The Stockholm Convention Regional Center in São Paulo, Brazil conducted a five-week, 145-hour training course for specialists from five Latin American and Caribbean countries in the environmentally sound management (ESM) of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), with a special focus on PCBs and organochlorinated pesticides, to help those countries in their implementation of the Stockholm Convention obligations.
9 February 2012: The Stockholm Convention Regional Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) held a five-week training course for officials from ten Spanish-speaking LAC countries on the environmentally sound management (ESM) of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
The course, intended to improve the capacity of LAC countries to implement the Stockholm Convention, was held at the Regional Center located within the Environmental Company of the State of São Paulo (CETESB), from 9 January-9 February 2012, in São Paulo, Brazil, with funding from the International Cooperation Agency of Japan (JICA) and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC).
The 145-hour course was divided into three modules. The first, an introduction to ESM of POPs, covered topics such as toxicology, PCB-containing wastes, controlling unintentional sources of POPs, air emissions monitoring, best available technology (BAT) and best environmental practice (BEP), soil and groundwater quality, management of contaminated areas, and chemical emergencies.
The second module on technical operations for POPs monitoring and sources of pollution relevant to the Stockholm Convention, examined theory and practice in collecting and preserving samples from waters, wastes, sediments and smokestacks, as well as techniques for identifying contaminated sites.
The third, on determination of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorinated pesticides in the environment, provided practical training in CETESB laboratories regarding analysis, extraction methods, calibration standards and evaluation of such chemicals.
The course was attended by 62 specialists from Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Venezuela, and several Brazilian states. The course will be offered annually at CETESB for the next four years. [CETESB Press Release (in Portuguese)]