ONLINE WORKSHOP ON THE USE OF HAZARDOUS PESTICIDES AND THE IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH: LEGAL AND SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP
The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade is a collaborative effort for the promotion of human health and environment. It furthers these goals through mandating the exchange of necessary information through the principle of ‘prior informed consent’ on several hazardous industrial chemicals and pesticides and the maintenance of transparency in the international trade between parties. The aim of the Rotterdam Convention is to encourage sustainable efforts amongst State Parties in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals so that human health and the environment can be protected from potential harm, and to ensure the environmentally sound use of such chemicals. The Rotterdam Convention has been amended nine times since it entered into force on 24 February 2004. It was last amended in 2019, when phorate and hexabromocyclododecane were added in Annexure III, and Annexure VII was adopted.
India ratified the Rotterdam Convention on 24th May, 2005. In pursuance of the mandate of the Convention, India has authorized the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare to perform the role of national authorities that undertake the functions of administering the Convention in the country.
India has enacted laws and rules for the regulation of pesticides both prior to and after the ratification of the Rotterdam Convention. However, a comparison between the legislative provisions enacted for the regulation of pesticides in India and the mandate of the Rotterdam Convention reveals that there is a still a long way to go before the country can be said to be fully compliant with the requirements of the Convention. A comparison between the Insecticides Act, 1968, Insecticides Rules, 1971 and the Rotterdam Convention reveals that while the Convention deals with bans of pesticides, insecticides and chemicals that harm the environment, wildlife and human life, the ambit of the Act and Rules in India only encompasses human beings and animals, with very little reference to the environment. Another significant drawback of the Act and Rules is that many insecticides that have been banned by Annexure III of the Rotterdam Convention are still in use in India. Moreover, the extant laws in the country have failed to acknowledge the gravity of the issue which the Rotterdam Convention has aimed to eradicate, and this is evident by the quantum of penalty prescribed for the violations of these instruments which is quite meagre.
A total of 40 pesticides/ formulations including Aldicarb, Aldrin, Benzene Hexachloride, Benomyl, Calcium Cyanide, Carbaryl, Chlorobenzilate, Ethyl Mercury, to name a few, have been banned in India. Moreover, under the Pesticides (Prohibition) Order, 2018 issued by the Central Government, 18 pesticides have been banned although, the Expert Committee that had recommended the pesticides to be banned had reviewed a total of 66 chemicals, several of which feature under the Rotterdam Convention.
India has ratified the Rotterdam Convention, but domestic laws that fully embody the principles of the Convention are yet to be formulated. The Pesticides Management Bill, 2020 intends to replace the Insecticides Act, 1968, and regulate the manufacture, packaging, import, labelling, storage, pricing, sale, advertisement, transport, use, distribution and disposal of pesticides, to ensure the availability of safe and effective pesticides. However, after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, no further progress has been made in this respect. The continued use of hazardous pesticides has deleterious effects on human and animal health and the environment, the consequences of which transcends generations, and must be curbed. This calls for efficacious legislative and executive efforts and the seamless convergence between the different departments identified as national authorities under the Convention. This will help bring the country in consonance with the mandate of the Rotterdam Convention.
In light of this, an online workshop is being organized by CEERA, NLSIU on 18th December, 2020 to deliberate on and build awareness about the laws governing pesticides in India, the implications of the continued use of hazardous pesticides on health and the environment and to discuss the way forward.
THE WORKSHOP INVITES PAPER PRESENTATIONS FROM REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS ON THE FOLLOWING TOPICS:
- Regulatory and Legal framework on the manufacture and use of pesticides.
- Pesticides and Agricultural Sector
- Pesticides and their Economic Implications in the Chemical Sector
- Environmental Degradation and Pesticides.
- International Trade of Chemicals and Pesticides.
- Health Implications of the use of Pesticides
WHO MAY ATTEND THE WORKSHOP?
- Officers of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Officers of the various Pollution Control Boards, etc
- Farmers Associations and Agricultural Associations
- Lawyers, Legal Professionals, Consultants.
- Academicians and Students from law universities, agricultural universities and university of environmental sciences.
- Industry Professionals, Environmental engineers, EHS managers
- Government Officers, Officers of Public Sector Undertakings, Civil Society Organizations working in the field of agriculture, famer’s welfare, etc.
KINDLY NOTE: Only registered participants are permitted to participate in the workshop. To register write to email@example.com
- Last date for Registration: 15th December, 2020
- Last date for Submission of Abstracts (applicable to only those presenting papers): 15th December, 2020.
- Date of the Workshop: 18th December, 2020.
- Abstracts of not more than 300 words, on the above-mentioned themes are invited, to be submitted as Word documents, with a covering letter containing the name and designation of the author(s).
- There may be a maximum of only two Authors for each Abstract; and all participants are permitted to enjoin as co-author for a maximum of one Abstract only.
- All Abstracts to be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com on or before 15th December, 2020.
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR PARTICIPANTS
- All participants are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and courteous manner and observe the following standards:
- Promote dignity and respect for others by avoiding behaviour which is, or might reasonably be perceived as, harassing, bullying or intimidating.
- Accommodate and tolerate different opinions and perspectives, and sort out disagreements by rational and respectful discussion, and without criticism.
- Avoid using obscene, abusive or offensive language.
- Follow any reasonable instruction and comply with any lawful direction given by a member of CEERA, NLSIU.