GEF focal area: persistent organic pollutants.Between July 1,2005, and June 30, 2007, the GEF GEF Global Environment Facility
GEF Guanine-Nucleotide Exchange Factor (biology, biochemistry)
GEF Global Environment Fund
GEF Generic Extensibility Framework
GEF Graduate Education Foundation
GEF Global Ejection Fraction approved 25 new efforts in the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) focal area. The total GEF allocation in the focal area during the reporting period was approximately $68 million, significantly supplemented by an additional $100 million generated in cofinancing from partners including the GEF agencies, bilateral agencies, recipient countries, and the private sector.
Program Shifts Focus from Planning to Action
The persistent organic pollutants area began its efforts primarily funding the development of national implementation plans as mandated by the Stockholm Convention Stockholm Convention is an international legally binding agreement on persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
In 1995, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called for global action to be taken on POPs, which it defined as “chemical , helping more than 130 countries assess their unique POP situations, and drafting a path forward. Near the end of the current period, it was determined that the majority of the countries had completed these plans or were about to, leading to an anticipated strategic shift in focal area funding, with projects focusing on implementation, rather than preparation efforts, gaining support.
Cleaning Up PCBs, One of the Most Widespread Environmental Toxins
Now known to be carcinogenic carcinogenic
having a capacity for carcinogenesis. and toxic to humans, fish, and wildlife, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a class of synthetic organic chemicals, were used extensively in electrical equipment and other applications for more than 60 years. Today, PCB production is banned under the Stockholm Convention, yet in developing countries a wide array of PCB-containing equipment is still in service, and a significantly higher volume of discarded equipment is being housed in mass storage sites, where the potential for leakage into the environment is high. The GEF has been working to help countries locate and safely destroy PCBs. Some early projects were continuing to demonstrate success in the period. For example, many former Soviet republics have the responsibility of disposing of large volumes of abandoned electrical equipment. In Moldova, the GEF has helped export 900 tons of such equipment for final disposal. In Latvia, the GEF has been highly successful in mobilizing the private sector and forging public-private partnerships to raise awareness of the issue and identify PCB-carrying equipment. As a result, the project is well on its way toward its original goal of disposing of 280 tons of equipment, and has even raised that goal to 420 tons.
Finding Alternatives to DDT DDT or 2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1,-trichloroethane, chlorinated hydrocarbon compound used as an insecticide. First introduced during the 1940s, it killed insects that spread disease and feed on crops. in Fighting Malaria-Carrying Insects
DDT is a pesticide that was widely used in many agricultural applications since the 1940s. By the 1970s, it was found to have accumulated to toxic levels in the food chain, and was implicated in the near extinction of several species, including the American Bald Eagle bald eagle
Species of sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) that occurs inland along rivers and large lakes. Strikingly handsome, it is the only eagle native solely to North America, and it has been the U.S. national bird since 1782. The adult, about 40 in. . As a result, it has been banned in all applications except control of insects in malaria-prone areas, due to the lack of readily available alternatives to fighting this deadly disease. The GEF's highly successful first effort to identify sustainable alternatives to DDT in Mexico and several countries in Central America was completed in the period. The project demonstrated significant progress in reducing the incidence of malaria without the use of DDT, with an average of between 26 percent and 80 percent reduction in each country, and about 30 percent reduction for the whole subregion sub·re·gion
A subdivision of a region, especially an ecological region.
subre . This success is forming the framework for new DDT reduction projects under way in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere in the world.
Developing Safer Approaches to Termite termite or white ant, common name for a soft-bodied social insect of the order Isoptera. Termites are easily distinguished from ants by comparison of the base of the abdomen, which is broadly joined to the thorax in termites; in ants, there is Control
No fewer than six of the deadliest POPs were traditionally used in termite control. The Stockholm Convention allows the limited use of three of them until sustainable alternatives can be found. The GEF is working to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of all POPs for termite control by addressing the constraints that limit the adoption of alternative methods. During the period, the GEF also helped China reduce its output of these POPs by working to permanently close the country's largest chlordane chlordane (klōr`dān): see insecticide. and mirex mirex
an effective organic pesticide used in ant control and as a fire retardant; it is, however, very persistent in tissue and now banned because of residue problems. plant, which had a production capacity of 500 metric tons of chlordane and 250 metric tons of mirex.
In Africa, Removing Barrels of Leaching Pesticides
Throughout Africa, more than 50,000 tons of obsolete pesticides have accumulated, often stored in leaky drums leaching contamination into the soil, water, air, and food, and poisoning people and wildlife. Passing militias have even been known to use found drums for target practice. Through the Africa Stockpiles Program, the GEF and a wide variety of private and public sector partners are working to inventory and safely dispose of these dangerous stores. During the period, assessments were completed or ongoing in seven countries, including Ethiopia, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Tunisia. An extensive safe disposal effort will begin shortly, with some 1,171 tons in Tunisia and 800 tons in Mali first in line for removal.
Background on Persistent Organic Pollutants
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are a group of manufactured chemicals that have been used for decades but have more recently been found to share a number of disturbing characteristics, including the ability to cause damage to the endocrine and nervous systems of humans and animals, to resist degradation and endure in the environment for decades, and to drift extensively, often contaminating areas thousands of miles away from any known source. An initial "Dirty Dozen" of these dangerous chemicals have been identified, including organochlorine or·gan·o·chlo·rine
Any of various hydrocarbon pesticides, such as DDT, that contain chlorine. pesticides such as DDT, mirex, and chlordane; industrial chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); and unwanted chemical by-products such as dioxins and furans.
Recognizing the dangers of POPs, many countries began limiting or banning their production, use, and release, with these efforts culminating in the Stockholm Convention of 2001, which was signed by 150 countries. The GEF is the lead institution helping developing countries and countries in transition to implement the tenets of the Stockholm Convention. The GEF is helping countries create national inventories of POPs and reduce or eliminate their use and release into the environment, as well as assisting with safe disposal and the development of environmentally sound alternative products, practices, and techniques. Since its inception in 2002, the GEF POPs focal area has generated more than $420 million in assistance, consisting of $215 million in GEF investment and $208 million in cofinancing from GEF partners worldwide.