[pib] Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Stockholm Convention, POPS

Mains level : POPs: Its threats and regulatory measures

The Union Cabinet has approved the Ratification of seven chemicals listed under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

Stockholm Convention

  • It is a global treaty to protect human health and environment from POPs, which are identified chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate in living organisms, adversely affect human health/ environment and have the property of long-range environmental transport (LRET).

Key Provisions:  The provisions of the Convention require each party to:

  • Prohibit and/or eliminate the production and use, as well as the import and export, of the intentionally, produced POPs that are listed in Annex A to the Convention
  • Restrict the production and use, as well as the import and export, of the intentionally, produced POPs that are listed in Annex B to the Convention
  • Reduce or eliminate releases from unintentionally produced POPs that are listed in Annex C to the Convention
  • Ensure that stockpiles and wastes consisting of, containing or contaminated with POPs are managed safely and in an environmentally sound manner

Do you know?

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) serves as a financial mechanism for the following conventions:

  1. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  2. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  3. UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  4. Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  5. Minamata Convention on Mercury

What are POPs?

  • Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), sometimes known as “forever chemicals” are organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation through chemical, biological, and photolytic processes.
  • Because of their persistence, POPs bioaccumulate with potential adverse impacts on human health and the environment.
  • Many POPs are currently or were in the past used as pesticides, solvents, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals.
  • Although some POPs arise naturally (e.g from volcanoes), most are man-made via total synthesis.

Threats of POPs

  • Exposure to POPs can lead to cancer, damage to central & peripheral nervous systems, diseases of the immune system, reproductive disorders and interference with normal infant and child development.

India’s actions on POPs till now

  • The MoEFCC had notified the ‘Regulation of Persistent Organic Pollutants Rules, on March 5, 2018, under the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • The regulation prohibited the manufacture, trade, use, import and export seven chemicals which were already listed as POPs under Stockholm Convention-
  1. Chlordecone
  2. Hexabromobiphenyl
  3. Hexabromodiphenyl ether and Heptabromodiphenylether (Commercial octa-BDE)
  4. Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and Pentabromodiphenyl ether (Commercial Penta-BDE)
  5. Pentachlorobenzene
  6. Hexabromocyclododecane and
  7. Hexachlorobutadiene

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