The fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP5) to the Rotterdam Convention starts today and will continue through Friday, June 24, 2011 in Geneva Switzerland. On the agenda are decisions regarding the inclusion of four substances to the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list. The four substances are chrysotile asbestos, endosulfan, alachlor and aldicarb. If the decision is inclusion, the chemicals will be added to Annex III to the Convention.
The participants of COP5 also hope to adopt a strategic plan related to management of industrial chemicals worldwide, with emphasis on "synergies between the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, the Rotterdam Convention and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants."
Alachlor and aldicarb are expected to be approved for PIC listing, while chrysotile asbestos and endosulfan may garner significant additional discussion as several participating countries have expressed their concerns based on economic reasons, i.e., that PIC listing is equivalent to blacklisting the chemicals from the market.