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Benchmark independent scientific analysis in major environmental and health crisis, March 2017, Geneva Management of Waste Generated at Sea, November 2008, Marseille
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   BENCHMARK INDEPENDENT SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS IN MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH CRISIS  
     
   Issues, challenges and responses  
     
   Geneva, (23-24 March 2017)  
 
   
   
   
   
  INTRODUCTION  
   
 

The waste generated on board of the vessel Probo Koala, mixed with residues from chemical operations performed on board, was dumped in the Abidjan urban area in August 2006, causing a major health and environmental crisis. 10 years after the case is still not closed. In the wake of this incident, a number of institutions and organizations both public and private, including UN specialized agencies, conducted scientific analysis of the polluted sites. This story reveals many divergences. Why? Because the actors involved failed to employ a benchmark scientific analysis method acceptable to all in forming their own opinion or judgement. Each stakeholder selected the scientific analysis that best suited its interests.

 
   
 

Another tragedy merits our attention. The cholera outbreak in Haiti that killed thousands in 2010 shed light on scientific controversies and divergence. It led to scientific manipulation and political high-level denial.

 
   
 

The issues raised by the Probo Koala case, the cholera outbreak and may more demonstrate the paramount importance for urgent action to ensure that independent scientific analysis in time of major environmental and public health crisis are carried out in such a way as to ensure the swift and effective resolution of such crisis.

 
   
 

The aim of this symposium is to bring together eminent figures from the world of science, health, law and social sciences to articulate the issue, clarify the challenges and explore the possible responses that will enable benchmark independent scientific analysis to contribute effectively to the swift and effective resolution of major environmental and health crisis.

 
   
  TWO CASES ARE PRESENTED AS BACKGROUND TO EXEMPLIFY THE ISSUE  
   
 

1/ Sound and credible independant scientific analysis were carried out in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, in 2006 on the sites polluted by the waste generated on board of the Probo Koala vessel. Despite the availabity of such scientific recognized work, ten years later the case is not closed and it is still not possible to assess the real impact on the population because the stakeholders who made use of some of the analysis were hypnotized by their own interest.

 
   
 

2/ Determination to trace the origin of a major cholera outbreak in Haiti in 2010 led to political intrigue and demonstrated how some of those involved choose to twist the reality to protect their own interest to the detriment of the people affected by this catastrophic infectious disease epidemics.

 
   
  WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND THIS SYMPOSIUM  
   
 

• Because you are concerned that too often those who hold responsibilities are caught between their words and the truth;

 
 

• Because you want to avoid that some put their interest ahead of effectively resolving human health and environmental crisis;

 
 

• Because you support the urgent need to raise consciousness to limit the widespread habit of twisting facts to achieve vested interest.

 
   
  WHO WILL SPEAK  
   
 

Denis Bard, Professor epidemiology and risks assessment – EHESP (France)

 
 

Karine Favro, Professor in public law – Université de Haute-Alsace

 
 

Juliette Kohler, Policy and legal advisor – United Nations Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat

 
 

Venance Konan Journalist, Director of Groupe Fraternité Matin (Ivory Coast)

 
 

Maria Neira, Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health – WHO

 
 

Renaud Piarroux, Professor and head of service, parasitology and mycology – Hôpital de la Timone (France)

 
 

Pierre Portas, President of WE2C, Former deputy Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention

 
 

Dietram Scheufele, Professor, life science communication – University of Wisconsin

 
 

Patrick Ramaël, Magistrate, President of chamber – Court of Appeal of Aix en Provence

 
 

Joost van Rooij, Toxicologist, industrial hygienist – Caesar Consult (Netherlands)

 
 

Francisco Rubio, Adjunct professor at Webster University (Geneva), member of the Steering Committee of Médecins du Monde Switzerland

 
   
  REGISTRATION  
   
 

Registration is free. Places are limited. We invite you to register as soon as possible at: info@we2c.com

 
   
  VENUE  
   
 

Webster University Geneva

 
 

Route de Collex 15

 
 

1293 Bellevue (Geneva)

 
 

Switzerland

 
   
  Download our Concept Note
   
  Read more about our Agenda