Ban on 7 hazardous chemicals ratified

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 07, 2020

Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, addressing the press on Cabinet decisions in New Delhi on Wednesday

The pollutants were listed under Stockholm Convention; pact with Japan also gets the nod

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday ratified the ban on seven chemicals that are hazardous to health and environment listed under the Stockholm Convention.

It also approved signing a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in the field of cyber-security between India and Japan.

These chemicals are called Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and include Chlordecone, Hexabromobiphenyl, Hexabromodiphenylether and Heptabromodiphenylether (Commercial octa-BDE), Tetrabromodiphenylether and Pentabromodiphenylether (Commercial penta-BDE), Pentachlorobenzene, Hexabromocyclododecane and Hexachlorobutadiene.

“With today’s decision India is sending out a positive message to the world that we are active in this area and we do not tolerate health and environmental hazard,” Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said while addressing a press briefing.

The Stockholm Convention is a global treaty to protect human health and environment from POPs, which are identified chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate in living organisms, adversely affect human health/environment and have the property of long-range environmental transport (LRET).

Exposure to POPs can lead to cancer, damage to central & peripheral nervous systems, diseases of immune system, reproductive disorders and interference with normal infant and child development. POPs are listed in various Annexes to the Stockholm Convention after thorough scientific research, deliberations and negotiations among member countries.

Considering its commitment towards providing safe environment and addressing human health risks, the Environment Ministry had notified the Regulation of Persistent Organic Pollutants Rules, on March 5, 2018 under the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The Act prohibited the manufacture, trade, use, import and export seven chemicals.

The Cabinet’s approval for ratification of POPs demonstrates India’s commitment to meet its international obligations with regard to protection of environment and human health.

It also indicates the resolve of the government to take action on POPs by implementing control measures, develop and implement action plans for unintentionally produced chemicals, develop inventories of the chemicals’ stockpiles and review as well as update its National Implementation Plan (NIP).

The ratification process would enable India to access Global Environment Facility (GEF) financial resources in updating the NIP.

MoC for cyber-security

A statement issued by the government said the MoC will enhance cooperation in areas of mutual interest, which include capacity building in the area of cyberspace; protection of critical infrastructure; cooperation in emerging technologies; sharing information on cyber security threats/incidents and malicious cyber activities, as well as best practices to counter them; developing joint mechanisms for practical cooperation to mitigate cyber threats to the security of Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure etc.

India and Japan are committed to an open, interoperable, free, fair, secure and reliable cyberspace environment and to promote the Internet as an engine of innovation, economic growth, and trade and commerce that would be consistent with their respective domestic laws and international obligations, and with their wide-ranging strategic partnership, the statement mentioned.

Published on October 07, 2020

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