News - In short

Published: Tuesday 15 April 2008

spoiling act A group of activists has alleged that a few countries led by Canada are sabotagingun's Rotterdam Convention. The ten-year old convention aims to control global trade in hazardous chemicals.

Environmental, gender, labour and health groups from India and abroad have, in a joint statement, said the countries, including India and many other developing countries, are blocking implementation of the convention that 120 countries have ratified.

In 2006, over 100 countries approved a recommendation made by a chemical review committee formed under the convention which said chrysotile asbestos was harmful and be listed in the 'Prior Informed Consent' category of the convention to restrict its use. But countries blocked action on the recommendation. "This is death sentence for the convention," said Joan Kuyek of Mining Watch Canada.Many industrialized countries have banned chrysotile asbestos so the companies are now targeting developing countries, say the activists.

green pak Pakistan moves to ban persistent organic pollutants. Its caretaker cabinet recently announced a series of environmental initiatives including ratification of the Stockholm Convention on the pollutants. Pakistan becomes the 118th country to endorse the treaty. Media reports say prime minister Mohammedmain Soomro has also endorsed a clean drinking water project while the cabinet has pledged to protect and "regenerate" Pakistan's forests.

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