Global endosulfan ban to come with exemptions

The Contact Group on endosulfan and new persistent organic pollutants of the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention, meeting in Geneva, today finalised a draft proposal to ban endosulfan worldwide, but with several exemptions.

The draft proposes exemptions for use of endosulfan against specified pests in cotton, jute, coffee, tea, tobacco, cowpeas, beans, tomato, okra, eggplant, onion, potato, chillies, apple, mango, gram, arhar, maize, rice, wheat, groundnut and mustard.

While the exemptions are for its use mainly against aphids in most crops besides several specified pests such as bollworms in cotton, berry borer and stem borer in coffee and a host of insects in tea, it would, in effect, allow countries like India to continue to use the pesticide for almost all the crops.

Countries will have five years to implement the ban as per terms of the draft proposals.

The draft will now go to the Conference of Parties for approval. If approved, the ban will cover technical endosulfan, its related isomers and endosulfan sulphate (one of the degradation products of endosulfan), but with little effect on countering its ill-effects, at least for the next five years.

The conference, however, is reported to be working on a better compliance mechanism for banned persistent organic pollutants and financial assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to meet the treaty obligations.