Last changed: 28/10/2009
The Fifth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention will be held from 25 to 29 April 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland.
An important decision is expected - a new POP should be added: Endosulfan. That substance is used as insecticide and is phase out for that use in EU totally.
More informations in website “Recommendation of the POPRC on Endosulfan”.
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) denote organic chemicals that demonstrate the following environmental characteristics:
In general there is a distinction made between synthetic POPs manufactured for commercial purposes and POPs which are formed as a result of various thermic processes (also called uPOPs for ‘unintentionally produced’).
On account of their properties POPs pose a global problem that can only be solved internationally. In order to counteract the hazards for mankind and the environment resulting from POPs, a number of international environmental agreements have been reached in the past.
The negotiations of the POP Protocol of the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) concluded on 24 June 1998. It entered into force after being signed by the required number of ratification instruments on 23 October 2003. In the meantime, 20 of the 36 signatory states have ratified the protocol. More information can be found on UNECE Secretariat of the CLRTAP web site. Germany’s implementation status is documented in a federal government report.
The Stockholm Convention on POPs was signed in May, 2001, and entered into force on 17 May 2004. Unlike the regional UNECE POPs Protocol, it is a global agreement to end or limit the production, application, and release of POPs.
The Federal Republic of Germany was one of the first signatory states to ratify both of the treaties back in April 2002. Germany implemented its contents in a separate national statute (Act on the Stockholm Convention of 23 May 2001 on persistent organic pollutants (POPs Convention) and the Protocol of 24 June 1998 on the 1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution pertaining to persistent organic pollutants (POPs Protocol) of 9 April 2002), see Federal Law Gazette II, p. 803 of 16 April 2002.
As a treaty state Germany is obliged to comply with the contents and objectives of both agreements.
In the first half of 2004 the European Union harmonised and expanded on existent Community legislation by passing a POP Directive Regulation (EC) No 850/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on persistent organic pollutants and amending Directive 79/117/EEC (see L229/5 of 29.6.2004) PDF / KB 536 KB, which created the legal framework for ratification of both agreements. In some regards, the regulation goes a step beyond prior commitments, e.g. in the area of disposal of wastes containing POPs, and also by waiving all exemptions applicable to small-scale applications. The articles and guidelines of this regulation are legally binding in all member states.
Since the production and use of the POPs listed in the POPs Protocol and the POP Convention have already been banned in Germany, national focus in future will be on identifying new POPs and how to integrate them into the two treaties. In addition, the overall national plans to implement the Stockholm Convention include national obligations to report on emissions of uPOPs and the creation and implementation of a national action program to further minimize these substances.
The Parties are required to identify POP emission sources and quantify annual releases in an emission inventory. They are to use this to evaluate whether the requirements and measures are effective and will lead to a reduction of pollution levels in the medium or long term.
The Federal Republic of Germany has compiled extensive data for a national emission inventory for unintentionally released POPs and on the state of the environment in respect of PCDD/Fs and PCBs.
As part of these activities, the following documents are available:
From 4 to 8 May 2009, representatives of the over 160 Parties to the Stockholm Convention met in Geneva for the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 4).
COP4 decided on the inclusion of nine new POPs: