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Regional project to develop appropriate strategies for identifying sites contaminated by chemicals listed in Annexes A, B and/or C of the Stockholm Convention

Project description

The objective of the project is to build capacity in Ghana and Nigeria to develop strategies to identify land/sites contaminated with persistent organic pollutants (POPs) as implicated in the Stockholm Convention. More specifically, the project focuses on:
a)    Barrier removal in the areas of intervention with policy/legal framework and enforcement
b)    Capacity building in the region to -
i.    develop systematic approach in identification of lands/sites contaminated with POPs
ii.    collect information, develop and manage an Information Management System (IMS) on contaminated sites, social economic indicators affecting human health and the environment due to POPs and other persistent toxic substances (PTS) exposures from contaminated land and other sources
iii.    identify, monitor and analyse samples from POPs contaminated lands
c)    Setting up model experiments to develop appropriate environmentally and economically acceptable remediation technologies for POPs contaminated land/sites based on risk assessment involving all relevant stakeholders. .

The project is based on the countries’ National Implementation Plans (NIPs) to demonstrate how they will be able to implement the obligations under the Stockholm Convention.  The participating countries have built up capacity in the region to identify and prioritize POPs contaminated sites and develop suitable technologies for land remediation in accordance with best available techniques and best environmental practices (BAT/BEP). The project is closely linked to Article 6 Section 1(e) of the Stockholm Convention, which states that Parties shall “endeavour to develop appropriate strategies for identifying sites contaminated by chemicals listed in Annex A, B or C, if remediation of those sites is undertaken, it shall be performed in an environmentally sound manner”.  

The project is being implemented through National Coordinator Units set up in Ghana and Nigeria under the supervision of a Regional Coordination Unit (RCU) set up in the UNIDO Regional Development Office, Abuja, Nigeria.  Based on the project objectives, the following outputs have been achieved:
•    Establishment of an organizational set up to implement and monitor the progress of the project.
•    Establishment of regional policy and national legal framework for the management of contaminated sites.
•    Establishment of national and regional capacity building and institutional strengthening including risk assessment/management

Additionally, a toolkit for selection of environmentally sound and economically feasible remediation technologies in Ghana and Nigeria is being developed and the establishment of an IMS, a Framework for Stakeholders & Public Education Awareness Programme as well as a setting up of a Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Plan are underway.

It is envisaged that the project will deliver a toolkit for the systematic identification of sites contaminated by POPs and methodologies to be adopted in the region for the decontamination of the contaminated sites that could eventually benefit the whole Africa region and beyond.  It is also expected that the methodology established through this project will be modified for the identification of sites contaminated by other chemicals.

The project takes into account sustainability and reproducibility and above all incorporates regional context for future outreach activities. Lessons learned and experience gained will be useful in systematic identification of POPs contaminated lands, risk assessment/prioritization and application of appropriate remediation technology. The GeoEnvironmental Research Centre (GRC) located in Cardiff University, UK with long standing experience in industrial and agricultural land remediation continues to be the principal technical partner to the project. The GRC has made available its expertise and technical facilities during the implementation of this project