Temas Glossary

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Stockholm Convention: international treaty on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) signed at Stockholm, Sweden in 2000. The 12 initial POPs covered include 8 pesticides (aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, mirex, and toxaphene), 2 industrial chemicals (PCBs and hexachlorobenzene, which is also a pesticide), and 2 unwanted by-products of combustion and industrial processes (dioxins and furans). In 2009, 9 new substances were added: c-pentabromodiphenyl ether; chlordecone; hexabromobiphenyl (HBB); alpha hexachlorocyclohexane (alphaHCH); betaHCH; lindane; c-octabromodiphenyl ether, pentachlorobenzene (PeCB) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), its salts and PFOS fluoride. In 2011 the pesticide endosulfan was added.

Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM): a multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral policy framework launched by the International Conferece on Chemicals Management (ICCM) in 2006 that seeks to promote the sound management of chemicals.

take-back: defined by the OECD as "policies that require that the producer and/or seller receive the product or its packaging post-consumption."

tailings: residue of raw materials or waste separated out during the processing of mineral ores.

technological waste: see "e-scrap"

teratogen: a substance that can cause birth defects.

tertiary legislation: final tier of national legislation, usually offering interpretation on one or more technical points in a piece of secondary legislation.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB): an international initiative launched by Germany and the European Commission in response to a proposal by the 2007 G8+5 Environment Ministers meeting in Potsdam, Germany. TEEB Phase II, begun in 2008, is hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) with support from the European Commission and the German and UK Environment Ministries. TEEB seeks to assess the cost of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation and to draw together expertise from the fields of science, economics and policy to enable practical actions, including "natural capital" accounting.

thermal pollution: discharge of heated water from industrial sources that can affect the life processes of aquatic organisms.

toxic: capable of causing injury or damage to a living organism. Each government defines what criteria are used to determine toxicity - in many OECD nations it is based on how many doses of a substance it takes to kill half of a group of test animals ("lethal dose 50 - LD50" test). Some LAC nations, rather than insist on submission of new test data, use the toxics lists of WHO or certain OECD nations (such as Canada, US or EU).

transgenics: Organisms that have had foreign DNA integrated into their genome. "Transgenic" has also become popular (but erroneous) shorthand for any genetically modified organism (GMO).

Treaty of Asunción: treaty creating the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR).

unfair contract terms: terms in consumer contracts which authorities have either outlawed or tend to declare invalid because it violates the good faith principle of contract law by creating a significant imbalance, to the detriment of the consumer, in the parties' rights and obligations. Example: a clause irrevocably binding the consumer to terms with which he had no real opportunity of becoming acquainted before the conclusion of the contract.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF): begun in 1946 as a temporary, emergency fund to aid children in war-ravaged Europe and China. It was later switched to helping children in developing countries and was made a permanent UN agency based in New York. UNICEF has become more and more involved in all health and environment issues that affect children and their mothers. For example, in LAC it started a campaign to get waste-picking families out of landfills and into other productive activities and educated (most are illiterate).

United Nations Consumer Protection Guidelines: nonbinding guidelines on common elements of consumer policy approved by the UN General Assembly in 1987. Specific actions were prescribed in eight categories: physical safety; protection of economic interests; safety and quality standards; distribution facilities for essential goods and services; consumer redress; consumer education; product specific measures (food, pharmaceuticals, water); international cooperation. The Guidelines have been used by many LAC governments as a template for their national framework laws on consumer protection. The UN will consider a possible update of the Guidelines in 2014.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): UNDP was formed in 1966 from the merger of a UN technical assistance program and a Special Fund. UNDP sets up country programs only at the request of foreign governments. UNDP country programs coordinate development activities in every economic and social sector, including environment, sanitation, health and even energy efficiency.
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' Recycling & Solid Waste Policy
in Latin America and the Caribbean '
by Keith E. Ripley

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