scotland 
Social Ecological Institute, Poland 
Clean up Greece, Greece
VHUE e.V., Association for the Support of Environmental sick People, Germany 
EU Umweltbüro, Austria 
Réseau Environnement Santé (RES), France 
Ecobaby Foundation, The Netherlands 
Ban asbestos France et Association Henri Pézerat, France

Monday, 31 October 2011

The next CRC meeting

 will be held from 18 to 23 March 2012 in Geneva

The report of COP-5 is available

An advance English version of the report of the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention is now available here. The decisions taken by the Conference of the Parties at its fifth meeting are presented in Annex I of the report.  The report will soon be available in the other five UN languages.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Another 2 years to wait?

ROCA - final intervention by Alexandra Caterbow:

Thank you Madam President for giving me the floor and for your excellent leadership. We also would like to congratulate India for their brave and encouraging decision to support the listing of chrysotile asbestos. The reconsideration of the Indian policy shows that it is not only possible to change position, but that by doing so a country might also increase its economic wealth.
 We support WHO efforts to assist countries in collecting nationally based information on asbestos threat. We hope that at the next COP there will be no more countries claiming for additional information about deadly consequences of asbestos exposure.
To develop safer asbestos-free alternatives is crucial for countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. They need to do so not only for the health of their citizens but also to protect their economy - financially speaking, asbestos is a dying industry. What we have seen in Geneva this week are the last moves of a dying industry.
For Canada the situation is dramatically different. As a developed country which no longer uses asbestos at home, Canada’s stance at COP5 was, without doubt, politically motivated. Canada has only minor political reasons to oppose the listing, which are ironically very tiny compared to other issues faced by importing countries. So many people will have to suffer from Canadas inability to solve domestic problems. And even Canadas own health ministry has asked for listing, because listing is consistent with controlled use.
 We recommend developing countries and economies in transition to require detailed information from their exporters about asbestos health effects as well as how exporters deal with asbestos including asbestos waste domestically. We are sure Canada has a lot of information and will be willing to share it with importing countries.
What will happen, due to the constant opposition to list chrysotile, is that countries will take national measures to protect their borders, if international mechanisms fail.
ROCA and civil society organisations around the world support the African and the Arabic Region in its efforts to effectively control their borders, and to consider other ways to do so, for instance by banning asbestos, if a consensus cannot be reached.

PAN congratulates COP 5 on listing endosulfan, aldicarb and alachlor and hopes on continuation with asbestos

PAN Intervention at COP 5 by Meriel Watts:

"Thank you Madam President.
Very briefly, Pesticide Action Network would like to congratulate the Conference of the Parties on finally listing endosulfan. It has been a long road, as it has travelled through both this Convention and the Stockholm Convention, but at last we have resolution. We also congratulate you on the listing of aldicarb and alachlor.
We hope the positive move with a chemical that became stuck at a pervious COP will - together with India’s willingness to move forward with chrysotile - lay the foundation for a new spirit of willingness by other parties at the next COP to finally list chrysotile asbestos, which clearly meets the scientific and legal requirements of the convention."

Epidemiologists call COP 5 to list asbestos

ROCA intervention by Alexandra Caterbow:

Distinguished delegates, while we are locked here, the world outside is carefully watching what we are doing here. I will provide you with a message from the scientific world outside, that was just passed to all of us, and especially to the one that makes the decisions here.
 It is a tragic irony that one of the largest global conferences of epidemiologists - researchers studying the causes and prevention of disease - is taking place this very same week in Montreal, Canada. The meeting, organized by the leading professional associations in Canada and the United States, including the American College of Epidemiology, the Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the Society for Epidemiologic Research, and the Epidemiology section of the American Public Health Association, has attracted some 1.535 delegates.
 This morning, a large gathering of epidemiologists added their voice to the outrage against the obstruction of the listing of Asbestos under the Rotterdam convention.
 1.531 participants, to be exact, who are all highly recognized scientists from various countries including Canada, want the COP to know that, and I want to quote their message for all of you:
 Asbestos is a recognized cause of asbestosis, lung cancer, and of mesothelioma in particular. Highlighting these hazards and avoiding exposure is essential to end this cancer epidemic.
 We will distribute their message shortly to the delegates.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

ROCA Statement on candidate chemicals: Don´t let economical and political reasons undermine the scientific basis of the convention.

