Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)  
Background of the Project Project Strategy Poject Objectives Project Output
POPs in Bangladesh        
Background of the Project

"Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)" are organic substances that : (i) Possess toxic characteristics; (ii) are persistent; (iii) bioaccumulate; (iv) are prone to long-range transboundary atmospheric transport and deposition; and (v) are likely to cause significant adverse human health or environmental effects near to and distant from their sources.

Once POPs enter the environment, they last a long time. Today, POPs are widely found in the environment in all regions of the world. They contraindicate food, they find their way into the human body, and they contribute to disease and to health deficits.

The realization of threats led a number of countries to introduce policies and legal and regulatory instruments to manage an increasing number of these substances. However, because of POPs' persistence and propensity to undergo transboundary movement, countries began to seek bilateral, regional and multinational cooperative actions. On May 23, 2001, a global, legally binding instrument called the Stockholm Convention on POPs was adopted. The Convention preamble expresses awareness of "health concerns, especially in developing countries, resulting from local exposure to POPs, in particular impacts on women and, through them, upon future generations." The Convention's objective is to protect human health and the environment from POPs.

The Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh has signed the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants on 23 May 2001, after actively taking part in the negotiation process leading to the final Convention. As a Party and signatory to the Stockholm Convention, Bangladesh will be required to take actions to generate general awareness of harmful consequences of POPs to reduce their releases, and their ultimate elimination. Mr. Klaus Sakari Tyrkko on a POP's Mission for Project Support for Stockholm POPs Convention Follow-up came to Bangladesh during 20-29 November 2001. During his stay in Dhaka he prepared an 'Enabling Activity Proposal' for Stockholm Convention on Phase-out of Persistent Organic Pollutants in consultation with stakeholders, which was subsequently forwarded along with the endorsement of the Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF) to GEF for approval. The Project Brief was approved by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEF Secretariat on 27 March, 2002. A Project Document was sent by UNDP on 28 July 2002 to the Secretary, MOEF for facilitating the Government's preparation of counterpart TAPP. The TAPP had been prepared in the light of "Project Document (PRODOC)" of UNDP and subsequently been approved by the appropriate authority.

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Project Strategy and Institutional Arrangements

The Department of Environment (DOE) of the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF) will be the lead agency for the implementation of POPs National Implementation Plan. DOE is the competent department working as a regulatory agency for the enforcement of environmental legislation in Bangladesh concerning industrial chemicals, releases, wastes and contaminated sites. DOE serves as the advisory agency to the POPs focal point and GEF Operational Focal Point, which is the Secretary of its parent Ministry, MOEF.

DOE is the focal point for Basel Convention on Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal. DOE is the chosen agency for implementing Enabling Activity projects for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). DOE is further the competent authority implementing the Environmental Conservation Act, which is the main regulatory instrument in the field of environment in Bangladesh. DOE and the National Project Director will be responsible for the quality and timely execution of the POPs Enabling Activity Project.

The Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) are the relevant authorities dealing with authorization and enforcement of The Pesticide Ordinance 1971 and Pesticide Rules 1985. DAE has a very large network of agricultural extension workers in the field, including 466 Plant Protection Inspectors and about 12,000 Block supervisors having daily contacts with farmers and pesticide distributors. The Department of Agricultural Extension will be implementing the surveying the possible POPs pesticides stockpiles and wastes. This survey shall include city corporations who directly import pesticides for public health purposes. The Bangladesh Crop Protection Association will conduct a survey on possible POPs pesticides stockpiles and wastes among the importers, formulators, sales agents and main distribution centers. This data will be submitted to DAE for corroboration in the inventory.

DAE will use its own analysis laboratories for chemical identification analysis. DAE will identify and sample suspected sites contaminated with POPs. The analysis of these will be carried out by DOE or arrangements supervised by DOE. DOE will further provide computer-programming support for electronic storage of data. Resources outlined in the project will be made available to DAE, excluding the GoB cost sharing which will be supplied by DAE.

The Bangladesh Power Development Board is the main power distributor in the country. The bulk of PCBs in Bangladesh are in capacitors and transformers in the power distribution network. As the main stakeholder of PCBs in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) will conduct the survey on the quantity of PCBs. This survey will include PCBs in use, stockpiles and wastes, and the condition of capacitors and transformers used by all power distributors in Bangladesh. Resources outlined in the project will be made available to BPDB, excluding the GoB cost sharing which will be supplied by BPDB. DOE will make arrangements for analysis of PCBs in cases where BPDB requests for verification of chemical composition or identity. DOE will also assist in soil sampling and analysis of suspected but not verified PCB contaminated sites. DOE will further provide computer-programming support for electronic storage of data.

The position of National Project Director mentioned in the TAPP and PRODOC has been appointed by the Ministry of Environment and Forest from the Department of Environment.

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The overall objective of the project is to prepare the National Implementation Plan for phase-out of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and development of POPs management options as an effective response measures to achieve Stockholm Convention objectives. The objective of the project is to create sustainable capacity and ownership in Bangladesh to meet its obligations under the Stockholm Convention, including broader issues of chemicals safety and management for reducing health hazards as articulated in Chapter 19 of Agenda 21. The National Implementation Plan describes how Bangladesh will meet its obligations under the Convention to phase-out POPs sources and remediate POPs contaminated sites. The project will enable Bangladesh to ratify the Stockholm Convention and become a Party to the same.

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PROJECT OUTPUT (In Qualitative or Quantitative Terms)

It is expected that the development of the POPs National Implementation Plan will generate the following outputs:

4 A co-ordinating and unifying framework for the management of the nation’s POPs phase-out and related risk management plan
4 Plan for reduction of releases of POPs in the environment leading to protection of human health and the environment
4 Develop reporting capacity meeting the needs of the POPs Convention
4 Priorities identified during the project are used as the basis for national action
4 Increased importance of chemicals problems on the political agenda. Increased national activities on hazardous chemicals/POPs problems. Enhanced knowledge and understanding of national POPs problems amongst decision makers, managers, industry, and the public at large. Increased awareness at many levels of the importance and values of the POPs issues and problems.
4 Enhanced application of policy, legal and financial instruments for the follow-up of Action Plan;
4 Improved level of government management in ownership of its implementation plan through inventory / registration / documentation of POPs; and Institutional mechanism for implementation of the National Implem

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