Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants

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The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is a global treaty that aims to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of certain hazardous chemicals. It was adopted in 2001 and entered into force in 2004.

Persistent Organic Pollutants are organic compounds that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food chain, and pose a risk to human health and the environment. These substances can travel long distances through air and water and can be found in remote areas far from their original sources.

The Stockholm Convention seeks to eliminate or restrict the production, use, and release of 12 specific POPs, which are known as the “Dirty Dozen.” These include pesticides like DDT, industrial chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and unintentional by-products of various industrial processes like dioxins and furans.

Under the convention, participating countries are required to take measures to reduce and eliminate the production and use of POPs, as well as to manage and dispose of stockpiles and waste containing these substances. The convention encourages the development and use of alternative substances and technologies that are safer and environmentally friendly.

The Stockholm Convention also promotes international cooperation and assistance to developing countries to support their efforts in implementing the treaty’s provisions. It establishes a funding mechanism, called the Global Environment Facility (GEF), to provide financial resources to support capacity-building, technical assistance, and technology transfer.

Since its adoption, the Stockholm Convention has achieved significant progress in reducing the production and use of POPs worldwide. It has facilitated the development of national action plans, the establishment of inventories of POPs, and the implementation of measures to control and reduce their release.

Overall, the Stockholm Convention plays a crucial role in addressing the risks associated with persistent organic pollutants and in protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of these hazardous chemicals.

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