We want to echo the statement of the African group. And also thank India for the change of their position, which is very encouraging, and we want to thank all other countries that were willing to discuss the listing. But we want to  express our disappointment about the late announcement of Canada and that they would not support the listing, for reasons that have nothing to do with the convention. We want to point out that when a country acknoledges a chemical meets the scientific criteria and still opposes its listing, then it undermines the integrity of the convention. We strongly oppose the position of those countries which refer to the lack of scientific data as the reason to oppose listing of asbestos. Many countries and well known international organizations do have enough of comprehensive information and scientifically proved data on asbestos health effects. If countries do not have national data confirming this it does not give them the right to undermine the CRC recommendations and data provided by other countries and organizations.We urge all Parties to come to a consensus decions. Don´t let economical and political reasons undermine the scientific basis of the convention.

Africa Group Statement on candidate chemicals asks for reasons of Canadas position

The Africa Group wishes to thank the Co-Chairs of the Candidate chemicals contact group for their skillful leadership and their efforts to resolve the issue of listing of Chrysotile asbestos in Annex III. We also thank India for their spirit of compromise and for their efforts to provide additional information to the countries who were still unable to agree to the listing of Chrysotile asbestos in an effort to move forward. The Africa Group also thanks Switzerland for their compromise text in efforts to ensure that consensus is reached. The Africa Group believes that this text accommodated the concerns of the apposing countries while achieving the objectives of the convention which are to protect the vulnerable populations. We also thank the EU for their document, but note that the African regions is not supportive of parallel voluntary mechanisms as these may render the Convention ineffective, and hamper our efforts to move towards listing.

Recalling what transpired at the contract on candidate chemicals, the Africa group must register its extreme disappointment in the manner in which Canada has acted with respect to the listing of this chemical. Their eleventh hour revelation that they were not able to concede to the listing of Chrysotile Asbestos in Annex III took the contact group meeting by surprise. Only after there appeared to be significant movement of the other opposing countries to consider the Swiss proposal, did they express themselves on the matter. The actions of Canada have in the view of the Africa Group set back the progress made by the contact group, as they did not make themselves available to have further discussion in the smaller group, and did not express to the group a willingness to debate the issue of the listing. The other countries opposed to the listing which joined the smaller discussion group, identified the issues which caused them difficulties in agreeing to the listing and the contact group were able to consider these concerns and propose options to address them through the Switzerland compromise decision. Canada by their actions have not allowed the group to understand the issues which do not allow them to reach consensus on the listing decision. The Africa Group hereby calls on Canada to put forward to the Conference the reasons for their opposition to the listing, that the parities can assist them in an attempt to negotiate and find solutions which allow COP 5 to be able to list and meet the objectives of the Convention.

It is at significant cost both in terms of resources and physical costs that the Africa Region sends representatives to these meeting, the African Region is encouraged by the listing of the other candidate chemicals but would be extremely disappointed if opposing countries cannot find it in themselves to negotiate to a successful outcome which is a listing of all four candidate chemicals.

Canada, A Pariah State

The transparent behaviour of the Canadian delegation regarding the listing of chrysotile asbestos on Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention has caused a groundswell of condemnation. Having kept quiet during the initial plenary session debate on June 21, the Canadian position was revealed yesterday when a consensus supporting the listing of chrysotile began to emerge. When it became clear that negotiations might finally resolve the chrysotile impasse , Canadian delegate David Sproulu threw down the gauntlet with his statement: “Canada is not in a position to support the listing of chrysotile in Annex 3. Canada is unable to join the consensus."

Canada’s betrayal of the Rotterdam Convention has earned it huge negative press coverage at home and abroad which culminated with it being named a Cancer Culprit for its destructive and hypocritical position. For the sake of a few hundred jobs at the one remaining Canadian asbestos mine, Canada has willfully and in full knowledge of the repercussions sided with the global asbestos mafia to prioritize commercial profit over public health.

A leading trade unionist from the Philippines is calling for Canada to be “delisted” from the Rotterdam Convention. Incensed by the developments this week in Geneva, Gerard Seno from the ALU-TUCP has reason to berate Canada: 93% of the asbestos imported to the Philippines is from Canada.

ROCA delegate at COP5 Madhu Dutta says:“There is no doubt amongst the observers in Switzerland, that Canada had planned to let other countries do its dirty work in perpetuating the chrysotile veto. When the opposition of the dissent vote looked close to collapse, Canada emerged from the shadows. The disrespect shown by Canada for other delegations and their countries and human health and for the survival of the Rotterdam Convention is breathtaking.”

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Convention in Danger - Canada is playing dirty!

