Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

POPs wastes (PCBs) West Africa, South America and the Mediterranean

The Secretariat collaborated with UNEP and the Basel Convention Regional Centre (BCRC) in Dakar as executing agency for the development and implementation of the project on demonstration of a regional approach in West Africa for the Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of PCBs. The goal of the project is to carry out economically viable, environmentally sound and socially acceptable demonstration activities for the collection, transport and decontamination of PCB containing equipment in the region. The GEF co-funded full size project was submitted and approved in 2010. The project inception workshop was held in Dakar in February 2011. Pilot activities were launched or are under development in Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Senegal Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry and Mali.

The Secretariat facilitated cooperation between UNEP, UNIDO and the BCRCs in Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa on the development of a GEF co-funded regional programme on Capacity Strengthening and Technical Assistance for the Implementation of National Implementation Plans for the Stockholm Convention on POPs in Least Developed Countries in the African region. The programme concept and programme preparation grant were approved by the GEF in 2009. The programme preparation was coordinated by the BCRC Nigeria including a needs assessment and design of sub-regional project interventions with regard to legislative and regulatory framework, strengthening the enforcement and administrative capacity, as well as formulation of support to existing regionally coordinated mechanisms for effective dissemination and sharing of the specific country experiences. The respective full size projects for the West African and Southern African regions were approved in April 2011, the launching of the projects is initiated.

In collaboration with UNEP and BCRC Argentina as executing agency, a GEF co-funded medium size project was developed on regional approaches towards best practices on PCB management in the mining sector in South America. The project component on tool development is supported by the Secretariat with funds provided by the Government of Finland. The medium size project was approved by the GEF in 2010. One of the initial actions of the project was to refine the PCB inventories by following the relevant Basel Convention guidance material, with a view to obtain accurate data and information on PCB waste containing equipment in the pilot countries Chile and Peru. The project assists governments and industry to address regulatory and analytical/monitoring aspects of PCB life cycle management. The project activities are still ongoing.

With financial support from the Government of Norway, the Secretariat initiated in 2011 the updating and completion of the fact sheets on technologies that are recommended for the destruction of waste consisting of, containing or contaminated with, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) contained in the Training Manual for the Destruction and Decontamination Technologies for PCBs and other POPs Wastes under the Basel Convention, Volume C - Annexes.

The Secretariat cooperated with the BCRC for Central America and Mexico on a project to undertake a feasibility assessment for preparation of the destruction of banks of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Central America. The goal of the project is to assist in the collection and destruction of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in an effective and economical way, while reducing emissions which could damage the ozone layer and increase climate change. The project is supervised by an International Advisory Committee which is comprised of key stakeholders including the Secretariats of the Basel and Stockholm conventions, the Montreal Protocol and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Project was launched in 2011 with financial support from the Governments of Norway and Switzerland. The strategy is to remove barriers and find economies of scale in cost effective banking and destruction of unwanted ozone-depleting greenhouse gases and persistent organic pollutants. The synergy is that each treaty has its own unique scientific and technical perspective and that joint projects can avoid duplication of effort while utilizing the provisions of whichever treaty is most appropriate.