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close this book GATE - 3/94 - Management of harmful substances
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Open this folder and view contents Phasing out of harmful substances by ecological management of material flows
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Dear readers

The Basle Convention banning the export of toxic waste from 1998 onwards was ratified in March this year. According to Kevin Stairs, spokesman for Greenpeace, it marked the beginning of "a new era» of waste avoidance and clean production.

The more difficult it becomes to dispose of harmful substances, the more urgent the need to phase them out in trade and industry. In the Focus section of this issue of gate we look at approaches to and examples of environmental compatibility in these areas.

"Materials control policy" is the central element of a new, interdisciplinary environmental policy in keeping with the principle of sustainable development. In an interview for gate Ernst Schwanhold, chairman of the Enquete Commission of the German Bundestag on the Protection of Humanity and the Environment, suggests that pollutant production could be avoided by «ecological management of material flows".

In the light of research, development policy and project experience, the authors of the Focus articles point out how environmentally sound management of materials used in trade and industry can be achieved and what it implies in particular for developing countries. A central theme here is how increasing environmental awareness in the industrialized countries and the opening up of markets can lead to more environmental compatibility in world trade.

In another article the author uses a pesticide life-cycle analysis to show how environmentally sounder production can be approached by identifying weaknesses in materials management. And a GTZ plant protection project in Thailand is used to illustrate the outlook for pesticide-free fruit growing.

A report on lessons learned in the Indo-German Export Promotion Project in India rounds off the Focus section. The report illustrates how the export Interests of entrepreneurs in developing countries can be used as an incentive to "environmentalize" industrial production.

Peter Bosse-Brekenfeld