Canada told the world Wednesday it opposes placing limits on the export of chrysotile asbestos — likely setting the stage for international efforts to list the mineral as a hazardous material to fail.
The head of the Canadian delegation at an international meeting to decide whether to label chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous material under the United Nations' Rotterdam Convention made the statement after a consensus was starting to emerge to list the mineral, which is mined in Quebec, on Annex III of the convention, Postmedia News has learned.
If chrysotile asbestos is listed on Annex III of the convention, "Prior Informed Consent" is required before countries such as Canada can export the mineral, meaning importing countries are informed of the hazards and can refuse to accept it if they believe they cannot handle it safely.
Until this declaration, the Canadians had remained silent, and Natural Resources Ministers Joe Oliver had hinted Tuesday the Canadian delegation would remain quiet at the meeting because four other countries had already spoken up against the listing. But on Wednesday, Ukraine switched positions and indicated it could accept the hazardous listing.
Canada's intervention followed immediately after Ukraine's announcement. It also came just after India, a major importer of Quebec asbestos, announced it, too, would support the listing. As with Canada at past meetings, India either opposed the listing or remained silent.
Unless consensus among countries can be achieved, chrysotile asbestos will remain off Annex III, contrary to the recommendation of the UN convention's scientific expert committee.

The first Champion of the Conference is India!

India was awarded the first Champion of the fifth conference of the parties COP 5 of the Rotterdam Convention! It is now supporting the listing of chrysotile asbestos in Annex III, called the PIC list. This decision has evoked a strong dynamic in the discussion. Thank you India!!!
More on

What is Brazil's position on Asbestos?

This week, Brazil, the third largest producer and exporter of asbestos in the world, participates again in the Conference of the Parties of the Rotterdam Convention with a big delegation (8 or 9 members) without anything NEW to say so far.

Russia is the largest producer and exporter in the world, but it has not the right to give its opinion in the meeting, as it has not ratified the convention. Brazil is in second place among the countries present and parties of the conference, only after China as producer and Kazakhstan as exporter. Due to this fact, Brazil has a higher status in this conference and its position should therefore influence the decision of the other 142 countries.

However, the Brazilian taxpayers’ money is financing the bureaucrats delegation tour, led by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, just to say that there is no consensus in the country on wether or not to list asbestos in the PIC list.

This old story is being repeated in 3 consecutive meetings (each one is held at each 2 years), and only 2 Brazilian ministries are against such inclusion: Mines and Energy, and Development, Industry and Trade.

The first question here is: if it is to repeat this mantra for the third time, why the delegation consists of 8-9 members, when only one officer could do the task?

According to UN rules, civil society has to have a say in preparation. It is interesting to note that the civil society organizations in Brazil were not invited or heard by the Ministry of Foreign Relations in the previous meeting held by the Brazilian Government in May 2011.

With all these characteristics, is or is not Brazil a strong candidate to the Cancer Culprit award?

To know more about the award, see

published on behalf of


Rotterdam Convention in Danger! Handful of countries block listing of Chrysotile Asbestos

It is irresponsible and indefensible that a handful of countries under the control of the asbestos industry are blocking the right to prior informed consent, a basic right that is essential for the protection of public health. In so doing, they are undermining the viability of the whole Convention. This handful of countries is putting the interests of the asbestos industry ahead of global public health. The Convention cannot function, if a few countries hold the world hostage by rejecting the advice of the Convention’s scientific committee, which has repeatedly recommended, that chrysotile asbestos be listed under Annex III. The listing of chrysotile asbestos meets all the scientific criteria of the Convention. It is a demonstration of outrageous bad faith that these countries – Ukraine, Kygrysztan & Kazakhztan, India – have ratified the Convention and yet act in a way that undermines the ethos and functionality of the Convention. The Convention is intended to secure a fundamental right for all the countries of the world and this tiny group of countries appear determined to deny that right.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Do you want to know, what is happening at COP 5?

Do you want to be updated on what is happening at the COP 5, talking place from June 20th to 25th in Geneva. Check out our new website The Cancer Culprit Awards!
Every day countries are voted the Cancer Culprit or are awarded with the Conference Champion. If you want to know who is supporting the listing of Asbestos in Annex III to enable countries to make informed decisions have a look at the website.

Friday, 17 June 2011

New ROCA Position Paper online available!

We would like to present you the position paper by our international alliance in preparation to the COP 5, talking place next week in Geneva. You can find it here under Publications.

Side Event at COP 5 Asbestos - Dangers in the Dust!

The Rotterdam Convention Alliance is proud to invite you to the Side Event "Asbestos - Dangers in the Dust!". The BBC documentary Dangers in the Dust is followed by three presentations by civil society representatives from Brail, India and Kyrgyztan. In conclusion a dialogue will address how policy action will show the way. We would like to invite you to this event.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Killer Pesticide Endosulfan to be phased out globally

In May 2011, the nations of the world agreed to add endosulfan, an antiquated persistent insecticide, to the Stockholm Convention’s list of banned substances. Environmental health and justice organizations from around the world who have been working towards a ban welcomed the decision.

