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icipe’s Role as a Stockholm Convention Regional Centre
Richard Mukabana, coordinator of the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Kenya at icipe, discusses the importance of this new role to IVM programmes.

icipe’s Role as a Stockholm Convention Regional Centre

icipe’s Role as a Stockholm Convention Regional Centre
In July 2010, icipe was selected as a regional centre under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Below Richard Mukabana discusses the importance of this new role in regard to the icipe’s integrated vector management (IVM) programmes.

Q. What is the Stockholm Convention on POPs?

A. The Stockholm Convention is a United Nations international environmental treaty, which was signed in 2001, coming into effect in May 2004. Its aim is to protect people, animals and the environment from chemicals (POPs) that are highly dangerous with long-lasting deleterious effects.

The Convention endeavours to achieve its goals by restricting and ultimately eliminating the production, use, trade, release and storage of POPs. Its implementation is overseen by the Conference of the Parties (COP), through decisions taken during periodic meetings. In addition, several institutions have been selected as regional and sub-regional centres, with the mandate of assisting developing countries to fulfill their obligations under the Convention, through capacity building and transfer of technology.

Q. How did icipe’s appointment as a Stockholm Convention Regional Centre come about?

A. By 2005, there were two Stockholm Convention regional centres in Africa: the Basel Convention Regional Centre in Senegal and the National Centre for Cleaner Technology Production in Algeria. As these two centres are located in Francophone Africa, the Secretariat of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) found it necessary to have additional regional centres, to cater for Anglophone Africa.

In accordance, UNEP conducted an assessment, which identified icipe as a potential regional centre of the Stockholm Convention on POPs. The process of having icipe formally endorsed was overseen by two scientists: John Githure, the former head of the Human Health Division, and Charles Mbogo, who is currently a visiting scientist at icipe. The two scientists made a strong case based on icipe’s past accomplishments. Since its founding, icipe has remained committed to developing environmentally safe tools and strategies for the management of arthropods. An example of this is the Centre’s integrated vector management (IVM) programmes. icipe’s IVM strategies incorporate different approaches to control mosquitoes in adult and larval stages. This approach includes scaling up the use of long-lasting insecticidal nets, larval control using Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), community education, sensitisation and mobilisation.

icipe’s suitability as a regional centre was also supported by its leading role in articulating issues surrounding DDT, one of the pesticides regulated by the Stockholm Convention. The use of DDT was banned in most industrialised countries in the 1970s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

based on evidence of its risks to human, animal and environmental health. Currently, COP allows the use of DDT for public health interventions, for instance in the control of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes, through indoor spraying by national health authorities under the supervision of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Today, there are about 11 countries that use DDT – most of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

icipe believes that, in addition to its documented hazards, the use of DDT has wider implications, for instance, the possible rejection of horticultural and fish exports from Africa to European markets in view of tightening restrictions on insecticide residues on products. In addition, there is widespread resistance to DDT in mosquito populations in Africa, meaning that the pesticide does not offer a sustainable solution to their control.

As a result, since 2000, icipe has been working with WHO and UNEP to assist countries in Africa to reduce their reliance on DDT for malaria vector control, mainly through training on alternative IVM strategies. The Centre’s researchers have participated in several COP meetings to articulate alternatives to DDT. icipe is also part of the ‘Stop-DDT Alliance’, which also includes the Washington-based Millennium Institute and the Biovision Foundation of Switzerland.

Q. How does the selection as a regional centre under the Stockholm Convention advance icipe’s mission?

A. Under the Stockholm Convention, the global community has committed to reduce and eventually eliminate reliance on DDT worldwide by assisting countries adopt safer and more effective alternative malaria control approaches. icipe considers the up-scaling and integration of IVM strategies to be a key element towards this goal. However, the Centre recognises that many stakeholders working in mosquito and malaria control do not have the evidence, or the access to decision-making processes, that are key prerequisites for the adoption of IVM strategies.

The appointment of icipe as a Stockholm Convention regional centre provides the Centre with the opportunity to strengthen the capacity of partners in Africa towards the incorporation of IVM into national strategies. Since 2010, icipe has organised three major training workshops on IVM as an alternative solution to the use of DDT for malaria vector control. The first five-day session, held in June 2010, was attended by 18 public and environmental health specialists from nine countries in the eastern and southern African region. The workshop, which was facilitated by researchers from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Kenyatta University and Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, provided participants with technical skills on IVM. Importantly, the participants also visited the Mwea Rice Irrigation Scheme, an icipe malaria study site in central Kenya, where they observed the implementation of IVM strategies.

In March 2011, icipe organised a second 10-day training workshop for eight public health and environmental health specialists from Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Rwanda. The main objective of the workshop was to strengthen the capacity of countries to develop alternatives to DDT, in line with the Global Alliance mission. In addition, the sessions also aimed to provide technical skills on IVM as an alternative to harmful chemicals.

In August 2012, icipe and WHO organised a third workshop, this time on data collection, information exchange and informed decision-making on IVM. It was attended by national coordinators of the vector control programme and Stockholm Convention Focal Points from Ethiopia, The Gambia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Senegal, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia. The workshop analysed the status in different countries regarding the management of DDT and other chemicals being used in vector control. The participants identified gaps, barriers and key elements required towards sound management of DDT. They also shared experiences in implementing disease vector control programmes within the IVM principles. The workshop facilitated the development of a work plan for the implementation of a project by WHO and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), on the establishment of efficient and effective data collection and reporting procedures for evaluating the continued need of DDT for disease vector control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to the training workshops, in August 2012, icipe hosted the Fourth Interim Steering Committee Meeting of the Global Alliance for the Development and Deployment of Alternatives to DDT for Disease Vector Control. The main agenda of the forum was to evaluate cost-effective alternatives to DDT for disease vector control.

