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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Published Date: Jan 12, 2015

A call for Asia to end dental Mercury amalgam Use Civil Society Organizations sign “Dhaka Declaration”

ISLAMABAD, 12 Jan 2015: More than 137 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have signed a declaration calling for Asia to be the largest population on the planet to end the use of mercury in dental care.  Other organizations and individuals who signed the declaration included Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) as well as professionals from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Thailand.

Amalgam fillings are 50% mercury, a major neurotoxin. Its continuous use is not justified because alternatives are now affordable, effective, and available in Asia.  The restriction of its use was demanded worldwide in the Minamata Convention on Mercury, adopted by more than 140 governments and the EU in 2013, in Kumamoto, Japan and signed by 128 nations.

CSOs have demanded of the countries to adopt effective amalgam phase down strategies that have been proven in nations that have already phased out or significantly reduced dental mercury use by raising awareness about dental mercury to parents, cosmetics, dental workers, health professionals, and educators to achieve the following priorities.

1.Make it an immediate priority to stop the use of mercury amalgam in the treatment of children and pregnant women at the earliest time possible, preferably by June 2015.

2.Develop an alternative dental curriculum with a specific chapter on the dental restoration process of amalgam and its harm to dental staff, patients and the environment by 2015.

3.Pass national regulation to ban the use, import and sale of mercury amalgam by 2016-2020 as per country situation.

4.Promote alternative restoration materials and ensure they are affordable and accessible.

The call is contained in the CSOs declaration made in Dhaka in November 2014, and adapted by the CSOs and the individual in beginning   of January 2015 towards Mercury-Free Dentistry for Asia. The declaration advocates for Asia to become the largest and most densely populated continent to phase out dental amalgam. The declaration highlights that mercury, which is used in dental amalgam, is a restorative material that is approximately 50% elemental mercury, [i]and is a notorious heavy metal of global concern that is known to be a potent poison of the human nervous system.

[ii]: By adapting this declaration South and Southeast Asian CSOs, professionals express their concern and said, “We are calling on Asia to end the use of mercury-based dentistry.  Asia is the most densely populated continent on the planet and therefore risks incredible harm to human health and the environment.”

Mercury-free dentistry is growing in Asia. Recent studies in India and Pakistan show that, already, over 50% of dentists are using alternatives to dental amalgam in India, while in Pakistan 42.86% dental professionals strongly recommend to phase down the use of mercury/dental mercury amalgam.[iii]In Nepal and Bangladesh, the dental association and society of the dentist groups are also supporting the phase out of amalgam.

Asian countries are requested to declare that the children of Asia — and all the people of Asia — have a basic human right to mercury-free dental care and a mercury-free environment. The request follows the existence of sound scientific evidences that mercury can damage children’s developing brains and nervous systems even before they are born.”[iv]In addition to the literature, the Minamata Convention on Mercury adopted in October 2013, noted that the world recognizes dental amalgam as a major environmental pollutant which requires each participating nation “to phase down the use of dental amalgam.”[v]

 The CSOs concern is raised based on the fact that dental mercury accounts for 10% of annual global mercury consumption [vi] and 260-340 metric tons of mercury pollution around the world each year.[vii]

 The CSOs are also reminding Asian countries of their efforts during negotiations of the Minamata Convention. They worked very hard to make sure that reduction in dental amalgam use specifically be included in the treaty, forcefully arguing for the phase out of amalgam generally and for an end to amalgam in milk teeth specifically.

 The phase down is possible since Mercury-free dental restorative materials are far less expensive than dental amalgam when environmental and societal costs are factored in.[viii]The costs of using mercury-free options (including retreatment) is about half the cost of amalgam without retreatment, making this mercury-free technique significantly more affordable in low-income communities, particularly in areas without electricity or dental clinics.[ix] World Health Organization report Future Use of Materials for Dental Restoration,  says that “recent data suggest that RBCs [resin-based composites] perform equally well” as amalgam[x]– and offer additional oral health benefits because “Adhesive resin materials allow for less tooth destruction and, as a result, a longer survival of the tooth itself.

 The CSOs call the Asian countries to work together and make Asia the first continent with mercury-free dentistry – considering that Asia is more densely populated than any other continent and the health and environmental costs will therefore be more significant.   

 Furthermore, the CSOs call Asian countries to reject the double standard mentality which infers that Asians must accept toxic chemicals that the rest of the world is rejecting. (MSB)