Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm Conventions

Overview

UNITAR provides support to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of POPs into the environment. To support implementation of the Stockholm Convention, UNITAR assists countries to strengthen the fundamentals of chemicals management in a number of areas; provides technical assistance in specialised areas such as PCB management and implementation of the Basel Ban Amendment; and encourages integrated approaches involving all relevant ministries and stakeholders.

UNITAR executes projects (in whole or in part) on behalf of GEF implementing agencies; and co-executes enabling activities at the national level in direct partnership with governments.


Persistent Organic Pollutants

UNITAR delivers POPs-related assistance to countries in close cooperation with IOMC Participating Organisations, and in particular with UNDP, with technical expertise and financial resources dedicated to addressing challenges posed by POPs.


PCB Elimination

The Stockholm Convention targets PCBs as one of the 23 POPs currently initially included in the Convention; it sets a goal of 2025 for phasing out the use of equipment containing PCBs (e.g. transformers, capacitors or other receptacles containing liquid stocks), and the treatment and elimination of the recovered PCBs by 2028.

At the country level, a PCB elimination implementation project may require: updating the preliminary PCB inventory developed as part of the NIP to increase its comprehensiveness; developing PCB user phase-out plans in relevant organisations/institutions (including establishment of a permitting system and consequent regulations); training relevant personnel in the safe handling of PCBs and PCB-containing equipment, including for their temporary storage; developing criteria for, and determining possible PCB storage facilities, and completing training and implementation on upgrading of/developing such facilities (followed by the collection and secure storage of PCB-containing equipment); regular inspection of equipment in use and out of service; developing criteria for, and selection of a permanent PCB management facility, followed by developing or upgrading of the facilities; and replacement of PCB fluids with a less harmful alternative(s).

Development of the Guidelines for updating of National Implementation Plans (NIPs) under the Stockholm Convention taking into account the new POPs added to the Convention

At its fourth meeting, the Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention agreed to amend the Stockholm Convention to list nine new POPs in Annex A, B, and C of the Convention. One of the immediate actions that Parties need to take is to review and update their National Implementation Plans (NIPs) in light of inclusion of these nine new POPs in accordance with paragraph 1 (c) of Article 7 of the Convention.  The updated NIPs should be transmitted to the COP within two years of the date of the entry into force of the amendments which is August 2012 for the nine new POPs.

In coordination with UNIDO and the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention, UNITAR executed key components of the GEF MSP Development of the Guidelines for updating of National Implementation Plans (NIPs) under the Stockholm Convention taking into account the new POPs added to the Convention. The guidance developed or updated under this project is available on the Stockholm Convention Secretariat's website. For more information, please click here.

Ghana PCB project

UNITAR is presently serving as the international executing agency for the GEF Full Size Project "PCB Management in Ghana, from Capacity Building to Elimination". This project is aimed at strengthening the capacities and capabilities of government officials and stakeholders outside of government to address PCB identification, and manage existing sources of PCBs as well as their elimination/destruction, as identified as a priority in the National Implementation Plan for POPs for the Republic of Ghana.

The project involves the development and implementation of a strategy, and the required steps, from the current unsustainable management of PCB-containing equipment to sound management and disposal practices. The strategy commenced with strengthening the legal framework and the management capacity both within government institutions and among PCB holders. The project also eliminated, as a first step, the PCB-containing equipment, mainly transformers, and in a second step started phasing out PCB-contaminated equipment.

Ghana is the first country in the sub-region that has developed a Full Size Project (FSP) of this nature to eliminate PCBs as required under the Stockholm Convention. The experiences obtained during the implementation of the project will be shared with the other countries in the sub-region that are currently developing concrete phase-out activities. The project is part of the general strategy of Ghana to significantly improve power production and distribution and to strengthen the management of the sector.

Assistance

Upon request, and resources permitting, UNITAR, in cooperation with GEF Implementing Agencies and other partners, is available to assist countries with PCB elimination projects as part of their Stockholm Convention implementation efforts. For more information on how to access assistance in this area, please contact UNITAR.


Basel Convention

UNITAR is currently serving as the international executing agency for two projects in the Republic of Guinea and Senegal on the implications of the ratification of the Ban Amendment of illegal traffic of hazardous wastes under the Basel Convention. A previous successful project on the same topic in Cote D’Ivoire took place in 2013.