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Keynote lecture

Persistent organic pollution: sustainable solutions, by Mohamed Eisa

Several initiatives have resulted in three main conventions related to and addressing hazardous chemicals: the POP (persistent organic pollutants), PIC (prior informed consent) and Basel conventions.

This lecture will address the response to the 12 POP chemicals in the context of the Stockholm Convention.

Cleaner production is one of the main ways of introducing the best available techniques and best environmental practices.

Requirements for compliance with the Stockholm Convention are legally binding, whereas the introduction of cleaner production technologies is voluntary.

Research for alternatives to POPs drives the invention of new technologies that can process and produce POP-free products.

Implementation of the Stockholm Convention on POPs started through financial support provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in a form of a flat rate grant to all developing countries.

The grant has enabled countries to develop a national implementation plan to eliminate or reduce the emissions and stockpiles of POP waste.

It has also enabled development of strategies to identify sites contaminated by POP chemicals and, where remediation is necessary, to perform these in an environmentally sound manner.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has entered into partnership with the Geoenvironmental Research Centre (GRC) in Nigeria and Ghana using GEF support, and has agreed to document the experience GRC has acquired in Europe to be used as a tool in future projects.

Mohamed Eisa is chief of Stockholm Convention and Chemicals Management, UNIDO, Vienna, Austria. His career includes a blend of international industrial and academic projects in environmental geotechnics and includes transesterification reactions for bio-diesel production, cleaner industrial production centres; waste management systems, non-combustion technologies; elimination of industrial persistent organic pollutants; remediation strategies of contaminated sites; and best available techniques for pollution reduction.

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