Capacity building

Capacity building is crucial in the global monitoring plan (GMP) for POPs because it empowers countries and stakeholders to effectively participate in the monitoring and management of POPs, which are harmful to human health and the environment. Building the capacity of countries and organizations ensures that they have the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to collect accurate data, analyze it, and make informed decisions to mitigate the impact of POPs. This not only enhances the global understanding of POPs but also strengthens the ability of countries to develop and implement strategies to control and reduce these hazardous substances, ultimately contributing to a safer and more sustainable world.

Projects supported by the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and UNEP

Regional Global Environment Fund (GEF) projects, aimed at assisting countries in implementing the GMP, have been coordinated by UNEP through the Chemicals and Health Branch within the Industry and Economy Division. An overview of the UNEP projects on POPs monitoring is available here.

A pilot project was undertaken from 2005 to 2007 to assess the existing capacity and capacity-building needs for analyzing POPs. This was followed by the GEF-funded 1st Phase UNEP/GEF POPs GMP projects, which were implemented in 31 countries across Africa, Pacific Islands and the Latin America and the Caribbean from 2009 to 2012. Following the addition of nine new POPs under the Stockholm Convention in 2009, the Chemicals and Health Branch executed the GEF-funded project titled 'Establishing the tools and methods to include the nine new POPs into the Global Monitoring Plan' from 2012 to 2015. The 2nd Phase UNEP/GEF POPs GMP projects have been implemented through four regional projects in 42 countries across Africa, Asia, Pacific Islands and the Latin America and the Caribbean from 2016 to 2023. 

Main activities include:

  • Sampling and analysis of POPs in air, water, human milk, and other abiotic and biotic matrices of national interests in AfricaAsiaGRULAC and Pacific Islands;
  • National capacity building for the sampling and analysis of POPs, ensuring secure conditions for POPs sustainable monitoring. This includes the development and updating of Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) and guidelines for POPs sampling and analysis, training in national laboratories, workshops, and expert consultation meetings to plan for future POPs monitoring;
  • Establishment and updating of the UNEP Databank of Laboratories analyzing POPs and Mercury, which identifies operational laboratories worldwide and provides information on their capabilities for analyzing various classes of POPs in different matrices;
  • POPs Interlaboratory Assessments, serving as a tool for quality control/quality assurance (QA/QC), have been conducted regularly. Since 2009, four rounds of these interlaboratory assessments have been organized;
  • Outreaching and awareness raising.

Summer School of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology

The Secretariat, in collaboration with the Regional Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX) and other relevant institutions, has organized annual summer schools on environmental chemistry and ecotoxicology. The program for Group B (Sampling, Analysis, and Monitoring of POPs) is designed to enhance capacity-building support for the implementation of the GMP on POPs as outlined in Article 16 of the Stockholm Convention.