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International agreement reached in Geneva on the restriction of several hazardous chemical substances which are harmful to human health and the environment

From 4-16 May 2015 in Geneva (Switzerland) Latvia, as Presidency of the Council of the European Union, represented the European Union and its Member states in the Conferences of Parties of the Stockholm, Basel and Rotterdam Conventions* which were dedicated to the sound management of chemicals and waste.  During this time an international agreement was reached on implementing restrictions on certain chemicals to reduce risks to human health and the environment.

An agreement was reached on additional chemical substances** for which restrictions on the trade flow and use were made in line with the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions.

Due to the objections of a very small number of countries, several particularly harmful chemical substances*** were not included in the annexes to the conventions. This, the European Union and its Member states, together with Norway prepared a declaration and submitted it to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention Secretariat. The declaration invites Parties to the Conventions to protect human health and the environment and thereby ensure that information on the hazardous nature of chemicals destined for export, as well as their qualities and methods for their safe use are communicated.

Under the Basel Convention, several guidelines were approved: on the management of mercury waste, seven guidelines related to the management of persistent organic pollutant waste, as well as on e-waste.

During the event the elections of the Bureaus of the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions were also held. The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia is gratified that representatives from Latvia - Ms Silvija Nora Kalnins and Ms Daina Ozola - were elected in the Bureaus for the next two years. The Bureau of the Rotterdam Convention is composed of five representatives, but the Bureau of the Stockholm Conventions - of ten representatives.

The Conferences of the Parties to the Conventions are held every two years to assess the progress in implementation of the Conventions and to agree on a work plan for the next two years and the necessary funding. It is a forum that brings together also representatives from the industry, NGOs and observers whose daily work is related to the issues of the management of chemicals and waste.


* The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (BC COP-12), the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (RC COP-7) and the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP-7)).

**In terms of the Stockholm convention, the substance chlorinated naphthalenes, pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters, hexachlorobutadiene; for the Rotterdam convention – the pesticide methamidophos.

*** Fenthion, trichlorfon, chrysotile asbestos and paraquat formulation.


Kristīne Kļaveniece
Head of Public Relations Division
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development
Phone: +371 67026533

Control of Chemical Substances
Environmental Impact Assessment
Global Climate Change
GMO free territories in Latvia
Green public procurement
Industrial Pollution
Maritime Spatial Planning
Ozone Layer Protection
Persistant Organic Pollutants
Protection of Species and Habitats
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Specially Protected Nature Territories
Sustainable Development of Latvia
Transboundary Air Pollution
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