Indian Government

India takes steps to reduce persistent organic pollutants

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Source: Indian Government

India being a signatory to the Stockholm Convention would require to develop a National Implementation Plan to demonstrate how the obligations of the convention will be implemented. Inaugurating the Inception Workshop for the Development of National Implementation Plan in India as First Step to Implement the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Ms Meena Gupta, Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Forests said while implementing the convention, it would be necessary to take all measures to eliminate or reduce the release of POPs into the environment. Ms Gupta informed that India has already done a preliminary assessment to identify this requirements in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Based on the project brief prepared during the first phase, the main phase of the programme has been launched today.

Explaining various aspects of POPs, Ms. Gupta added that the POPs are known to be environmentally persistent and resist breakdown by natural processes and in some cases remain in the environment for long periods. Although the POPs resists breakdown in the water, these are soluble in fatty tissues, thereby bio-available to the animals. Through the process of bio-concentration, the animals can accumulate concentrations of POPs at levels many times higher than those found in the environment. The POPs are semi-volatile and through cycles of evaporation and atmospheric cycling are capable of traveling thousands of kilometers.

Four premier Institutions have joined in this endeavour. The Hindustan Insecticides Ltd., New Delhi, would undertake project activities related to Pesticides including DDT; the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI), Bangalore would cover the PCBs; the National Environment Engineering Research Institute(NEERI), Nagpur of the CSIR would cover POPs Stockpiles and Wastes; the unintentionally produced POPs, Dioxins and Furans would be jointly undertaken National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science & Technology(NIST), Trivandrum , the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), New Delhi and the NEERI, Nagpur .

Earlier Dr. S.P. Dua, UNIDO gave introduction. Mr. Philippe R. Scholtes, Deputy Country Director, UNIDO in his address said to entrust all inventory work to one institute would not have been appropriate. Five premier institute are involved in this work is really a source of inspiration. He said they are thankful to various institute to except individual jobs. He said this is end of a long journey to negotiate to design implementation plan, at the same time this is beginning of positive activities.

Mr. Pieter Bult, Deputy Country Director, UNDP shared few pints regarding POPs as industrial by product effecting human life, wildlife, environment and sources near and far away places. Mr. Pieter added many POPs have been banned in India but few are still left. Mr. Pieter added that initiatives have to be take to sensitized people.

This Inception workshop has been organized to formally launch the programme with the main aim to sensitize the different stakeholders about the obligations of India, as a party, to the Stockholm Convention on POPs to develop the NIP for India. To stand by this commitment, the Government of India through the four premier institutions will establish inventories on the production, use, trade, stockpiles and wastes, and sites contaminated; and would develop strategies and action plans for the reduction and elimination of the targeted chemicals listed in Annexes of the Convention. This workshop was organized by Ministry of Environment & Forests in co-operation with United Nations Industrial Development Organisations.

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