National Conference on Persistent Organic Pollutants Management
Date: April 20, 2018
With an objective to a) get an overview on the overall POPs management in the country post national implementation plan 2011 b) discuss on the possible ramification of the newly listed POPs in Stockholm Convention c) share the information among the stakeholders on the newly listed POPs and to present the country situation report on POPs prepared by Toxics Link, it conducted a National Conference on Persistent Organic Pollutants Management on April 20, 2018.
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was adopted on 22nd May 2001, to "Protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants". India ratified the Stockholm Convention on POPs in 2006 and subsequently came out with the National Implementation Plan (NIP) in 2011 to manage the twelve POPs. However, after the NIP2011, sixteen new POPs were listed in the Convention and there are possible ramifications for the country on listing of these chemicals as POPs.
While inaugurating the conference, Mr. Ravi Agarwal, Director, Toxics Link, highlighted Rachel Carson’s book ‘Silent Spring’ which brought the issue into lime lights by emphasizing of the near extinction of the bald eagle population due to excessive usage of DDT in the agricultural fields.
Mr. Manoj Kumar Gangeya, Director, MoEF & CC, talked on the role of MoEF & CC as the nodal agency for global conventions and SAICM. He, further, highlighted the MoEF & CC’s representation in two review committee POPRC of Stockholm Convention and threw light on the working of POPRC (a scientific committee representing members from 31 countries who has ratified the treaty).
Mr Dinbandhu Gouda, Additional Director, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), began with POPs introduction, its characteristics, and its long term persists in environment. He also touched upon the process of preparation of the National Implementation Plan (NIP).
Dr Sukhbir Singh, Joint Director, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, enlightened the audience about the Vector Control Programme in India. He spoke at length on Integrated Vector Management (IVM), its key elements and the decision making process. He explained the key elements as advocacy, social mobilization and legislation, collaboration within the health sector and other sectors, integrated approach, evidence based decision making and capacity building.
Dr. Rashid Hasan, Advisor, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, discussed about the ignorance of chemicals used in the automobile sector in India although POPs are very commonly used as flame retardants in automobiles.
Talking on PCBs in Gangetic Basin, Dr. Girija Bharat, MU Gama Consultants Pvt. Ltd., started her presentation with the basic introduction of POPs and how do we get exposed to them & the harmful effects caused by them. She then explained as to why India is a hotspot for POPs and how POPs act as cold condensers.
Dr Paromita Chakraborty, SRM University, focused on the e-waste and pollution issue. She added that the informal recycling and open burning of e-waste is done to recover precious metals used in the electronic products.
Every session was followed by Question – Answer round.