Presentation on theme: "Summary Outcome of Regional Awareness Raising Workshops, Responses to Questionnaires and Regional Resolutions on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)"— Presentation transcript:
Summary Outcome of Regional Awareness Raising Workshops, Responses to Questionnaires and Regional Resolutions on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) Sheila Logan Programme Officer UNEP Chemicals Branch DTIE Advisory Group for UNEP on EDCs, 2 nd Meeting, Geneva, 12 December 2014
Background The ICCM3 in 2012 agreed on EDCs as an emerging policy issue and adopted a resolution calling for cooperative actions on EDCs. In response to the ICCM3 Resolution, Four regional awareness raising workshops were organised by UNEP, in collaboration with WHO and OECD, back-to-back with the SAICM Regional Meetings in 2013–2014: Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region, in Mexico, 19 August 2013; Central and Eastern European (CEE) region, in Macedonia, 23 September 2013; Africa region, in South Africa, 22 November 2013; Asia and Pacific (AP) region, in Malaysia, 23 March 2014.
The programme of the workshops (1) First, several technical presentations were given as follows: the scope of the UNEP/WHO 2012 report and its development process; technical content of the report, including information on actions of hormones in the body, the mechanisms of action of EDCs, human health effects, wildlife effects and issues of exposure to potential EDCs; In some regions, updates on activities or perspectives were also presented: WHO’s activities relevant to EDCs and chemical risks assessment in the region information on testing methodologies to assess potential EDCs by OECD; perspective from the industry; and NGO perspective on the scope of the problem.
The programme of the workshops (2) Following the presentations, participants were divided into working groups to discuss the following topics: the more important needs in the sub-region; needs for cross-sectoral cooperation; possible cooperative activities in and among countries in the (sub)-region(s); needs for international support and activities. In addition, participants were requested to fill in a questionnaire, which was targeted to gather more region-specific information on the EDC issue.
Regional resolutions on EDCs Additionally at the SAICM Regional Meetings, a regional resolution on EDCs was adopted by the Africa, AP and LAC regions; the CEE region did not adopt a regional resolution on EDCs, but acknowledged the elements of the proposed resolution as important to the region. The regional resolutions reinforce the ICCM3 resolution on EDCs; they further invite UNEP and WHO, among other things, to develop a report in each region with regional input that is targeted to the situation and needs of developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
Objective of this summary To get an overview of the status quo and needs in the four regions based on feedback from the group discussions at the workshops, responses to the questionnaires and recommendations in the regional resolutions. To identify potential activities on EDCs based on the regional needs, which may be prioritized and possibly addressed in UNEP’s future work Important input for the “Thought starter” on a possible direction for UNEP’s future work on EDCs, which will be discussed in the afternoon.
Feedback from the group discussions In general, participants acknowledged the complexity of the EDC issue and the importance to confront and overcome the current lack of awareness and knowledge on EDCs through a broad and intense dialogue and cooperative actions among countries, regions and sectors. Activities to enhance the understanding of the issue were suggested: review and harmonisation of existing knowledge and policies on EDCs; capacity building, and technical and financial support of relevant stakeholders; intensified research on exposure and potential impact of (potential) EDCs; development of instruments (e.g. a repository of information), guidance and recommendations on the assessment and management of (potential) EDCs.
Responses to the questionnaires (1) In total, responses to from 16 countries and 1 organisation were collected, (10 from LAC, 1 from CEE, 4 from Africa and 2 from AP). In general, the responses indicated a lack of specific knowledge and studies on the exposure and potential impact of (potential) EDCs; available studies in these countries are conventional and focus primarily on heavy metals (lead and mercury), certain pesticides and POPs. Consequently, control actions in these countries are mostly initiated through their commitment to the MEAs such as BRS.
Responses to the questionnaires (2) Furthermore, there is a lack of awareness on exposure and potential impact of (potential) EDCs among general population in most of the countries participated, although the scientific community in some of these countries are aware of and are working on some potential EDCs. Almost all responses recognised strong needs and suggested activities to confront and overcome the lack of awareness and knowledge on EDCs: awareness raising among general population and policy makers in the region; intense studies on the exposure and impact of (potential) EDCs in the region; several countries kindly requested capacity building as well as technical and financial support to conduct the suggested activities.
