Last update: 09-Dec-2013 11:04 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Govt to ban ‘dangerous’ pesticides, chemicals
There is a need for greater understanding of environmental degradation and its impact on society, both in terms of economic welfare and human health. Making the announcement yesterday was Ganga Singh, Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, who was speaking at the final national workshop to support the implementation of the Stockholm Convention in T&T, held at Capital Plaza, Port-of-Spain.
The Stockholm Convention, an international environmental treaty signed in 2001 and effective from May 2004, aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Singh said Cabinet had approved an integrated waste management and resource recovery policy which identifies the solid waste management roles and responsibilities of national entities, including the private sector.
“It defines the extent to which new legal or institutional frameworks are required, and most significantly it indicated the country is moving towards a path to waste diversion through waste recovery and value-added processing of former waste material,” Singh said. Saying the production and use of chemicals play a vital role in a country’s economic development, Singh added that chemicals had become essential to daily life.
However, there was a downside to their use. “We remain historically aware of numerous chemical accidents that remind us of the need to address chemical safety,” he said. “We need to seriously address chemical safety so that we can ensure that chemicals can be manufactured and utilised in a sustainable manner.”
As part of the Stockholm Convention, he said, the Government was committed to protecting human health and the environment from POPs, which are some of the “most dangerous” chemicals owing to their longevity, high toxicity and the ability to persist in the environment. Singh said his ministry, with assistance from the UNPD, has advocated the development of a national implementation plan which sets out how T&T would implement the obligations under the convention.
He said this would entail eliminating the use of pesticides and industrial chemical classified as POPs. The Government was also taking policy and legal measures to address the problem of environmental pollution and solid and hazardous waste management, he said.
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