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A Toxics-Free Future

illegal traffic

A small mine on Sumbawa. Miners often dig for ore on land without permission or government permits. Credit...Adam Dean for The New York Times

New York Times - Hidden Cost of Gold

By

CIDAHU, Indonesia — Thousands of children with crippling birth defects. Half a million people poisoned. A toxic chemical found in the food supply. Accusations of a government cover-up and police officers on the take.

This is the legacy of Indonesia’s mercury trade, a business intertwined with the lucrative and illegal production of gold.

This report presents findings of a study conducted by Centre for Environment Justice and Development (CEJAD) between December 2018 and January 2019 with support from IPEN. The purpose of the project study was to develop a country situation report on pesticides management, and promote the phase out of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) and the use of alternative, non-chemical approaches such as agro-ecology in agricultural practices in Kenya.

Aligned to the IPEN Strategy to phase out HHPs in Africa, this report by the Centre de Recherche et d'Education pour le Développement documents the list of HHPs registered and being used in Cameroon using Pesticide Action Network’s HHPs criteria, in addition to the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) – World Health Organization (WHO) criteria in the definition and identification of HHPs; the list of pesticides homologated for importation and use in Cameroon; and the pesticide registration process.

Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) are a threat to human health and the environment, with significant impacts on developing and transition countries. In 2015, more than 100 governments at the 4th International Conference on Chemicals Management agreed that HHPs were an issue of global concern and reached a consensus resolution to give priority to the promotion of agroecological alternatives in the process of implementing the strategy on HHPs developed by FAO-UNEP-WHO.[1] 

Ratification by Croatia Seals Entry into Force of Basel Ban Amendment

Seattle, Washington, USA. Croatia's 6th of September deposit of ratification of the 1995 Basel Ban Amendment has allowed this global waste dumping prohibition to finally enter into the force of international law. The Ban Amendment, adopted by the parties to the Basel Convention in 1995, prohibits the export of hazardous wastes from member states of the European Union, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Liechtenstein to all other countries.
 

National and international environmental health organizations are urging the Canadian government to ratify the BAN Amendment to the Basel Convention and end the exportation of waste to developing countries. One of the primary objectives of the Basel Convention is to have countries take responsibility for their own wastes in their own country and, in particular, stop the practice of exporting wastes to developing countries.

https://tinyurl.com/yxorwfj4

A movement bidding good riddance to bad trash is growing across South East Asia, and it should spark an international reckoning with how we have been dealing with plastic waste, recycling, and responsibility.

China closed its doors in 2018 to nearly a million tons of mixed plastic waste shipments, and with it, the inevitable toxic pollution to land, air, and groundwater that comes with plastic waste. All plastics contain toxic additives, many of which have negative health impacts. In the wake of China’s decision, the developed waste exporting nations set their plastic recycling on course to other South East Asian countries that were soon overwhelmed by the massive trashing.

In May, world governments gave developing countries a tool to resist the deluge of plastic mixed waste shipments through the UN Basel Convention. The US is not a signatory to the treaty, yet attempted to block the decision. The US obstruction failed, and 184 of the world’s governments created new regulations that require waste exporting countries to declare the content of mixed waste shipments and enables receiving countries to refuse plastic waste imports.

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