In summary There is a lack of awareness and specific knowledge on EDCs in many countries, particularly those in the LAC, Africa, and AP regions; Strong needs to confront and overcome the current lack of awareness and knowledge on EDCs were expressed by many countries in the LAC, Africa, CEE and AP regions. Many common activities suggested by countries and regions. formed the basis of potential activities on EDCs (see the next slide)
Potential activities on EDCs Develop a mechanism to [i] facilitate effective information exchange among actors and regions, and [ii] promote and strengthen international, intersectoral and interdisciplinary dialogue and cooperative activities. Develop and disseminate reports that compile existing knowledge, legislation and policies on (potential) EDCs, including information from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Develop and disseminate a set of robust awareness raising and capacity building instruments in multiple UN languages on the environmental assessment and management of (potential) EDCs.
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Feedback from the group discussions Topic 1: Identify the more important needs in the sub-region (information, actions, etc.) Facilitating effective information dissemination, awareness raising and training of policy makers, stakeholders and the public on the EDC issue [Africa, AP, CEE, LAC]; Promotion and strengthening of inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary (government, academia, NGOs, industry, media, etc.) dialogue and cooperative activities (capacity building, research and monitoring) [Africa, AP, LAC]; Raise the political status of the EDC issue and development of one integrated policy or framework to manage EDCs [Africa, AP, CEE, LAC]; Capacity building in relevant stakeholder groups (government, academia, NGOs, industry, etc.) to assess and address EDCs [Africa, AP, CEE, LAC]; Critical review and compilation of existing knowledge on (potential) EDCs in the region, including both exposure and effects, and identification of gaps and needs [Africa, CEE, LAC]; Development and prioritization of strategic and operational plans based on the regional analyses, containing method for implementation of actions (including research on the exposure and impact of (potential) EDCs, development of national inventory of (potential) EDCs, promotion of alternatives, among others [Africa, AP, CEE, LAC]; Technical and financial resources for proper management of EDCs by stakeholders [LAC];
Feedback from the group discussions Topic 2: Discuss needs for cross-sectoral cooperation (including government, academia) Promotion and strengthening of inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary (government, academia, NGOs, industry, media, etc.) dialogue and cooperative activities (capacity building, research and monitoring) at national and regional level [Africa, AP, CEE, LAC]; Creation of a body/working group/framework to facilitate inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary information sharing and action coordination at national and regional level, in order to avoid compartmentalized management [Africa, AP, LAC]; Critical review and harmonisation of existing knowledge, policies and regulations on EDCs at national and regional level [Africa, AP, CEE, LAC].
Feedback from the group discussions Topic 3: Discuss possible cooperative activities in and among countries in the (sub)-region(s) Promotion and strengthening of dialogue among sectors and countries [Africa, AP, LAC]; Identification and compilation of past and ongoing activities, needs and existing resources in the region [Africa, CEE, LAC]; Critical review and harmonisation of existing policies and regulations on EDCs in the (sub)-region(s) [Africa, AP, LAC]; Development of a body/working group/framework/system to facilitate information sharing and technology transfer among sectors and countries [Africa, AP, CEE, LAC]; Development of (sub)-regional activities and projects (including awareness raising, scientific research, training activities and workshops) in the presence or absence of readily available funding to the region [Africa, CEE, LAC]; Promotion of bilateral cooperation and coordination [CEE]; Establishment of database on chemicals, particularly on (potential) EDCs [AP]; Development of declarations and instruments of the Ministers of Health and Environment to be part of the (sub)-regional agenda [LAC].
Feedback from the group discussions Topic 4: Identify needs for international support & activities Provision of space for international dialogue, e.g., through SAICM [AP, LAC]; Need for including EDCs into agendas of UNEP and WHO governing bodies as a specific issue to be addressed, i.e. need of political will at a high level [Africa, CEE]; Critical review and compilation of existing knowledge and tools on EDCs [CEE, LAC]; Recommendations for step-by-step implementation of activities related to EDCs (e.g., risk assessment) [Africa, CEE]; Financial and technical support of capacity building and research, including internationally coordinated activities relevant to particular countries [Africa, AP, CEE, LAC]; Establish pilot projects [AP]; Promotion and strengthening of South–South cooperation [LAC]; Better use of GHS [Africa].