IPEN held a Regional Meeting from 4 - 6 June, 2018 in Puerto Princesa City, Philippines for its Southeast & East Asia regions. Approximately 30 participants from 16 IPEN Participating Organizations (POs) and 2 observer NGOs, from 10 countries, attended the meeting. Find the full program here.
The overall goal of the meeting was to enhance collaboration among IPEN POs in the region and maximize knowledge exchange around different environmental health and chemical safety issues and strategies.
“I think the concept of the meeting was very inspiring. I learned a lot and I’ve been encouraged to do something new back in China,” said Mao Da from Nature University, an IPEN Participating Organization in China.
At a press conference coinciding with the observance of the World Environment Day, environmental advocates from Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines made a strong case against waste-to-energy (WtE) incineration touted as a solution to the garbage crisis.
Organized by the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), EcoWaste Coalition and IPEN*, the press event shed light on the pitfalls of incinerating discards from an environmental, health and socio-economic standpoint.
“This event is being held against a backdrop of increasing concern over the plan of the Puerto Princesa City government to put up a P2.1 billion WtE gasification plan that will burn the city’s discards estimated at 100 metric tons per day,” said Atty. Gerthie Mayo-Anda, Executive Director, ELAC. “We hope the city government will hear us out, rethink its plan and opt for holistic waste prevention and reduction strategies to cut the volume of discards requiring final disposal.”
IPEN and affiliates have sent a letter to the SAICM Secretariat expressing concern with the joint International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) – UNEP study entitled “Knowledge management and information sharing for the sound management of chemicals.” The study was sent to SAICM stakeholders for comments to “inform the study.” The IPEN comments cover three areas: 1) important issues that are not part of the study; 2) issues that should be included in the study; and 3) concerns over UNEP’s private sector engagement.
China is a global hotbed for chemically-intensive electronics manufacturing. Inventories of chemical releases known as Pollutant Release and Transfer Registries (PRTR) are a key chemical safety measure for industry accountability. The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) and IPEN jointly released the report, “PRTR: Establishing a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register in China,” on May 8, 2018 in Beijing, China. The report introduces voluntary disclosure efforts undertaken by local departments and NGOs and emphasizes the importance of establishing a mandatory PRTR system with publicly accessible information. The two organizations also convened a discussion with representatives from academia, business and environmental groups on using a PRTR disclosure system to strengthen the management of hazardous chemicals.
(San Jose, CA, USA) An International Day of Action Against Samsung to protest health, labor and human rights violations by the electronics giant will take place on May Day in Asia, Europe and the United States. The actions, in solidarity with Samsung factory workers everywhere, include delivery of severalpetitions with over 200,000 signatures calling on Samsung to protect their hundreds of thousands of electronics factory workers around the world. Demands for transparency come on the heels of a Samsung lawsuit against the South Korean government which seeks to prevent public disclosure of hazardous chemicals monitoring information.
The International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action is an annual event held every fourth week of October to raise awareness about the hazards of lead and lead paint. In 2017, events to mark the week were held in at least 44 countries. Forty-one events were organized by IPEN NGOs in 37 countries.
Read IPEN’s newsletter about the 2017 Week of Action to see the activities around the world.
(Stockholm, Sweden): The 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize award to Manny Calonzo for his coalition efforts to eliminate lead paint in the Philippines brings attention to the ongoing threat of lead paint exposure to children in most of the developing world. Lead paint, the greatest single cause of childhood lead exposure globally, can cause irreversible neurological damage. Mr. Calonzo’s work to forge partnerships with the public, NGOs, health ministers and paint manufacturers was a winning model in the Philippines and is inspiring similar campaigns to eliminate lead paint throughout the world.
“Together with allies from the public, industry and government, we proved we can rid ourselves of a damaging source of toxic pollution for the good of children in the Philippines. I hope this prize will help reduce lead exposure to children across the planet and paint a healthier future,” said Mr. Calonzo.
A long time campaigner for environmental health, Mr. Calonzo, former president and advisor of the EcoWaste Coalition in the Philippines and leader in IPEN’s global Lead Paint Elimination Campaign, was instrumental in securing the adoption of the first national law banning lead paint production, use and sale in the Philippines. This new law, one of the world’s most protective, safeguards nearly 12 million young children from exposure to lead. Lead exposure, even at the smallest amount, can cause lifelong, untreatable harm, including brain damage, harming a child’s ability to learn, read, write, and focus in class and participate in society.