Nailing the 'Dirty Dozen'
Around the globe, there are many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which share a common commitment to the Stockholm Convention and to its objective of protecting human health and the environment from the deadly influence of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). The unifying vehicle for these NGOs has been the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN).
IPEN initiated, on May 1, 2004, a unique global Project in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The Global Environment Facility (GEF) provided core funding for the project.
This two-year Project is called ‘Fostering active and effective civil society participation in preparations for implementation of the Stockholm Convention’, or IPEP (International POPs Elimination Project). Its uniqueness lies in its adroit meshing together of national, regional and/or global networks in over 40 developing and transitional countries. The Project aims to generate increased awareness about POPs and the Stockholm Convention within the community and, finally, global society as a whole.
IPEP has three goals:
As a result of the Project, national NGOs in many countries are in the process of preparing POPs-related, country-relevant information and making it available to governments and others. This will help in the preparation of National Implementation Plans and country ratification efforts, thus leading to the effective implementation of the Stockholm Convention. The exercise of gathering and preparing these documents will also help to enhance the POPs-related capacity of national NGOs.
The Project is creating, in many countries, increased awareness, understanding and knowledge about POPs within the national NGO community and society. This includes knowledge not only about the harm POPs cause to human health and the environment, but also the measures required to reduce and eliminate POPs.By the time the Project ends, it would have increased NGO and public understanding about the Stockholm Convention, as well as programmes and efforts aimed at the reduction and elimination of POPs and other persistent toxic substances.
Another benefit flowing from the Project is the creation of enhanced facilitation and support mechanisms at the global, regional, and national levels for NGO efforts relating to POPs and other PTS. These mechanisms will outlive the two-year Project and will help expand POPs-related capacity and competence of NGOs and civil society in many countries.