Read more here on the wecf website.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs Urged to Endorse Ban on Endosulfan

Press Release from ToxicsWatch Alliance

Chemicals, Agriculture, Health and Environment Ministry Must Put Public Health above Corporate Profit
POPs Emitting Incinerators Covered under UN’s Stockholm Convention
Alternatives of DDT to be Explored at COP-5

18/4/2011, New Delhi: Environmental health groups appeal to Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs to put public health above Endosulfan manufacturers’ blind lust for profit at any human and environmental cost. These groups and public health scholars across the globe will watch the stance of Indian government at the upcoming fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN’s Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (COP-5) to be held during 25-29 April 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland which will deal with Endosulfan pesticides.

Currently, there are twenty-one chemicals listed as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the convention including DDT, lindane, PCBs and dioxins and furans and some brominated flame retardants. The objective of the convention is to restrict and eliminate these chemicals from production and use in order to protect human health and the environment. Unmindful of its adverse health impacts, India remains the world’s largest producer and user with more than 60 Endosulfan manufacturers and formulators.

India has already missed the deadline for transmission of National Implementation Plan for the treaty which it was supposed to submit to the secretariat of UN's Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) by 4th December, 2008. The Draft of the NIP is ready and was available for comments till April 1, 2011. The 235 page draft has emerged too late.
Endosulfan is one of the most commonly used pesticides in India in recent years, particularly on rice and cotton against thrips, stem borer, whorl maggot, case worm, boll worm and bud worm. It has also been used on cashew plantations.

India signed the treaty on 14th May, 2002 and ratified it on 13th January, 2006. On 28th March, 2006 submitted a Declaration saying, "Any amendment to Annex A, B or C shall enter into force only upon the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with respect thereto." The Convention was adopted on 22nd May 2001. It entered into force on 17th May 2004.

A chemical can be listed in the Stockholm Convention as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) when it shows that it persists in the environment, bioaccumulates in organisms (increases in concentration up the food chain), travels through the environment over long distances from the region of its release to other regions of the globe, and is toxic to the environment and human health.

On 26th August, 2010 nine new chemicals were added to the treaty when the amendments to the treaty entered into force. The nine new chemicals listed in Annexes A, B and C to the Stockholm Convention. The 12 initial POPs covered by the Convention include nine pesticides (aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, mirex and toxaphene); two industrial chemicals (PCBs as well as hexachlorobenzene, also used as a pesticide); and the unintentional by-products, most importantly dioxins and furans.

Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC), a subsidiary to UN's Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants has reached its conclusions regarding environmental health impact of Endosulfan. Its conclusion reads: "The Committee reviewed and adopted a revised draft risk profile on endosulfan by which it agrees that the POP characteristics of the chemical warrant global action. The Committee will develop for endosulfan a risk management evaluation document that includes an analysis of possible control measures for consideration at its next meeting and final recommendation to the COP for its listing in the Annexes of the Convention. Endosulfan is a pesticide that is still widely used on many crops such soy, cotton, rice, and tea. It is highly toxic to humans and many other animals and has been found in the environment, including the Arctic." The POPRC comprises of 31 members of the POPRC. These are all highly placed scientists representing their regions around the globe.

In India, its production of Endosulfan began in 1996 and by 2004, India had become the leading producer of endosulfan, with three companies—Coromandel Fertilisers Ltd, Excel Crop Care, and Hindustan Insecticides Ltd. Excel is the largest of the three, with a reported capacity of 6,000 tonnes per annum. Hindustan Insecticides produces 1,600 tonnes per annum at its facility in Kerala (HIL 2008). The production figure of the third one is not available.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) for the first time decided unanimously to establish collaboration between the Stockholm Convention and its sister treaties on hazardous chemicals and wastes, the Rotterdam and Basel Conventions at its fourth meeting (COP-4) in Geneva.  It was decided for the first time that the expanded Working Group will comprise of the three chemicals and wastes treaties in sequential COPs. This will be visible at COP-5.

Environmental and health groups world over will closely monitor the outcome of COP-5 especially in the matter of Endosulfan. Governments have to decide whether or not they would put profit above people's public health, environment and inter generational equity.

The stance of India’s Chemicals, Agriculture and Health Ministry headed by cabinet ministers have been quite regressive because they are working manifestly under the influence of Indian Chemical Council, an industry body. These ministries have consistently prevailed on our structurally weak environment ministry whose head is a junior minister because he is merely a minister of state with independent charge.

