A consortium of leading national and international organizations present the research findings and discuss the policy implication of research on “Endocrine Disruptors (EDCs): Regulatory and Policy Implications for India” and “Reducing Pollution Plastics and Chemicals of the Marine Environment” as different thematic tracks at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, 2022 organized by the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). The goal of the summit was Towards a Resilient Planet: Securing a Sustainable and Equitable Future. It was opened by the Honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, who highlighted India’s commitment to environmental sustainability and climate justice. Underlining the need for adequate financing for successful climate actions, Prime Minister Modi called on developed countries to meet their commitments on finance and technology transfer. The thematic track entitled “Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs): Regulatory and Policy Implications for India”, was organized on February 16, 2022 by the Energy Resources Institute (TERI) in partnership with the Norwegian Water Research Institute ( NIVA), Mu Gamma Consultants Pvt. ltd. (MGC), SRM Institute of Science and Technology (SRMIST), Research Center for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Toxics Link (TL) and Bharat Learn (BL). This study was supported by the Research Council of Norway (RCN). It started with an inaugural session with the welcome speech by Dr. SK Sarkar, followed by the screening of the documentary “EDCs in Indian Food-Findings & Recommendations”, a unique speech by Dr. Andrea Terron of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and an opening speech by Smt. Roli Singh, Additional Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare. This was followed by the release of the policy brief titled “Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) in Food and Drinking Water in India, Status and Recommendations”. The technical session, moderated by Dr. Girija Bharat of MGC, included deliberations by Mr. Satish Sinha of Toxics Link, Dr. Luca Nizzetto of NIVA, Dr. Paromita Chakraborty of SRMIST and Dr. Brij Mohan Sharma of RECETOX. The results of the speech led to suggestions on concrete measures, including (1) the requirement of risk analysis frameworks based on EDC sources and their impacts, (2) the development of a collaborative platform between ministries to monitor and regulate chemical substances, (3) the need for advanced endocrine disruptor research to generate robust data sets, (4) the promotion of quality labeling systems for endocrine disruptors in food, (5) strengthening the regulatory framework through continuous improvement based on global benchmarks, and (6) strengthening institutional capacities through improving the infrastructure, technologies and knowledge of the institutions concerned.
The thematic course entitled “Reducing plastic and chemical pollution of the marine environment” was organized on February 18, 2022 by TERI in partnership with NIVA, MGC, Central Institute of Petrochemical Engineering & Technology (CIPET), Toxics Link (TL), and SRMIST , the partners of the Indo-Norwegian project on building capacity to reduce plastic and chemical pollution (INOPOL). This study was supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi, India, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). Dr. Suneel Pandey, Director (Environment and Waste Management Division), TERI welcomed distinguished guests, panelists and participants to the event. Keynote addresses accompanied the inaugural session by Dr. Rajeshwara Rao, IAS, Special Secretary, NITI Aayog, Government of India, Dr. Marianne Olsen, Research Manager, NIVA, and Mr. ErlendDraget, Senior Advisor, Norwegian Ministry of climate and environment, providing policy and regulatory insights. The panel discussion featured deliberations by leading scientists and experts on their scientific findings and views on plastic pollution and chemical pollution caused by persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Discussions focused on the need for better solid and plastic waste management to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean. Panelists also highlighted India’s need for a more substantial commitment and action plan to implement the Stockholm Convention for the management of POPs in the environment, which impact health. human and animal. Chemical registries, which require companies to report the chemicals they use, produce or import, could be a key lesson India needs to learn from European countries, particularly Norway. Experts also highlighted the need for strategic collaboration between analytical laboratories, research institutes and regulatory authorities to formulate science-based policy recommendations in the management of plastic and chemical pollution in India.
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