India decides to ratify POPs

Published: Tuesday 15 November 2005

-- (Credit: Shyamal)On October 20, 2005, the Indian government finally gave its approval to ratify and accede to the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (pops). The move came after months of dithering by various ministries to ratify the treaty, which aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of pops. pops are 12 chemicals and pesticides that persist in the environment for a long time and are highly toxic.

The ratification is only a partial step. The government has opted for a 'conditional ratification' under Article 25 (4) of the convention: the parties to the convention get a discretionary power to decide to "opt in" or "opt out" of any ban imposed on new chemicals brought under the convention. Conditional ratification was demanded by the Indian chemical industry, which had earlier completely opposed the idea of ratifying the convention.

Currently, the Stockholm Convention, which came into force on May 17, 2004, has more than 104 parties and 151 signatories.

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