It has been observed that:
- POPs (and other hazardous substance) risks are being ignored, and/or continue to take a back seat to more traditional policy-concerns.
- Concept of risk is not yet leading environmental policy, but is being squeezed into the policy-making process where space permits.
To tackle these observations, we need to embed a culture of risk in policy making.
A culture of risk suggests the need to make risk awareness part of the day-to-day framework of understanding and practice applied by policy makers.
To embed a culture of risk management in policy process, the following stumbling blocks should be addressed:
- Pre-eminence of a policy-system based on enacting legislation and external directives (treaty)
- Confinement of decision-making to science based modes of analysis
- Lack of perceived relevance amongst policy makers of wider risk based approaches to environmental governance
- Organizational reluctance to follow through on the potential implications and benefits of risk-based practices including broadening notions of expertise, engagement, and advice
Overcoming these stumbling blocks is by no means a straightforward task.