Lithuania to voice its position in international negotiations over chemical substances management2017-05-04
Lithuania is among the participants of the meeting of the Parties to the Stockholm, Rotterdam and Basel conventions involving chemical substances management held in Geneva. In the negotiations over amendments to these conventions and decisions on how to implement them, our country upholds the position that the actions in implementing all these three international agreements should be more focussed. According to Vice-Minister of Environment Mindaugas Gudas, this would prevent the overlapping of some provisions and would allow for better coordination of actions and larger savings amounts.
Lithuania agrees with the proposal to add 11 severely hazardous chemicals to the lists of controlled substances provided in the Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions. This would enable to establish limitations or totally prohibit, with certain exemptions, to produce, place on the market and use these substances and to provide for measures that would prevent them from being released into the environment, and they could be imported and exported only by applying special procedures.
With a view to ensure that chemicals are managed effectively, it is important to ensure that the states consider this area to be a priority and would integrate it into their sustainable development plans. Adequate policy on safe management of these substances allows preventing environmental pollution and reducing the quantity of waste generated. However, according to Marija Teriošina, Head of the Chemical Substances Division of the Pollution Prevention Department at the Ministry of Environment, who participates in these negotiations as well, preventive work is often not as visible or scandalous as accidents or emergencies, and thus it is groundlessly belittled.
At the meeting, negotiations were held over a number of issues including management of persistent organic pollutants, inclusion of new chemicals into the Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions, establishment of special exemptions, amendment to the Annexes to the Basel Convention, etc.
4 May 2017