The target or aim of any risk reduction strategy for POPs should be to reduce or eliminate emissions and releases taking into consideration the indicative list in Annex F including technical feasibility of possible control measures and alternatives, the risk and benefits of the substances and their continued production and use.

Specifically, Annex F states that an evaluation should be undertaken regarding possible control measures for chemicals under consideration for inclusion in this Convention, encompassing the full range of options, including management and elimination. For this purpose, relevant information should be provided relating to socioeconomic considerations associated with possible control measures to enable a decision to be taken by the Conference of the Parties. Such information should reflect due regard for the differing capabilities and conditions among the Parties and should include consideration of items. Part (b) of Annex F is about Alternatives (products and processes) with indicative list of items: 

  • Technical feasibility;
  • Costs, including environmental and health costs;
  • Efficacy;
  • Risk;
  • Availability;
  • Accessibility.

The Convention also contains additional provisions on information related to alternatives:

Pursuant to Article 9 each Party to the Convention is to facilitate or undertake the exchange of information relevant to “alternatives to persistent organic pollutants, including information relating to their risks as well as to their economic and social costs”;

Under Article 10 each Party, within its capabilities, is to promote and facilitate “development and implementation, especially for women, children and the least educated, of educational and public awareness programmes on persistent organic pollutants … and on their alternatives”. Such programmes may include the use of safety data sheets, reports, mass media and other means of communication, and may establish information centres at the national and regional levels;

According to Article 11 Parties, within their capabilities, are to “encourage and/or undertake appropriate research, development, monitoring and cooperation pertaining to persistent organic pollutants and, where relevant, to their alternatives and to candidate persistent organic pollutants”. 

A number of alternatives to POPs were mentioned by Parties and observers. A screening assessment has been undertaken by the intersessional working group according to the guidance on considerations related to alternatives and substitutes for listed persistent organic pollutants and candidate chemicals (UNEP/POPS/POPRC.5/10/Add.1).

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