Lack of Chemical Safety in Georgia addressed at high level conference organized by WECF and Greens Movement
May 24th, an international Conference on ‘Reducing the use of hazardous chemicals in Georgia" addressed lack of chemical safety, insufficient legislation, low awareness but especially the urgency to act
May 24th, the International Conference on ‘Reducing the use of hazardous chemicals in Georgia: potential of implementing safer chemicals including non-chemical alternatives’ addressed the lack of chemical safety in Georgia, the insufficient legislation on chemicals, the high imports of hazardous chemicals, the low awareness of the population and the urgency to act now for the first time on a high level in Georgia.
Stakeholders from Governmental and non-Governmental sector, International Organizations, Diplomatic Corps, Scientific and Business sector from both chemical industry and organic sector and farmers were exploring the existing problems. A governmental representative mentioned: ‘We know about the problems in this sector. It is good that the issue is put under the attention of so many stakeholders’.
All participants agreed that there is an insufficient legislative framework and a lack of effective management, regulation and monitoring. Obligations towards International Conventions and Agreements are not fulfilled. This results in increasing import of partly forbidden chemicals in the country and a low level of chemical safety, taking into account the lack of information among the population.
The conference also pointed out the importance of organic agriculture and alternatives to pesticides to contribute to a solution of the problem. Alternatives to pesticides are often cheaper as conventional pesticides and as SEMA successfully demonstrated, can achieve excellent results. The Georgian company ‘Organica’ (www.organica.ge) presented its organic fertiliser and pesticides at the conference, available all over Georgia since this year.
During the Conference a joint NGO declaration was discussed, demanding improved regulation and legislation on hazardous chemicals in Georgia, where all aspects of the chemical management are covered, requiring timely and effective involvement of competitive and responsible governmental bodies and civil society and information for the public.
The conference was organized in the frame of the project “Reducing the use of hazardous chemicals: potential for implementing safer chemicals including non-chemical alternatives – tools for Georgia and the EECCA region”. The conference was organized by the Greens Movement of Georgia/Friends of the Earth-Georgia and Women in Europe for a Common Future – WECF in collaboration with the organizations: Rural Community Development Agency –RCDA and Ecological Farmers Assosiation – SEMA and was supported by the “Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management” – SAICM QSP TF.
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