Stockholm Convention effectiveness evaluated: concentrations decreasing for legacy & some newly-listed POPs

The effectiveness evaluation committee, established by the Conference of the Parties at its seventh meeting, met for the second time from 4 to 7 October 2016 in Geneva to finalize the first six-year evaluation cycle.

The committee concluded, among others, that the Stockholm Convention provides an effective and dynamic framework to regulate POPs throughout their lifecycle, addressing the production, use, import, export, releases, and disposal of these chemicals worldwide. However, inadequate implementation is the key issue that has been identified in this evaluation. Mechanisms and processes required by the Convention to support Parties in meeting their obligations have all been put in place, with the exception of procedures and mechanisms on compliance. A key challenge in undertaking the evaluation was the limited data available from national reports and national implementation plans, and recommendations have been made to address these and other implementation issues. Monitoring results indicate that regulations targeting POPs are succeeding in reducing levels of POPs in humans and the environment. For legacy POPs, concentrations measured in air and in human populations have declined and continue to decline or remain at low levels due to restrictions on POPs that predated the Stockholm Convention and are now incorporated in it. For the newly listed POPs, concentrations are beginning to show decreases, although in a few instances, increasing and/or stable levels are observed.

The effectiveness evaluation report, including an executive summary in the six UN languages, will be submitted for consideration at the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention.