List of conventions E-mail

Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent

The ‘Prior Informed Consent’ procedures of the International Code of Conduct emerged in response to concerns about the dramatic growth in chemical production and trade during the last three decades and the associated risks posed by hazardous chemicals and pesticides. Countries lacking adequate infrastructure to monitor import and use of such substances were particularly vulnerable. These procedures, proposed by PAN UK for the Code, were adapted into a treaty in Rotterdam in September 1998, and enables parties to review basic health and environmental data on specified chemicals and to permit or refuse any incoming shipments of those chemicals. The objective of this convention is to promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among parties in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals and to contribute to their environmentally sound use through information exchange. The Rotterdam Convention entered into force in February 2004.

Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

  Adopted in May 2001, in Stockholm, Sweden, the POPs Convention calls for outright banning and destruction of some of the world’s most dangerous chemicals. The convention entered into force in May 2004 and has 100 parties to date. It seeks the elimination or restriction of production and use of all intentionally produced POPs. The convention targets pesticides, industrial chemicals and unintentionally produced POPs. Parties are required to submit National Implementation Plans (NIPs) within two years after joining the convention.

PAN International submitted
dossiers to support the nomination of endosulfan in 2008.

The Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol, aimed at the control and elimination of ozone depleting substances (such as methyl bromide), has demonstrated useful lessons with regard to the design and implementation of country or sector level strategies which combine capacity building, regulatory and legislative development. The protocol came into force in January 1989.

The International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides

The International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides is the worldwide guidance document on pesticide management for all public and private entities engaged in, or associated with, the distribution and use of pesticides. It was first adopted in 1985 by the FAO Conference and revised most recently in 2002. The Code is designed to provide standards of conduct and to serve as a point of reference in relation to sound pesticide management practices, in particular for civil society, government authorities and the pesticide industry.

PAN UK is an observer in the FAO Panel of Experts for the Code of Conduct, and has overseen the production of guidelines on monitoring pesticide health and environmental impacts. We support various projects aiming to implement the Code.

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal



Concluded in Basel, Switzerland, in March 1989, this convention entered into force in May 1992. Now ratified by 165 countries including 43 of the 53 African countries, the focus of this convention is to control the movement of hazardous wastes, ensure their environmentally sound management and disposal, and prevent illegal waste trafficking. At a ministerial-level meeting held in Rabat, Morocco, in January 2001, African countries agreed the Rabat Programme of Action, to enhance the capacity of the region to

• prevent the future accumulation of unwanted stocks of pesticides (including DDT), PCBs, and used oils;

• dispose of existing stocks of unwanted pesticides, PCBs, and used oils in a manner that is environmentally sound and socially and economically acceptable;

• develop a stakeholders partnership to address the environmentally sound management of unwanted stocks of pesticides, PCBs, and used oils; and

• strengthen existing logistical and financial approaches and pursue alternative and innovative approaches at the national, subregional, regional, and global levels to prevent and dispose of unwanted stocks of pesticides, PCBs, and used oils.

The Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa was adopted on January 30, 1991, in Bamako, Mali. Participation is limited to members of the Organization of African Unity. The convention’s objectives are to

• protect human health and the environment from dangers posed by hazardous wastes by reducing their  generation to a minimum;

• adopt precautionary measures and ensure proper disposal of hazardous wastes; and

• prevent hazardous waste dumping in Africa.

International Labour Organisation conventions protecting agricultural workers

The Safety and Health in Agriculture Convention was agreed by the General Conference of the International Labour Organization in 2001. It aims to protect agricultural workers from harm resulting from their work. A specific section addresses the sound management of chemicals including use, regulation, and distribution.

The Convention on Biological Diversity

Adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and ratified by 188 countries, the Convention on Biological Diversity has three main goals: the conservation of biodiversity; the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity; and sharing the benefits arising from the commercial and other utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way. Pesticides, particularly POPs pesticides, can severely affect plant life, wildlife, marine systems, domestic animals, and humans.

Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management
and Inter-governmental Forum for Chemical Safety

The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is a policy framework to promote chemical safety around the world. SAICM’s objective is the achievement of the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle so that, by 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment (Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, World Summit on Sustainable Development, 2002)

SAICM adopts a multi-stakeholder approach which includes NGOs as equal partners with governments and others. It links chemical safety with sustainable development, and is formally endorsed by governments, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. The
key texts are:

• Dubai Declaration on International Chemicals Management: high-level political commitment to SAICM

• Overarching Policy Strategy: scope, objectives, and underlying principles of the five themes: risk reduction; knowledge and information; governance; capacity-building and technical cooperation; and illegal international traffic.

• Global Plan of Action: working tool and guidance document indicating activities to be implemented, as appropriate, by stakeholders

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