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20-21 April 2009: WECF and partners organised a high level conference on Asbestos and POPs in Kazakhstan

For the first time, policy makers and civil society representative will look at necessary steps for better protection of public health from exposure to asbestos in Kazakhstan

17.04.2009 |Sascha Gabizon

The Head of the European Delegation in Kazakstan, the Ambassadors from France and the Netherlands, the Ministers of Health and Environment of Kazakhstan, the head of the United Nations Rotterdam Convention, the Ministries of Environment of France and Germany and representatives of the chrysotile asbestos industry as well as NGOs,  will be meeting during 2 days in Astana, Kazakhstan, to discuss policies and practices on Asbestos and POPs in Kazakastan and the European Union.

The high level conference is organised by WECF and two of its Kazakh partners, Eco-Forum and Green Women, with financial support of the European Commission and the German Ministry of Environment.

The first day of the conference will look into the issue of asbestos. Asbestos continues to be one of the most, if not the most used building material in Kazakhstan, and all EECCA countries, but the general public is not aware of the great potential health risks. With asbestos being mined in Kazakhstan the chrysotile asbestos industry is very strong, and denies that their asbestos poses a great public health risk. At the same time, hardly any health data is available to measure the real impact on public and workers health in the country. For the first time, policy makers and civil society representative will compare data and look at necessary steps for better protection of public health from exposure to asbestos in Kazakhstan.

The second day of the conference will focus on Persistant Organic Pollutants. Kazakhstan has thousands of tons of obsolete pesticides and other very hazardous chemicals which are in badly maintained storages of in burials, with a great risk of long term soil and groundwater pollution. Many of these storages and burrials have been identified, many not. It is urgent that fast measures are taken, which is why the conference will look at how to transpose the Stockholm Convention into national law and speed up clean up.

for more information contact:

Invitation to the High Level Conference

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