CHE-Alaska Teleconference: Recorded May 25, 2011

 

About the call:

The Stockholm Convention is a global treaty created in 2001 to remove known and potential persistent organic pollutants from worldwide use. Beginning with banning twelve chemicals known as the “deadly dozen,” parties to the convention meet every two years in Geneva, Switzerland, to decide which additional dangerous chemicals should be banned and whether exemptions should be made for “acceptable uses” of banned chemicals.

Representatives of the International POPs Elimination Network and Alaska Community Action on Toxics were in Geneva for the Fifth Conference of Parties (COP5) in 2011 and on this call they discuss highlights and outcomes of the week long international meeting, including the decision to eliminate endosulfan from worldwide use, a new study showing banned chemicals in carpet padding, actions by the Indigenous peoples delegation, and new science on the potential impacts of climate change and POPs.

Speakers:

Joe DiGangi, science and policy advisor for the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN). He represents IPEN on scientific technical working groups of the Stockholm Convention and coordinates IPEN engagement in global and regional meetings addressing implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).   Currently DiGangi represents the public interest NGO sector on the SAICM Bureau. DiGangi holds a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California-Irvine.

Pam Miller, Executive Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics. Pam serves as principal investigator of a research team that includes faculty from five universities and collaborates with Alaska tribes to address environmental health and justice issues in the Arctic and sub-Arctic. Pam is one of the world’s foremost experts on the toxic pesticide lindane, serving the U.N. and the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation to address international concerns about lindane. She regularly attends Stockholm Convention Conference of Parties and POPs Review Committee meetings. Pam holds a master’s degree in environmental science from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

Vi Waghiyi, Environmental Health and Justice Program Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics. Vi is a bilingual Yupik Eskimo from Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. Since Vi joined ACAT in 2002 she has worked closely with villages on St. Lawrence Island and in the Norton Sound region of Alaska where military waste continues to contaminate fish, wildlife, and people and where persistent organic pollutants from around the world are accumulating in the Arctic food web and in traditional foods. Vi works with researchers, community health aides, and tribal leaders to protect environmental health and assure justice. Vi attended the Fourth Conference of Parties in 2009 and the Fifth Conference of Parties in 2011 and is frequently sought out to speak at national and international meetings about ACAT’s environmental health and justice work.

Resources:

Endosulfan in the Arctic fact sheet (PDF)

Toxic Chemicals in Carpet Padding (PDF)

News release: 4/29/2011 Killer pesticide endosulfan to be phased out globally (PDF)

World endosulfan map (PDF)