Bulletin: Joint meetings of Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions held in Geneva

The joint meetings of three conventions on chemicals and waste namely Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions was held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Key Highlights

  • About: The 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to Basel Convention (COP 14) was held along with the 9th meeting of the COP to Rotterdam Convention and the 9th meeting of the COP to Stockholm Convention in Geneva, Switzerland, from 29 April to 10 May 2019.
  • Theme of 2019 meetings was- “Clean Planet, Healthy People: Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste”.
  • India and COP: An Indian delegation of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), and along with other ministries namely Agriculture Ministry, Chemicals and Fertilizer Ministry, and Electronics and Information Technology Ministry (MeitY) participated in the joint meetings and set a tone at COP.
  • In Basel Convention on Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, two important issues were mainly discussed and decided i.e. technical guidelines on e-waste and inclusion of plastic waste in Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure.
  • India’s Stand: In view of growing consumption of electronic equipment and waste across world, India highlighted that technical guidelines provision in name of re-use, repair, refurbishment and failure leads to possibility of e-waste dumping from developed world to the developing countries. So, Indian delegation strongly objected the proposed decision on these guidelines during plenary and did not allow it to be passed by conference of parties (COP).
  • Outcome: On final day of COP, a modified decision was adopted in which all concerns raised by India were incorporated. This thereby opened a window for further negotiations and corrections in draft technical guidelines on e-waste.
  • In Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP), COP decided to list “Dicofol” in Annex A (Elimination) without any exemption. The “PFOA”, (Perfluorooctanoic acid) was also listed with some exemptions in Annex A of Stockholm Convention.
  • In Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, two new chemicals named Phorate and HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) were added in list for mandatory Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure in international trade.

Key Facts

The Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions are multilateral environmental agreements, which share common objective of protecting human health and environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes.

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