Management of waste remains a major challenge for Small Island Developing States

chemical waste

chemical waste

NARRATOR:       The management of waste, including chemical waste and its disposal remains a major challenge for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).  So says Barbados' Minister of the Environment Dennis Kellman. He told a high-level segment of the Commission on Sustainable Development that developing countries, including the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), are encouraged to pursue an integrated approach to waste management as well as the promotion of waste prevention, recycling and recovering strategies.

He said the region appreciated the progress made to date at the global level through the implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).

Minister Kellman said the region also welcomed efforts being made to further the engagement of the Health sector the implementation of chemicals management through the health sector strategies.

TAPE:         There is need still to: further strengthen SAICM implementation; enhance public-private partnerships to supplement inter-governmental activities; enhance capacity-building and technical assistance to support developing countries; support the synergies with respect to the Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions; support the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and labelling of chemicals; monitor the growth in chemicals production and upscale positive changes made especially for developing countries to benefit; mainstream sound chemical management into development agendas at the political level. As we continue to work towards the achievements of the 2020 goal, it will be important for SIDS to accelerate and further strengthen our national and regional risk based chemical assessment and management capabilities through National Implementation Plans.

NARRATOR:       According to Minister Kellman, it is also critical to enhance decision makers understanding of the importance of chemical management to sustainable development. He noted that more importantly, SIDS should be supported in their efforts to strengthen the regulatory structure for the life cycle approach to chemical management.

TAPE:         Though SIDS are not the most significant contributors to global mercury pollution, we are vulnerable to exposure from mercury-containing products. It is therefore important for us to continue to actively participate in sessions of the Inter-governmental negotiating committees for a global legally-binding instrument on mercury. We request that the special case of SIDS be recognized and the necessary support be provided to enhance the implementation of the relevant national policies and programmes. Particular issues important to SIDS include our limited capacity for long-term environmentally-sound storage of mercury and mercury waste. We appreciate the continued support provided by the quick start programme to the Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management. However, we note the imminent closure of the Quick start programme Trust Fund, and request that the international community establish a more robust funding mechanism to replace the Trust Fund.

NARRATOR:       Barbados' Environment Minister Denis Kellman.

Twenty years after participants to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro first recognized that unsustainable consumption and production patterns formed the biggest threat to the Earth's capacity to satisfy human needs, that challenge continued to loom large and finding a framework to control it must be seen as a strategic priority, the Commission on Sustainable Development was told of its three-day high-level segment.

The session — the Commission's nineteenth — capped a two-year cycle focused on transport, chemicals, waste management, mining and consumption and production patterns, and culminated with the adoption of concrete policies to shift consumption and production patterns towards sustainability, improve chemical and waste management, and enhance transport and mining practices.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

duration:  4’02″

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