By Vietnamese News Agency
Ha Noi - Government officials and environment experts, both domestic
and foreign, met in a workshop in Ha Noi on Thursday to discuss
the development of a national plan of action to implement the
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
The event was part of a project funded by the Global Environment
Facility (GEF), which aims at helping Viet Nam build a legal basis
for the control of POPs. Viet Nam, one of 50 member countries
of the Stockholm Convention, is obliged to submit its plan of
action to reduce and abolish POPs before May 17, 2006.
POPs are highly stable compounds that circulate globally through
a repeated process of evaporation and deposit, and are transported
through the atmosphere and the oceans to regions far away from
their original source. They accumulate in the tissue of living
organisms, which absorb POPs through food, water, and air. The
effects of POPs exposure include birth defects, cancers, and dyfunctional
immune and reproductive systems. POPs are also a threat to biodiversity,
and even have the potential to cause disruption at the ecosystem
Especially harmful POPs are PCB, DDT and dioxin/furan.
The GEF will help Viet Nam set up a national POPs control agency
and improve the working capacity of related bodies as well as
a mechanism for information exchange among these bodies. It will
also assist the country to develop a national plan on the implementation
of Stockholm Convention on POPs.
Under the GEF-funded project, statistics on POPs nationwide will
be collected, technical instructions issued for the collection,
processing, elimination and storage of POPs, and measures explored
to reduce and abolish POPs completely in Viet Nam.