You are viewing our old site. See the new one here


 Earth Negotiations Bulletin - ENB

  English   French Spanish  
Wed 17
Fri 19 & Summary

Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety VI:
Global Partnership in Chemical Safety
Contributing to the 2020 Goal 

15-19 September 2008 | Dakar, Senegal


Highlights for Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The sixth session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS Forum VI) continued on Wednesday morning with a plenary session on substitution and alternatives. In the afternoon, the plenary discussed international transport of lead and cadmium. In the evening, three working groups and a drafting group met to discuss the future of the IFCS, nanotechonolgy, substitution and lead and cadmium.

Above photo: Delegates from the evening session of the Working Group on the Future of IFCS.


Chair Georg Karlaganis reported on progress in the nanotechnology working group, including agreement to change the text's title from "declaration" to "statement," and to narrow its scope to manufactured nanomaterials.
IFCS Vice-President Jamidu Katima reported on the working group on the future of the IFCS, noting agreement on the IFCS's three functions. He reported divergence over the options and said regional and bilateral consultations will be held throughout the day.
The Asia Pacific Group endorsed the first option, and supported preserving the independent status and functions of the IFCS.

Gholamhossein Dehghani, Islamic Republic of Iran, IFCS Vice-President, Asia and the Pacific 

Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) supported the third option of making the IFCS a subsidiary body of the ICCM, but stressed the necessity of maintaining the Forum's independence that allows for flexibility in the agenda to address new and emerging issues.

Marta Ciraj, Slovenia, IFCS Vice-President, CEE 
The Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) said the group had still not reached consensus on which option it preferred.

Jules F. M. De Kom, Suriname, IFCS Vice-President, GRULAC
The Western Europe and Others Group (WEOG) acknowledged that it is important for developing countries and transition economies to maintain IFCS's functions and its distinct way of working, and expressed commitment to finding a solution to best fulfill the agreed functions within the overarching regime on chemicals management.

Franz Perrez, Switzerland


Delegates convened in a plenary session on substitution and alternatives, facilitated by Michael Wittmann, Austria. 
Ken Geiser, University of Massachusetts Lowell, discussed substitution opportunities and practices.
Lothar Lißner, Cooperation Centre Hamburg, highlighted the principle of substitution in the EU and said the European legal framework is close to ideal in this respect.

Richard Kiaka, iLima, discussed the challenges facing developing countries in implementing substitution strategies, highlighting: weaker capacity in research and development; limited public awareness and education; low financial capacity; and economic investment which favors established industries. 
Jorge Perez, National Cleaner Production Center of Mexico, explained how the chemical leasing business model can increase substitution of hazardous chemicals and reduce consumption of raw materials while increasing the economic benefits for the supplier and user.
Dolores Romano, Instituto Sindical de Trabajo, Ambiente y Salud (ISTAS), presented on her institute's work to promote substitution.

Michael Streek, Schülke & Mayr GmbH, discussed the perspective of a manufacturer of disinfectants.
Jorge Mendez-Galvan, Mexico presented on lessons learned to phase out DDT from Mexico's malaria control programme and urged reducing insecticide use and respecting ecology.
Joel Tickner, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, discussed the challenges of substitution and the tools needed to support implementation and innovation.

Senegalese artwork around the conference depicting everyday life, religion and women.



Erika Rosenthal, CIEL, discussed the "thought starter," explaining that it identifies some risks to human health and the environment that may be directly traced to international trade in lead and cadmium commodities, compounds, products and wastes.
Brian Wilson, International Lead Management Centre, discussed lessons learned from lead risk management.
Patrick de Metz, International Cadmium Association, outlined the main cadmium sources, including through extraction during zinc mining; natural release; and as an impurity in commodities.

Ravi Agarwal, Toxics Link, discussed global transport of lead and cadmium through e-waste such as computers and mobile phones. He said products are manufactured, assembled and marketed globally and are often disposed of in the South.
Kaj Madsen, UNEP, and Anne Nkwimba Magashi, ARSCP, presented a study on the effects of trade in lead, cadmium and mercury on human health and the environment in Africa. 


Joel Tickner, University of Massachusetts Lowell, discussed concerns about toxic substances in consumer products, including toys.
Michael Musenga, Zambia, outlined efforts to reduce heavy metal exposure in Zambia which occur in paints, fertilizer and fossil fuels. He highlighted the development of national minimum standards and efforts to harmonize and implement standards.
Jaime Delgado Zegarra, Peruvian Association of Consumers Unions, highlighted concerns over presence of lead in toys and school pencils.
Ibrahim Shafii, Basel Convention Secretariat, explained how the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal engages with lead and cadmium

Perry Gottesfeld, OK International, emphasized the need to complement national collection systems for lead batteries by certification schemes in order to address the increasing problem of lead poisoning in developing countries.



The working group on the future of the IFCS reconvened in an evening session. Based on informal discussions held throughout the day, two regional groups said they could consider the third option as a basis for discussion on the condition that elements safeguarding the integrity of the Forum are incorporated.

The working group on nanotechnology reconvened on Wednesday evening and delegates agreed to use the draft statement produced on Tuesday as the basis for further discussion. Chaired by Michael Wittmann, Austria, the drafting group on substitution and alternatives met in the evening to discuss the draft Dakar recommendations on substitution and alternatives.


The working group on lead and cadmium chaired by Reiner Arndt, Germany,  convened in an evening session. Delegates began the session by considering whether these chemicals pose unacceptable risks to human health and the environment, initially focusing on waste disposal in developing countries.

  up to top

Related Links

Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety website
Official website of the Government of Senegal for IFCS VI
Forum VI: Global Partnerships for Chemical Safety
World Health Organization (WHO)
UNEP Chemicals
UNEP - Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)
International Organization for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC)
International Programme on Chemical Safety
UNITAR Chemicals and Waste Management Programme
Stockholm Convention (POPs)
Rotterdam Convention (PIC)
Basel Convention

Links to IISD RS Resources

IISD RS coverage of the IFCS - V, 25-29 September 2006, Budapest, Hungary
IISD RS coverage of the IFCS - IV, 1-7 November 2003, Bangkok, Thailand
IISD RS coverage of the IFCS - III, 14-20 October 2000, Salvador, Brazil 
IISD RS coverage of the IFCS - II, 10-14 February 1997, Ottawa, Canada
IISD RS coverage of meetings on Chemicals Management 
Chemicals-L - A mailing list for news on biodiversity and wildlife policy
Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats
CLIMATE-L - News and information on the actions of international organizations in responding to the problem of global climate change
Linkages Africa - Fortnightly newsletter reporting on sustainable development events in Africa


! Please e-mail the Digital Editor if you have any questions regarding the content of this page.

| Back to Linkages home | Visit IISDnet | Send e-mail to ENB |
© 2008, IISD. All rights reserved.