Biodiversity and GMTS

Biodiversity loss is happening at an unprecedented rate, with pollution from chemicals and wastes being among the fundamental causes. While Aichi Biodiversity Target 8 calls to curb pollution to levels that are not detrimental to ecosystem function and biodiversity, this target has not been achieved1. Moreover, the recent publication in Environmental Science &Technology emphasizes that annual production and releases of novel entities, including chemicals,“ are increasing at a pace that outstrips the global capacity for assessment and monitoring“2 . International chemical treaties, including the Stockholm, Rotterdam, Basel, and Minamata Conventions, significantly contribute to addressing chemicals and waste pollution. However, their effective enforcement at the national level is often still lacking. With few exceptions, the chemical conventions do not have formal transparency requirements for the regulated chemicals in materials and products. Such an information gap may complicate the compliance work. The suggested approach to develop a Global Minimum Transparency Standard for Hazardous Chemicals in pro- ducts (GMTS) will help address the problem along the whole product life- cycles. The overarching purpose of a GMTS is to achieve equal access to information about the presence of the most hazardous chemicals in products irrespective of country and within and outside the supply chains. It will help make informed decisions for how the products are handled throughout their life cycles and ensure the global safety of human health and the environment.