Most recently, on 6th April Russian Prime Minister signed a governmental decree on the ratification of the Stockholm Convention on POPs which it had signed on 22th May, 2002. So far there are 151 signatories and 173 parties to this treaty. The text of the POPs treaty, Indian Chemical Council Position on Endosulfan and Reply of the UNEP is attached.

The POPs emitting waste incineration plants for energy generation which are facing bitter opposition in Delhi’s Okhla, Narela-Bawana, Timarpur and Gazipur reveals the non-seriousness of government towards public health concerns. Although India is a party to the UN’s POPs treaty it allows POPs laden dead ships at Alang beach, Bhavnagar, Gujarat. This also illustrates government’s apathy towards country’s environmental health.  In such a backdrop, environmental health groups wonder whether their government will endorse the inclusion of Endosulfan into the POPs list.

It may also be noted that the first assembly of the Global Alliance for alternatives to DDT to be held on the 26th of April 2011 in Geneva during COP-5 for developing and deploying alternatives to DDT for disease vector control through a harmonized registration system for new vector-control chemicals and products and explore non-chemical, non-commercial, community-based and environmental interventions. DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is one of the most well-known synthetic pesticides. It was the first synthetic pesticide of the modern age. This was endorsed by COP-4 of the POPs treaty.

Underlining the gravity of the situation, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says, “POPs are chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in fatty tissue of living organisms and are toxic to humans and wildlife. POPs circulate globally and can cause damage wherever they travel. In implementing the Stockholm Convention, Governments need to take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of POPs into the environment.”

For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), E-mail:,, 

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

nomination process for funding of participation at COP 5 - now open!

The Rotterdam Convention Alliance is glad to provide. with the support of the Federal Environement Ministry of Germany, nominations for three representatives of the civil society for the Fifth Conference of the Parties (COP 5). The conference is taking place from 20 – 24 June 2011 in Geneva Switzerland. The aim of the nomination process is to support representatives of NGOs in the global south in participating activly at the COP 5.

The nomination process is open from today, 6 April 2011. Please send the filled out nomination form until 20 April to the ROCA co-coordinators Alexandra Caterbow (WECF - alexandra.caterbow(at) ) and Kathleen Ruff (Right on Canada / ROCA - kruff(at) ).

Please use the nomination form posted here. More details to the nomination process can be found in this form.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

ROCA position paper

The Rotterdam Convention Alliance ROCA, the Pesticide Action Network PAN and the International POPs Elimination Network IPEN have published a joint position paper in 2008 for the COP 4. It can be downloaded here or seen under publications.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Date and Venue of the seventh Chemical Review Committee (CRC 7)

The seventh meeting of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC 7) will be held in

     Rome, Italy, 
     from 28 March - 1 April 2011.

More information will be available at the official site of the Rotterdam Convention

Monday, 21 February 2011

Date and Venue for the Sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (COP-6)

The sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (COP 6) will be held in

       Rome, Italy,
       with tentative dates set as  
       1 – 5 July 2013

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Date and Venue for the Fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention

The fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (COP 5) will be held in

       Geneva, Switzerland, 
       from 20 – 24 June 2011

More information will be posted here or is available at time at the official website of the Rotterdam Convention

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Brussels to propose revision of PIC rules by April 2011

A proposal to revise the prior informed consent (PIC) regulation will be tabled by April. The European Commission merely seeks to make technical changes. It will not propose to change its substance. The regulation deals with the export of dangerous chemicals.
A draft revised regulation is now going through inter-service consultation in Brussels, according to an EC official. It will align the PIC law with new rules on the classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) of hazardous chemicals and the Lisbon treaty.
Among other things, the commission will propose to amend certain terminologies such as 'preparations', which would now be called 'mixtures'. The references to comitology would also be changed to reflect new rules introduced by the Lisbon Treaty.
The commission also wants to transfer responsibility for dealing with export notifications to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Under PIC rules, European firms exporting dangerous chemicals must receive the consent of receiving countries.
Prior consent is not required if a company can demonstrate that the substance has already been licensed, registered or authorised in the receiving country. Such exports must be approved by the commission on a case-by-case basis. Under the draft revised PIC law, ECHA would process applications.
EU PIC law implements the UN's Rotterdam convention on prior informed consent for trade in hazardous chemicals. The revision will not affect the list of chemicals covered by the rules, which are regularly updated via an annex. The Hungarian presidency hopes to broker a Council of Ministers agreement on the revised law in June.

Follow Up: EU webpages on trade of dangerous chemicals and list of chemicals covered

Christian Schaible, Senior Policy Officer for Industrial Policies and Chemicals
European Environmental Bureau EEG