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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.



The Stockholm Convention:


The International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) has successfully held the 1st Conference of Parties of the Stockholm Convention on POPs that took place in Uruguay on 2-6 May 2005. The “Keep the Promise” campaign, as it is aptly called, aims to remind the governments to honor the integrity of the Convention text and to keep the promise of protecting the public health and the environment from the harms caused by POPs.

Earth Negotiations Bulletin Summary of the First Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention
IPEN Congratulates Parties to the Stockholm Convention on POPs
IPEN Statement To The COP 1 of the Stockholm Convention
IPEN Keep the Promise Position Paper
IPEN Preliminary Results of Global Egg Sampling for Unintentional POPs


Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemical substances that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment. With the evidence of long-range transport of these substances to regions where they have never been used or produced and the consequent threats they pose to the environment of the whole globe, the international community has now, at several occasions called for urgent global actions to reduce and eliminate releases of these chemicals.

more information on POPs


International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN)

The International POPs Elimination Network is a global network of public interest non-governmental organisations united in support of a common POPs elimination goal. The mission of IPEN, achieved through its participating organisations, is to work for the global elimination of persistent organic pollutants, on an expedited yet socially equitable basis.

Founded in early 1998 by a small number of NGOs, IPEN was formally launched with a public forum at the first session of the UNEP Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC1) in Montreal in June 1998, convened by UNSP to start negotiations to develop a global, legal instrument to control and/or eliminate persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Throughout the course of the five negotiating sessions, the network grew to include more than 350 public health, environmental, consumer, and other non-governmental organisations in 65 countries. The network worked to mobilise grassroots support for a global treaty to eliminate POPs. It also leveraged the resources and created a forum for NGOs and activists from around the world to participate in the negotiations. IPEN coordinated NGO conferences and workshops at each of the five negotiating sessions in Montreal (June 1998), Nairobi (January 1999), Geneva (September 1999), Bonn (March 2000), Johannesburg (December 2000) and at the diplomatic conference in Stockholm in May 2001. Since formal negotiations of the Convention text was completed IPEN particpating organizations and IPEN Working Groups continue to participate in the ongoing UNEP discussions related to this Convention and is now focussing on ratifying and implementing the POPs Convention (now called the Stockholm Convention on POPs) in countries around the world.

More information on IPEN


Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

Eight chemicals used as pesticides, two industrial compounds and dioxins and furans appearing as unintentional byproducts in chemical production and during burning of chlorinated substances - all of these have been included to a temporary list of toxic dozen. These Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) can be eliminated with assistance of new international convention proposing a ban of pesticides and industrial chemicals and to minimalise sources of dioxins. The convention was signed in May 23rd, 2001 in Stockholm. Whole world must be circumspect of the substances that have an ability to travel long distances.

The Stockholm Convention will be valid after it is signed and ratified by the 50th state. We can expect it will happen by 2004. But this date is actually late when one realizes that for example at least 40% waste containing the dangerous PCBs can disappear in a Central European country only in a couple of years to unknown destination. Citizens of all countries should support prompt ratification and practical implementation of the convention.
Further fate of the Stockholm Convention depends mainly on political decisions made in particular countries. Please help us to urge political representatives to ratify and implement the convention as soon as possible!

Chemicals on the "black list" - new international Stockholm Convention bans them or submit elimination of their sources:
Pesticides: aldrine, DDT, dieldrine, endrine, heptachlor, chlordane, mirex and toxaphen
Industrial compounds: hexachlorobenzene and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
Undesired byproducts emerging in various processes: hexachlorobenzen, PCB, polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDD) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF) - a general name "dioxins" is used for the last tow groups of chemicals.

The Convention Text | Ratification Status

Factsheet on the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

With the the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants coming into force on May 17, 2004, these tools are an important tool for awareness-raising among sectors concerned with advancing the implementation of the Convention.

IPEN factsheet on the Stockholm Convention
HEAL Toxics flyer on the Stockholm Convention
Powerpoint presentation on the Stockholm Convention


International POPs Elimination Project

Visit the IPEP website

In June 2003, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved a project proposal that IPEN Steering Committee members had been working on for more than a year. The full and official name of this Project is: “Fostering Active and Effective Civil Society Participation in Preparations for Implementation of the Stockholm Convention.” IPEN Steering Committee members have called it: “IPEP,” the International POPs Elimination Project.

IPEP is a very ambitious effort. The intent is to support hundreds of NGO Project Activities, in approximately 40 developing countries and countries in transition, all aimed at contributing to country preparations for Stockholm Convention implementation. IPEP will support the preparation of various types of documents and other activities.

The types of document preparations that can be supported with Project funds are: POPs Country Situation Reports, POPs Policy Briefs, POPs Hotspot Reports, and POPs Regional Reports. These will be written in the national (possibly local) language, and in most cases they will also be translated into English.

Project funds will also be provided to NGOs for other kinds of country or local level activities such as: NGO participation and/or inputs to the development of National Implementation Plans (NIPs); POPs training and awareness-raising workshops; and other POPs-related informational, public awareness and/or campaigning activities.

The Project is budgeted at $2 million USD for two years of activities, and the GEF has approved a $1 million USD grant for this work. An additional $1 million USD in co-finance must come from other sources.

How to participate in IPEP


Information Exchange Network on Capacity Building for the Sound Management of Chemicals

The Information Exchange Network on Capacity Building for the Sound Management of Chemicals (INFOCAP) is an internet-based mechanism established to facilitate the systematic exchange and public accessibility of information and experiences relevant to capacity building projects for the sound management of chemicals. INFOCAP was designed to enhance effective cooperation among countries and organizations which are providing and/or receiving assistance related to the sound management of chemicals. INFOCAP may also be used as a tool for improving linkages among global, regional and national capacity building activities, including those facilitated through the IFCS and through international agreements related to sound chemicals management. INFOCAP includes information on capacity building activities related to all chemicals and all stages of the chemical life cycle.

INFOCAP in brief
Information brochure on INFOCAP
How to use INFOCAP
Guidelines for NGOs for contibuting to INFOCAP


Other Resources:

IPEN Hot Spots Map
by the International POPs Elimination Network

IPEN invites organizations around the world to make use of the IPEN POPs Hot Spots Map as a tool in their campaigns.

Guidance Document on the use of Multimedia Models for Estimating Over-all Persistance and Long-range Transport
by OECD and UNEP

This Guidance Document is addressed to those who are involved in risk assessment and management of POPs or PBTs (persistent and bio-accumulating toxics).

Implementation of Chemical Safety Policies Addressing the Widening Gap
by Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management

Available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish

Now available: Report of the Second Meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the Development of a Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)

Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish and Russian translations of the report will be posted as soon as they are available.

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