With an aim to further enhance the management of toxic and harmful chemicals affecting human health and the environment, Trinidad and Tobago fulfilled one of its obligations as a signatory to the Stockholm Convention through the development of a National Implementation Plan (NIP) on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). The completion of the NIP was commemorated through an official handover ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Friday 23 May, 2014.
The official handover of the NIP between the UNDP represented by Ms. Rosemary Lal (left) and the MEWR represented by the Honourable Minister Ganga Singh, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (right).
This NIP was developed with grant funding provided through the United Nations Development Programme – Global Environment Facility (UNDP/GEF) and with technical support from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.
As part of completing the NIP, an assessment of the major types and sources of POPs in the country was conducted. Some of the main findings arising from the study include:
- there is no production of POPs pesticides or chemicals in the country;
- importation of POPs is effectively prohibited;
- there are no POPs chemicals presently on the market apart from some PCB transformers that are reaching the end of their useful life and;
- Trinidad and Tobago’s main concerns relate to the unintentional release of POPs (uPOPs) primarily through flaring in the petrochemical industry and open burning of waste and agricultural residue.
To minimize the risks posed not only by the original “dirty dozen” (an initial twelve chemicals or chemical groups identified by the Stockholm Convention needing priority action) but also the latter additions of POPs, the NIP recommends a series of actions to be implemented over a five (5) year period. These measures outline the main actors involved in each process, estimated budgetary requirements, as well as a metric for evaluating implementation success.