Rotterdam Convention: no new agenda for pesticides at chemical review panel meet

Signals under-utilisation of the subsidiary body of Rotterdam Convention

By Moushumi Sharma
Published: Monday 27 October 2014


With the aim of making agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable, the 10th meeting of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC-10) to the Rotterdam Convention was held in Rome, Italy, from October 22 to 24. A total of 59 delegates—committee members, government and party observers and representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations—adopted decisions on the use of a range of chemicals, including methamidophos, fenthion, polychlorinated naphthalenes, tributyltin and chlorinated paraffins.

According to Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB), a reporting service for environment and development negotiations, CRC is the gradual result of a growing awareness on internationally traded chemicals during the 1960s and 1970s, which prompted efforts by the international community to safeguard people and the environment from the harmful effects of such chemicals. This led to the adoption of the International Code of Conduct for the Distribution and Use of Pesticides by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

CRC is a subsidiary body of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade. The first session of CRC was held in Geneva, Switzerland, in February 2005.

The 10th session had no new notifications of final regulatory action for pesticides, says the ENB report. This signals that CRC, despite its potential, remains underworked. But the few reviews that CRC-10 had on its agenda were efficiently handled. According to the report, CRC’s primary work is to review the notifications put forward by parties to restrict the use or production of a chemical from a developing country.
A second round of CRC meeting is being currently held at FAO headquarters which will conclude on October 30.

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