The global monitoring plan for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is an important component of the effectiveness evaluation of the Stockholm Convention, providing a harmonized organizational framework for the collection of comparable monitoring data on the presence of POPs from all regions, in order to identify changes in levels over time, as well as provide information on their regional and global environmental transport.
At the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in May 2009, the global monitoring plan for persistent organic pollutants was adopted through decision SC-4/31, along with the terms of reference and mandate of the regional organization groups and the global coordination group. The first monitoring reports for the effectiveness evaluation were equally presented at and welcomed by the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, and are serving as a baseline for future evaluations.
Decision SC-4/31 also requests the Secretariat to support the global coordination group in updating the guidance document for the global monitoring plan with additional chapters on long-range transport, specimen banking and the impact of listing new chemicals in the Convention. The preliminary version of the Guidance on the Global Monitoring Plan for Persistent Organic Pollutants was prepared by a technical working group mandated by the Conference of the Parties in its decision SC-2/13. The guidance document provides the overall technical guidance for the implementation of the global monitoring plan in all United Nations Regions.
By decision SC-3/19 on the effectiveness evaluation, the Conference of the Parties adopted on a provisional basis the amended global monitoring plan for persistent organic pollutants (UNEP/POPS/COP.3/22/Rev.1, annex II) and the amended implementation plan for the global monitoring plan (UNEP/POPS/COP.3/23/Rev.1).
These decisions outlined a program to begin the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Convention through regional monitoring reports that use existing national and international programs, in combination with strategic capacity building in regions where major data gaps were identified.
Furthermore, among the terms of reference of the Regional Organization Groups and the Global Coordination Group, consideration of long-range transport of POPs and the effect of climate and meteorology on the observed trends in levels of POPs is an important undertake. The significance of climate effects on POPs is highlighted in a study initiated by the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention to support the work of the Global Coordination Group. The 2011 report of the UNEP/AMAP expert group, ‘’Climate change and POPs: Predicting the Impacts’’, is a systematic and authoritative global review of the impacts of climate change on the dynamics and toxicity of POPs.