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Management of agrochemicals © Dennis Mijsen

Management of agro-chemicals: Elimination of "black spots" and creation of "white spots"

Event
Public conference
Date
29 September 2016 from 15:00 to 18:30
Place
European Parliament - room ASP 1G3 - 60, Rue Wiertz - 1047 Brussels
29.09.2016
Event

CONCEPT NOTE

Objectives

The meeting is organised in order to take stock of common challenges and common solutions that the European Union and our Eastern neighbours are facing in the implementation of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. This is an area where joint learning can help us to progress, with examples of progress in Eastern Partnership countries being relevant for action in the EU Member States. The meeting will address the following questions:

  • What are EU's current policy objectives in this area – internally and externally?
  • How pesticides can affect life quality: the size of the problem and the related risks for food quality, human health and environment.
  • Are the objectives and related measures adequate and can governments be successful in addressing the problem of obsolete chemicals and what are the conditions of doing so?
  • How alliances could be forged towards a full clean-up of countries and what development benefits will this bring?

Participants

International and national donor organisations, scientists and experts, NGOs, policy makers at regional and national level in EECCA and EU, Members of the European Parliament, and representatives of all organisations involved in elimination of obsolete chemicals

Background

The problems related to obsolete agrochemicals are part of a bigger picture consisting of four main policy areas:

  • sustainable food production where both the necessity and use of agrochemicals are minimized or eliminated. A difficult and challenging theme in the perspective of a growing earth population
  • chemicals management: conditions for admission, short term gains and long term effects, upcoming issue of illegal and substandard chemicals
  • sustainable food chain management over borders
  • environmentally sound management of hazardous waste and obsolete chemicals

We focus in the conference mainly on the fourth aspect: the management of obsolete pesticides and other persistent organic pollutants, but at the same time painting the scenery of increasing stress on safer food production, a safer food chain and improved chemicals policies.

This Conference is an initiative of three Members of the European Parliament (MEPs): Jordi Sebastià, Margrete Auken and Benedik Jávor and the third event focused on obsolete agrochemicals in relation with the Eastern Neighbours. Previous Public Hearings have been organized by IHPA and MEPs in 2006 and 2010.

IHPA, the International HCH & Pesticides Association puts focus on the problem of obsolete pesticides since more than 25 years and supports UN organizations, EU, national governments and NGOs in defining solutions for these problems. IHPA organizes bi-annual conferences (www.ihpa.info) on this issue. In this Conference the summary of the results of a recent study for the EU and FAO will be presented.

OUTLINE OF THE CONFERENCE AGENDA

Awareness of the issue

15:00–15:10    
Introductory remarks by the organizing Members of the European Parliament
(role of agro-chemicals: increase of food production,  agriculture becomes agro-industry, consumer preferences tend towards organic food with fewer chemicals)
MEPs Jordi Sebastià, Margrete Auken, Benedek Jávor and Florent Marcellesi

15:10–15:20 
Tendencies in pesticide use, pesticides and GMO and effects of agro-chemicals on human health and the environment
Bram de Borst, Chairman of the Board of IHPA

Black spots:  examples of successful clean up of obsolete pesticides in Eastern Neighbourhood countries; megasites as joint challenge  

15:20–15:30
Introduction and Conventions for Pesticides and Chemicals Management
John Vijgen, Director of IHPA

15:30–15:40
Elimination of obsolete pesticides and POPs: the structured approach of Moldova

State Secretary Ministry of Environment Inga Podoroghin

15:40–15:50
Elimination of obsolete pesticides and POPs: example of emergency action in Ukraine

Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Ostap Semerak

15:50–16:00
Containment problems at a coastal storage of obsolete pesticides in Denmark

Maiken Fourbye, Krüger A/S

16:00–16:10
Video: Contaminated Future in Slovakia about the Mega-site former Lindane production Juraj Dimitrov and PCB contamination Chemko Stratzko (produced by Tom Heineman, Marcel Pazman and Morten Hansen)

16:10–16:20
Spanish megasite, former production site of pesticides in Aragón

Miguel Martinez Tomey, Vice-President of EFA

16:20-16:30
Megasite as burden and challenge for regional government of Aragón
Sandra Ortega, General Director for Sustainability of the Government of Aragón

16:30–16:40
Megasites in Europe: the magnitude of the problem

John Vijgen, Director of IHPA

16:40–17:00
Break

White spots: challenges in clean up, conversion and preservation

17:00–17:15
Road Map for environmentally sound hazardous waste management in EECCA countries and challenges for the future
Bram de Borst
, Chairman of the Board of IHPA

17:15–17:30
EU policies on Circular Economy
Pierre Henry, Deputy Head of Eco-Innovation and Circular Economy, DG Environment

17:30 – 17:45
Outlook for working on circular economy issues as part of EU-Eastern Partnership countries cooperation

Mathieu Bousquet, Head of Unit for Georgia, Moldova & Neighbourhood Cross-Border Cooperation, DG NEAR

17:45–17:55
Statements of organizing MEPs

MEPs Jordi Sebastià, Margrete Auken and Benedek Jávor

17:55–18:25
Plenary discussion and statements

18:25–18:30
Closing remarks by organizing MEPs

MEPs Jordi Sebastià, Margrete Auken and Benedek Jávor