The global monitoring plan coordination group was to meet once to fulfill the tasks outlined in its mandate outlined in annex to decision SC-3/19.
At its meeting in November 2008 the coordination group prepared the first global monitoring report on the base of the five regional monitoring reports, evaluated the first phase of implementation of the global monitoring plan, and prepared recommendations for its further implementation to be considered by the Conference of the Parties at its fourth meeting in Geneva, May 2009.
Among others, the coordination group concluded that adequate baseline levels of persistent organic pollutants in air and human milk or blood, as well as information about current trends, are available from a relatively small number of existing national and international programmes. In some regions the baseline levels are provided by new nationally supported persistent organic pollutant monitoring activities. In several regions where major data gaps had been identified, initial air monitoring and human milk data have been generated through strategic partnerships with established monitoring programmes within the framework of project activities; however, continuation of these monitoring activities will depend on further capacity strengthening and support. The group recommended that established national and international monitoring programmes should be maintained, and newly initiated activities should be transformed into sustainable long-term programmes through stable strategic partnerships, strengthening of capacity and gradual increase of national commitment and support.
For the future the coordination group recognized that while data are available to use as a baseline, it is equally important that monitoring programmes continue so that data are available in the future to compare with that baseline. Long-term monitoring programmes need to consider the minimum data required to investigate temporal trends for effectiveness evaluation as described in the guidance on the global monitoring plan. For regions where there are no existing programmes, the minimum requirement for air monitoring would include on-going monitoring at the initial number of sampling points which provided the baseline data. The milk survey should be conducted at least once in the evaluation period. In this respect the coordination group recommended that the initial focus of any capacity building should be on establishing an on-going monitoring programme that focuses on a small number of sampling sites to produce data that is needed for future effectiveness evaluations. Once the sustainability of such a programme is achieved, further strengthening could build on this foundation in a step-by-step approach. This could include improved resolution of sampling in space and time with careful consideration given to the guidance on the global monitoring plan and the added value of additional sampling points.
The coordination group highlighted the need that Parties actively engage in the implementation of the global monitoring plan and the effectiveness evaluation, which would include ensuring that the official contact points have the needed support to fulfill their duties, keeping the Secretariat informed of any changes in names or address of contact points, making the relevant groups within their country aware of the Convention, its objectives and benefits, and encouraging that national resources are mobilized to support the implementation of the Convention at the national level.