Minister welcomes chemical pollution framework

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Barbara Creecy has welcomed the adoption of a framework that calls for the phasing out of highly hazardous pesticides in the agriculture sector where the risks have not been managed.

The framework also advocates for safer alternatives that are available, and further seeks to strengthen links between the new instrument and the climate, biodiversity, human rights and health agendas.

The framework was adopted after intense negotiations at the 5th session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5), which was convened from 25-29 September 2023 in Bonn, Germany.

The main objective of the Conference was to adopt a “Beyond 2020” chemicals and waste global policy framework instrument.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Minister congratulated and welcomed the success of the South African negotiating team for working tirelessly as part of the Africa Group of Negotiators.

The Global Framework on Chemicals Fund is aimed at benefiting stakeholders in developing countries on the implementation of priority targets to manage chemicals and waste.

“It provides a vision for a planet free of harm from chemicals and waste, for a safe, healthy and sustainable future, and is operationalised through concrete targets and guidelines for key sectors across the entire lifecycle of chemicals that aim to improve the sound management of chemicals and waste.

“The poor and other vulnerable groups who are the most adversely affected by the impact of chemicals and waste, would benefit positively from environmentally sound management of chemicals,” the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment said.

The Global Framework on Chemicals Fund will be financed from contributions from all stakeholders including the private sector. Host country, Germany, announced that it would pledge EUR 20 million to the new fund envisaged under the framework. France announced that it would contribute EUR 400,000 in 2024.

The department said governments have committed to creating, by 2030, the regulatory environment to reduce chemical pollution and implement policies to promote safer alternatives.

The industry has also committed to managing chemicals in a way that reduces chemical pollution and adverse impacts.

Source: South African Government News Agency