PARIS: A new roadmap to reduce the environmental risks from chemicals and waste was adopted at a United Nations conference on Saturday as part of a drive to manage damaging chemical exposure.
The Global Framework on Chemicals was adopted by governments, companies, and NGOs at the fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management, held in Bonn, Germany, and organised by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The plan sets out 28 concrete targets and guidelines for key sectors across the entire lifecycle of chemicals, from production to waste.
They include preventing illegal trafficking of chemicals and waste, bringing in national legislation and phasing out highly hazardous pesticides in agriculture by 2035.
It also calls for a transition to more sustainable chemical alternatives, the responsible management of chemicals in sectors like industry, agriculture and healthcare, and for more access to information about the associated risks of different chemicals.
“Everyone on this planet should be able to live and work without fear of falling sick or dying from chemical exposure,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP.
She called on “governments, the chemicals industry and everyone involved to go above and beyond what has been agreed to protect people and the planet upon which we all depend”.
Germany pledged 20 million euros towards implementing the framework, which will be administrated by UNEP. Participants also adopted the Bonn Declaration, in which they committed to “prevent exposure to harmful chemicals, and phase out the most harmful ones, where appropriate, and enhance the safe management of such chemicals where they are needed”.
Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2023