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April , 2013
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* UPDATE

Regional Stakeholders Awareness Meetings on Dioxins and Furans

Source: Toxics Link, Date: December , 2012

Dioxins and Furans are the known Persistent Organic Pollutants, which are released unintentionally during the anthropogenic and also through natural sources. The dioxins and furans were recognized as the PoPs in the Stockholm Convention and the convention reiterated that efforts were needed to minimize the reduction of these unintentional PoPs as far as possible. The Government of India has also submitted the National Implementation Plan (NIP) to Stockholm Convention and proposed a long term action plan for the reduction and minimization of dioxins and furans. To supplement the efforts, Toxics Link has initiated series of awareness meetings among the stakeholders, to reach into the common masses, so that suitable actions can be initiated towards the mitigation of dioxins and furans at the ground level.

Dioxins and Furans are the known Persistent Organic Pollutants, which are released unintentionally during the anthropogenic and also through natural sources. The dioxins and furans were recognized as the PoPs in the Stockholm Convention and the convention reiterated that efforts were needed to minimize the reduction of these unintentional PoPs as far as possible. The Government of India has also submitted the National Implementation Plan (NIP) to Stockholm Convention and proposed a long term action plan for the reduction and minimization of dioxins and furans. To supplement the efforts, Toxics Link has initiated series of awareness meetings among the stakeholders, to reach into the common masses, so that suitable actions can be initiated towards the mitigation of dioxins and furans at the ground level.

North eastern Stakeholders meeting at Guwahati 

The meeting was organized in association with local NGO, Environ.

Toxics Link organized the first stakeholders meeting on dioxins and furans for North Eastern region at Guwahati on 19 December 2012. The meeting was inaugurated by Dr RM Dubey (Chairman Assam Pollution Control Board) who stressed on the importance of such meetings in the region. The meeting was also addressed by Dr Asa Juwarakar, (Chief Scientists NEERI), who is heading the Asian regional center on PoPs gave a fare picture on dioxins and furans situation in  the country .The other distinguished speakers, included  Prof. Mihir Deb, (Chairman of Tripura Pollution Control Board), representative from Central Power Research Institute, regional officer of Central Pollution Control Board, National institute of Urban Affairs, Delhi and Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and the State Pollution Control Board of the region.

All the speakers raised concerns on Dioxins and Furans and highlighted the importance of raising awareness on the issues among the stakeholders. At the same the Pollution Control Boards spelt out the lack of adequate human and financial capacity of the Pollution Control Boards to monitor and initiate suitable actions. The meeting was attended by the regional NGOs, Municipal officials, Health officials, institutions like Guwahati University, IIT (G).

 Western and Central region Stakeholders meeting at NEERI Nagpur

After successfully organizing the regional meeting for North Eastern region, Toxics Link organized the second regional stakeholders meeting for Western and central region on dioxins and furans at National Environmental Engineering Research Institute ( NEERI), Nagpur on 12 February 2013. The meeting was inaugurated by noted scientist Padmashree Dr Sharad Kale of Bhaba Atomic Research Center. Satish Sinha (Associate Director, Toxics Link) in his welcome address, highlighted the importance of International Conventions in dealing with the environmental problems at the global and national level. Dr Asha, Chief Scientist, NEERI and the coordinator of Asian Center of Stockholm convention highlighted how the regional center can play a key role in dealing with the issues of PoPs . 

¬†The technical session was initiated by Piyush Mohapatra (Program Coordinator, Toxics Link). He highlighted the exiting gaps on the management of dioxins and furans at different level in India and the need for Dioxins and Furans release standard for the various industries. He also raised the issues of Dioxins and Furans standards in the food items. Senior scientist of NEERI, Dr Nita Thakar provided an overview of Dioxin estimation in India and methodology adopted for the estimation of Dioxin in India. The other speakers included Dr. Dinabandhu Gouda, Scientist Central Pollution Control board, who briefed on the health and environmental impact of Dioxins and Furans and need for the standard. He also stated that there is standard requirement for Dioxin release from the hazardous waste incineration. Mr. Gyana Misra from IL & FS stated that the waste to energy plants set up by their company will follow the international standard for Dioxins and Furans release and stressed that lack of environmental standard for municipal waste incinerations is creating confusion for setting up these plants.

¬†The second technical session was initiated by Dr Sharad Kale, who spoke about issues of waste management in India on the context of Dioxin release in India. He laid emphasis on the decentralized waste management systems and importance of low cost non burn technologies to get rid of the Dioxin/ Furans problem in the country. He also stressed the source segregation of the waste need to be implemented vigorously. Dr Asa Juwarkar,( Chief Scientist of NEERI), presented the future action plan and strategy for mitigating Dioxins and Furans in India. 

 Latter in the final session different stakeholders like municipal officials, NGOs, students pointed the need for creating more awareness on the issues across the country. Toxics Link is also planning to have more similar regional workshops for the Southern and eastern region of the country.

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