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An inter-ministerial Indian delegation will participate in a crucial summit to be held in Geneva from April 24 to deliberate on ways to protect human health and environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes. The Environment Secretary, including the representatives from the Ministries of Environment, External Affairs, Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Chemicals and Fertilisers, agriculture and health, will participate in the Conference of Parties (CoPs) to the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm (BRS) Conventions in Geneva. The three CoPs to BRS conventions will be held jointly between April 24 and May 5. "This year the meetings will also feature a high-level segment to be attended by ministers," an official statement said. India is committed towards its obligations of BRS Conventions and 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 growth. "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.
The Stockholm Convention is on persistent organic pollutants (POPs)," the statement said. The agenda of the 2017 BRS CoPs meeting would cover a number 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 wastes and national reporting. "The subject matter during the negotiations and deliberations in the CoPs are of vital importance, which can have far-reaching ramifications on the trade and industry in the country in particular, industrial chemicals and electronic and electrical industry. "The most important matters to be deliberated during CoPs include - listing of chemicals under Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention may have an impact on industrial growth," the statement said. It said that the listing of hazardous chemicals may lead to an increase in the trade cost, as well as delay the import or export process while listing of chemicals under Stockholm convention bans or restrict the chemicals for trade, import, export and use along with minimises unintentional release of POPs. BRS Conventions are multilateral environmental agreements, which share the common objective of protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes. The Basel Convention was adopted on March 22, 1989 in response to a public outcry, following the discovery of deposits of toxic wastes imported from abroad in Africa and other parts of the developing world. The Rotterdam Convention is a multilateral environmental agreement which prescribes obligations on the importers and exporters of certain hazardous chemicals. The Stockholm Convention is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from a class of chemicals known as Persistent Organic Pollutants.
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