National and international scientists disseminate research findings and discuss policy implications

While inaugurating the summit, the Honourable Prime Minister,  Shri Narendra Modi, highlighted the Govt’s commitment to environmental sustainability and climate justice.

New Delhi (India), February 21: A consortium of leading National and International organisations present research findings and discuss the policy implication of the research on ‘Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs): Regulatory and Policy Implications for India’ and ‘Reducing plastic and chemical pollution to the marine environment’ as different thematic tracks at the World Sustainable Development Summit, 2022 organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). The summit’s focus was Towards a resilient planet: Ensuring a Sustainable and Equitable Future. It was inaugurated by the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, who highlighted India’s commitment to environmental sustainability and climate justice. Highlighting the need for adequate financing for successful climate actions, PM Modi called for developed countries to fulfil their finance and technology transfer commitments.

The thematic track titled ‘Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs): Regulatory and Policy Implications for India’, was organised on February 16, 2022, by The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) in partnership with the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Mu Gamma Consultants Pvt. Ltd. (MGC), SRM Institute of Science and Technology (SRMIST), Research Centre 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 commenced with an inaugural session with Dr. S K Sarkar’s welcome address, followed by the screening of the documentary ‘EDCs in Indian Food- Findings & Recommendations’, a unique address by Dr. Andrea Terron from the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and a keynote address by Smt. Roli Singh, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. This was followed by the release of the Policy Brief titled ‘Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in food and drinking water in India, Sate-of-affairs and Recommendations’. The technical session, moderated by Dr. Girija Bharat from MGC, included deliberations by Mr. Satish Sinha from Toxics Link, Dr. Luca Nizzetto from NIVA, Dr. Paromita Chakraborty from SRMIST, and Dr. Brij Mohan Sharma, from RECETOX. The results of the discourse led to suggestions on actionable steps, including (1) the requirement of risk analysis frameworks based on sources of EDCs and their impacts, (2) the development of a collaborative platform between ministries to monitor and regulate chemical substances, (3) the necessity for advanced research on EDCs to generate robust datasets, (4) the promotion of quality labelling systems for EDCs in food, (5) the strengthening of the regulatory framework by continuous improvement based on global benchmarks, and (6) the strengthening of institutional capacity by infrastructural, technological and knowledge enhancement of concerned institutions.

The thematic track titled ‘Reducing plastic and chemical pollution to the marine environment’ was organised on February 18, 2022, by TERI in partnership with NIVA, MGC, Central Institute of Petrochemical Engineering & Technology (CIPET), Toxics Link (TL), and SRMIST, the project partners of the Indo-Norwegian project on Capacity building on reducing plastic and chemical pollution (INOPOL). This study has been supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi, India, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

Dr. Suneel Pandey, Director (Environment & Waste Management Division), TERI welcomed the distinguished guests, panellists, 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 Director, NIVA, and Mr. ErlendDraget, Senior Advisor, Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, providing policy and regulatory authority perspectives. The panel discussion witnessed eminent Scientists and experts deliberations on their scientific findings and views on plastic pollution and chemical pollution caused by Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). The discussions centred on the need for better solid and plastic waste management to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean. The panellists also stressed India’s need for a more substantial commitment and action plan to implement the Stockholm Convention for managing POPs in the environment, which impacts human and animal health. Chemical registries, which require firms to report on the chemicals they use, produce, or import, could be an essential lesson for India to learn from the European countries, especially Norway. Experts also stressed the need for strategic collaboration between analytical laboratories, research institutions, and regulatory authorities to make science-informed policy recommendations in India’s managing plastic and chemical pollution.

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