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Heal Toxics is a member of the International POPs Elimination Network

This website provides resources on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) such as pesticides, dioxins, PCBs, and wastes. Valuable examples of community monitoring of health and environmental impacts of toxic chemicals are also furnished.

Further, there is an entire section devoted to chemical safety in its proper socio-political context or in relation to issues such as globalization and people's empowerment.


Bahrain: Funds needed to implement Stockholm convention rules


Bahrain has a tight policy when it comes to managing the use, disposal and trading in polluting chemicals but still needs funding to the tune of nearly $350,000 to fully implement the Stockholm Convention for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which the Kingdom signed two years ago, said Dr Afaf Al Sho'ala, director of environmental control at Environmental Affairs.

She was speaking on the sidelines of the five-day UN Environment Programme (UNEP) regional workshop on National Action Plans under the Stockholm Convention with emphasis on dioxins, furans and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).

The workshop is being conducted by the UNEP chemicals unit in Geneva in co-ordination with UNEP's regional office for west Asia, and 35 delegates from different Arab countries are attending it. It is under the patronage of Governor of Southern Governorate and chairman of the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

"Developing countries that are signatories to the Stockholm Convention do have access to some funding help, and when Bahrain signed the convention, we brought in an UNEP expert who worked with the stakeholders and assessed that we'd need nearly $350,000 to completely implement the regulations," Dr Al-Sho'ala said.

"Despite the fact that the funding hasn't yet been sanctioned by the authorities, Bahrain has made considerable progress in working to streamline the management of chemical pollutants."For instance, in 2001, we helped move a ministerial order on the management of health-care waste and got the Salmaniya Medical Centre incinerator removed from Salmaniya premises since it was in the middle of a residential area. This was part of our efforts to implement stringent dioxin and furan limits. These are emitted when waste is incinerated."

Bahrain has strict regulations to prevent the unauthorised importation of chlorinated pesticides, and in the list of 127 chemicals banned in Bahrain are the 12 most dangerous POPs targetted for phasing out and management by the Stockholm Convention.

Delegates were welcomed by Dr Ismael Al Madany of the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife, who said Bahrain recognised the danger of chemical pollution and was ready to co-operate with the world to curb the use and careless disposal of such chemicals.

UNEP's Dr Habib Al Habr said the workshop was part of UN programme efforts to help nations cope with the growing list of dangerous chemicals added to at the rate of 1,500 a day globally and about which barely 5 per cent of information was available. "We're concerned about the management and trade of these chemicals, many of which are already banned in developed countries but which continue to show up in big quantities in the developing world."

Topics to be grappled with include the overview and requirements in the action plan, social and economic issues related to POPs and registration of chemicals used, inventory control, options for domestic disposal, export, local management of equipment, best environment practices and best available techniques.

©heal toxics, 2003
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