SPREP and UNEP are collaborating to prepare a Pacific regional project to address POPs issues and build capacity for chemicals management in Pacific island governments.
1 March 2011: The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), with the support of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), is in the preparation stages of a regional project to address Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the Pacific region, titled “Pacific POPs release reduction through Improved Management of Solid and Hazardous wastes.”
SPREP consultants currently are visiting and consulting Pacific Island Countries (PICs) regarding their priorities for assistance. The project will pursue the following outcomes: enhanced POPs inventories, including new POPs, waste school laboratory chemicals, and similar laboratory chemicals in hospital and veterinary laboratories in preparation of disposal exercises; training of environment staff in inventory development and chemicals database management; training of customs, agriculture and environment staff in the safe storage and management of chemicals; training of environment staff, laboratory technicians and school science teachers in safe storage, disposal of laboratory chemicals, and local disposal of phosphides; pilot assessment of contaminated soils, using in situ management and risk reduction measures; and the development of a cost effective, self-sustaining, subregional strategy for the repackaging, collection, shipping and disposal of POPs and other unwanted chemicals, involving taxes/levies and take-back relationships with chemical suppliers.
UNEP will act as the implementing agency for the project, with funds from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Government of France through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and other development partners. SPREP will execute the project in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). [IISD RS Sources]