The Stockholm convention
The Stockholm Convention objective is to reduce the usage, eliminate the production and subsequent full liquidation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides and other persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that pose a hazard for human health and environment.
Each party according to Article 7 shall develop and endeavor to implement a plan for the implementation of its obligations as well as transmit its plan to the Conference of the Parties within two years of the date which this Convention enters into force for it.
Implementation plan shall be reviewed and updated by the Parties on a periodic basis as appropriate by a decision of the Conference of the Parties.
According to the Articles of the Stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants each Party shall take actions to reduce and eliminate the release as the result of intentional production and usage. Thus each Party shall prohibit and/or take the legal and administrative measures necessary to eliminate:
- Its production and use of the chemicals listed in Annex A of the Stockholm convention;
- Its import and export of the chemicals listed in Annex A of the Stockholm convention;
- Restrict its production and use of the chemicals listed in Annex B.
In accordance with the Stockholm convention import of the chemicals listed in Annexes A and B permit only for the purpose of environmentally sound disposal or other purposes authorized to this Party.
Export of any chemicals for which the specific exemption is in effect is permitted only taking into account any relevant international prior informed consent procedures for the purpose of environmentally sound disposal to the State of Party which is permitted the use in accordance with Annexes A and B of the Stockholm convention.
In case export is realized into a State not Party to this Convention it is necessary to provide an annual certification specifying the use of this chemical. Moreover according to this certificate the importing State is committed to protect human health and the environment by taking the necessary measures and comply with:
- The provisions of paragraph of Article 6 “Measures to reduce or eliminate releases from stockpiles and wastes”
- The provisions of paragraph 2 of Part II of Annex B about restriction and appliance of DDT.
Each Party which possesses the programmes for evaluation and management in respect of relevant and new pesticides as well as relevant and new industrial chemicals take the appropriate measures for its management with the purpose of prevention its use and production in case these chemicals display the features of persistent organic pollutants. At that the procedures in accordance with paragraph 1 of Annex D “Information requirements and screening criteria”.
Each Party for which the specific exemption is in effect in accordance with Annexes A and B shall take measures to minimize or prevent the impact on humans as well as the releases into the environment taking into account applicable rules.
Mechanisms for implementation
At the domestic level Convention is implemented by the development of National Implementation Plan (NIP). Its preparation and submission to the Secretariat of the Convention shall be realized within two years of the date which this Convention has been ratified by the Party. National Implementation Plan for the Convention includes POPs inventory, legislation as well as organizational and technical conditions and mechanisms for POPs management.
The majority of countries that have ratified the Stockholm convention and prepared NIP, set out the priorities in the actions:
- The improvement of environmental regulation and regulatory framework for POPs management;
- Awareness rising of the specialists and public about POPs hazardous properties;
- Training on safe methods for POPs management establishing the special centers;
- POPs disposal, primarily PCBs.
Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established as the financial mechanism for the Convention implementation. GEF implementation agencies provide their assistance to develop the infrastructure necessary for the Convention adoption.
The Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee was established for regular updating of POPs list. Originally the regulations measures should have been taken concerning 12 chemicals so called “Dirty dozen”.
In case the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee took a decision about including any chemical in the list of POPs, Convention Parties shall update their National Plans taking into account all amendments about new chemical. Due to the fact that several countries reserve the right to implement the Convention provisions only after its ratification the original list of POPs is the principal for them.