Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 2001


The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is an international environmental treaty that was adopted on May 22, 2001, in Stockholm, Sweden. It is a global effort to eliminate or restrict the production, use, and release of persistent organic pollutants, which are highly toxic substances that persist in the environment and can bioaccumulate in the food chain.

The Convention was developed under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and entered into force on May 17, 2004. It has been ratified by 182 countries, making it one of the most widely supported international environmental agreements.

The main objective of the Stockholm Convention is to protect human health and the environment from the harmful effects of persistent organic pollutants. The treaty seeks to achieve this by:

  1. Eliminating or restricting the production and use of the twelve initial POPs, known as the “dirty dozen.” These include chemicals such as DDT, PCBs, dioxins, and furans, which are known to have adverse effects on human health and the environment.
  2. Promoting the use of best available techniques and best environmental practices to minimize the release of unintentional POPs, such as dioxins and furans, during industrial processes.
  3. Supporting the development and implementation of alternative, safer substances and technologies to replace POPs.
  4. Promoting scientific research, monitoring, and information exchange on persistent organic pollutants.

The Stockholm Convention includes provisions for the listing of additional chemicals as POPs in the future, based on scientific assessments. It also establishes requirements for the environmentally sound management of stockpiles and wastes containing POPs.

The Convention operates through a Conference of the Parties (COP), which is the main decision-making body. The COP meets every two years to review progress, make decisions on the listing of new chemicals, adopt implementation measures, and provide guidance to countries.

Overall, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants represents a significant international effort to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of persistent organic pollutants and to promote sustainable development.

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