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Beyond addressing resource mobilization and the illegal traffic of hazardous chemicals and wastes, delegates tried to effectiveness challenges under the Rotterdam Convention, listed new persistent organic pollutants and adopted a compliance mechanism under the Stockholm Convention, and tackled guidelines on different categories of hazardous wastes under the Basel Convention.
The Chemical Review Committee faced a lengthy agenda as it reviewed a dozen hazardous chemicals and pesticides to determine if they should be listed under the Rotterdam Convention’s prior informed consent procedure, which could limit their trade, if deemed necessary to protect human health and the environment.
The Basel Convention flexed its institutional muscle, while the Rotterdam Convention managed to add just two of the seven chemicals proposed to its prior informed consent procedure. The Stockholm Convention continued to list new chemicals, but it now faces the downstream consequences of that success: new chemicals bring added implementation challenges.
After a meeting dominated by questions about what constitutes a risk evaluation under the Rotterdam Convention, the Committee decided that two of the four chemicals considered met the criteria for listing banned or severely restricted chemicals. The others will be considered at the next meeting in 2022.
Parties and stakeholders to the three global hazardous chemicals and wastes conventions convened online to deal with urgent operational and substantive work including election of officers, the programmes of work and budgets for all three conventions, and a decision regarding the Stockholm Convention’s financial mechanism.
During this virtual meeting, the Committee finalized its work on two industrial chemicals: decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and PFOA-related compounds. The CRC agreed to recommend that the Conference of the Parties (COP) list both industrial chemicals in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention.
At its fifteenth meeting, the Rotterdam Convention’s Chemical Review Committee reviewed notifications from countries that took a domestic final regulatory action that banned or severely restricted three chemicals: amitrole, decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) and nonylphenols and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP and NPEs).
CRC-14 considered the draft decision guidance documents (DGDs) for acetochlor, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and phorate, agreeing to recommend listing these chemicals in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention (Chemicals subject to the PIC procedure). The Committee also discussed the updated version of the Handbook of Working Procedures and Policy Guidance for the Chemical Review Committee (CRC Handbook).