Q. What are some of future activities planned by icipe as a Stockholm Convention regional centre?

A. icipe’s vision includes working with partners to develop national plans for the promotion and management of IVM as an alternative to DDT. The Centre also hopes to create linkages with government partners to ensure the consideration of IVM in national policies. A key part of the process will involve the development of a national core group of IVM managers and technicians as well as the strengthening of regional networking for information sharing. And of course, training, through workshops and field experience, will remain a key part of the icipe’s approach.

From icipe biennial highlights 2011–2012 collaborations and partnerships, edited by Liz Ng’ang’a and Christian Borgemeister, ©2012, reprinted by permission of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology.

Afghanistan accedes to the Stockholm Convention, becoming its 179th Party
Afghanistan acceded to the Stockholm Convention on 20 February 2013.

Afghanistan accedes to the Stockholm Convention, becoming its 179th Party

Afghanistan accedes to the Stockholm Convention, becoming its 179th Party

Afghanistan has acceded to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. This action was effected on 20 February 2013. The Convention will enter into force for Afghanistan on 21 May 2013 in accordance with its article 26 (2) which stipulates that the Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. For more information on the Stockholm Convention ratifications, please see the Status of ratifications page.

Regional Centre in China seeks to identify alternatives to BDEs and PFOS
Project in Sound Management of POPs in Articles and Phasing out Opportunities in Emerging Countries underway in 2013

Regional Centre in China seeks to identify alternatives to BDEs and PFOS

Regional Centre in China seeks to identify alternatives to BDEs and PFOS

The Basel Convention Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific/Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in China was selected by the Secretariat of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions to be the implementation agency of the project “Sound Management of POPs in articles and phasing out opportunities in emerging countries” from January to October 2013.

The overall objective of the project is to reduce exposure to and risks emanating from new persistent organic pollutants (POPs) through the identification and phasing-out of new POPs in products and articles. The direct aim is to undertake a study on the presence of new POPs in articles in a developing country or country with economies in transition with high industrial activity.

The research project will target the use of brominated diphenyl ethers (BDEs) and Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (PFOSF) listed under the Convention in applications in China. It will focus on identifying problems faced by China and its different stakeholders such as industries in detecting POPs in articles, their sound management and opportunities for the phase-out by substitution or use of alternatives.

The identification of technical cross-cutting issues leading to the prevention and minimization of hazardous wastes generation will also be sought.

The project is funded by the Government of Germany and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

PEN writes new chapter in stakeholder cooperation for elimination of PCBs
With 700 stakeholders, isn´t it time you joined the PEN?

PEN writes new chapter in stakeholder cooperation for elimination of PCBs

PEN writes new chapter in stakeholder cooperation for elimination of PCBs
“The PCBs elimination network: the information exchange platform created for the risk reduction of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)” by Andrea Warmuth and Kei Ohno (Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, UNEP), appears in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health."
Stockholm Convention continues to allow DDT use for disease vector control
The Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention, in accordance with the World Health Organization recommendations and guidelines, allows the use of the insecticide DDT in disease vector control to protect public health.  

Stockholm Convention continues to allow DDT use for disease vector control

Stockholm Convention continues to allow DDT use for disease vector control

Fourth meeting of the DDT Expert Group assesses continued need for DDT, 3–5 December 2012, Geneva

The Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention, in accordance with the World Health Organization recommendations and guidelines, allows the use of the insecticide DDT in disease vector control to protect public health.

The fourth meeting of the DDT Expert Group reviewed the latest information as part of this ongoing assessment of the continued need for DDT, including that provided by the Parties for the period of three years from 2009-2011.

Guidance to develop, review and update NIPs now available
Updated as well as new draft guidance to develop, review and update national implementation plans now available for use and commenting by Parties.  

Guidance to develop, review and update NIPs now available

Guidance to develop, review and update NIPs now available

A newly developed guidance on National Implementation Plan (NIP) development, review and update is now available. As per decision SC-5/14 parties are encouraged to provide the Secretariat with comments on how to improve the usefulness of the guidance. The deadline for sending comments is 31 January 2012.

 

Global art contest for children and youth: winners announced here!
Winning and highly commended entries were exhibited at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 20 June to 11 July 2012.

Global art contest for children and youth: winners announced here!

Global art contest for children and youth: winners announced here!

The exhibition of artwork featuring 13 winning entries as well as a selection of other entries opened on 20 June 2012 at the United Nations Office of Geneva. The exhibition ran through 11 July.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the Convention in May 2011, the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants organized a global art contest for children and youth on the theme "Stockholm at 10: Chemical Challenges, Sustainable Solutions" and what this means to young people around the world.

One hundred and sixty submissions, mainly drawings and paintings, were received from 18 countries. Due to the low number of entries submitted in the photography and video categories, as well as their insufficient relevance, the jury decided not to award any prizes for these art categories.

The exhibition of winning drawings/paintings was on display in the Passerelle of the Palais des Nations, Geneva (Entrance 40 from Pregny Gate). The exhibition opening coincided with the opening of Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Three of the Stockholm Convention’s Regional Centres organized parallel virtual exhibitions of the winning entries:

To view the winning artwork and all other entries:  
   

 To view the speeches made at the exhibition opening:

Speech by Mr. David Chikvaidze
Chairman of the Cultural Activities Committee   
Speech by Mr. David Ogden
Acting Chief of Conventions Operations Branch

To view the opening reception pictures:

 

The Secretariat would like to congratulate the winners and warmly thank all of the artists for their participation in this contest!

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