Last Saturday in Geneva, endosulfan was officially listed under the global Rotterdam Convention "to huge applause from conference delegates and observers," according to scientist Meriel Watts of PAN Asia-Pacific, who attended the meeting.
The decision marks a victorious end to PAN's multi-year, international effort to add the insecticide on the Convention's "prior informed consent" list, which requires that countries importing a chemical be informed if that chemical has been banned in other countries. Earlier this year, endosulfan was added to the Stockholm Convention list of persistent chemicals to be phased out globally. This additional listing in the Rotterdam Convention is likely to speed the demise of endosulfan's production and trade worldwide.
The Indian pesticide industry has been one of the biggest hindrances to international action against endosulfan. Through the official Indian delegation, the Indian pesticide industry put many a roadblock on the path to the listing of endosulfan in both the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.
PAN allies in India have been at the forefront of the global campaign against endosulfan. We've reported earlier about the harms endosulfan has caused in communities in Kerala, India. Due to the work of PAN partners like Thanal, the state of Kerala not only banned endosulfan, but is also leading a campaign to get the Indian Federal government to ban the insecticide nationally.
In response to growing public protests against the harms of pesticides, the Kerala government recently announced the banning of over a dozen highly hazardous pesticides including atrazine, paraquat and carbofuran.
As expected, industry has challenged these bans. We’ll keep you updated on how the story develops. But for now, we continue to cheer the end of endosulfan!