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Oct 05, 2012 at 07:53am IST

Tough task for India on Endosulfan ban

Though the whole world is a part of the global ban on Endosulfan phase-out from October 27, India will perhaps be the only country which will still play host to the insecticide for more time to come.

 India, along with 17 other countries, had ratified the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) in 2001 as an optin country.

 This meant that it could back out of any new regulation that was passed at the convention.

 “There are 18 opt-in countries that include Australia and Nigeria.

 Of the 21 chemicals on the list in the convention, India signed only for the first nine chemicals and Endosulfan is at the 21st position.

 Except India, the remaining 17 opt-in countries committed themselves and fixed a timeline for phasing out Endosulfan in the next five years.

 This means that India will be the only country to have Endosulfan post 2017.

 Speaking at one of the panel discussions at the Conference of Parties here Tuesday, director of Thanal, a public interest research, advocacy and campaign organization based in Kerala, C Jayakumar said that the Stockholm convention has a loophole.

 “It is a contradiction in the regulations of the domestic law and the international law.

 India is eligible for a grace time of 5-10 years to come up with alternatives for the pollutant and to phase out Endosulfan.

 The current problem is that though Supreme Court banned the use, sale and export of the insecticide in the country, there are 4000 tons of raw material still left, which is sufficient to create a lot of Endosulfan,” he pointed out.

 Jayakumar said India must prepare a National Implementation Plan and give an estimated budget to phase out Endosulfan and create alternatives in the next five years.

 On other major issues faced by India, he said, “With weeds becoming super weeds, awareness on pest resistance has to be the focus.