The GEF Small Grant Programme

POPs Awareness Training Module

Read, learn and test your POPs knowledge

Chapter V: Harnessing the Power of NGOs and Communities

Many local communities are impacted by POPs. Some are in farming and malaria-prone areas where POPs pesticides have been used in the past, or possibly where they continue to be used. Some live in the vicinity of incinerators or other industrial facilities that release POPs into the air and that produce POPs-contaminated solid and liquid wastes. Some live or work in areas where obsolete POPs pesticides or POPs industrial chemical wastes have been dumped or stored. Some live in areas where wastes are openly burned or where waste dumps and landfill sites catch fire. These communities often serve as eyes and ears; as information gatherers; and provide observations about POPs that are valuable to their countries and to the global community.

Many communities far distant from POPs sources are also highly impacted by POPs. This is especially true for many indigenous communities and others that depend on fishing and hunting for their subsistence, but it can also include those who purchase and eat fish, meat and dairy products.

A. Supporting the Stockholm Convention

Community-based organizations and NGOs have initiated POPs projects that can directly and tangibly contribute to the implementation of the Stockholm Convention and to the goals of the GEF POPs focal area. Examples of possible categories of NGO and/or community-based POPs projects are outlined below, with reference to the Stockholm Convention articles which they help implement:

Article 3: measures to reduce or eliminate releases from intentional production & use of POPs including POPs pesticides and industrial chemicals

  • In Party counties that have registered exemptions or are considering registering exemptions to permit the use of DDT to control mosquitoes and to prevent malaria:1
    • Projects that develop, test and/or demonstrate locally safe, effective and affordable alternatives;2
    • Projects that investigate whether approved DDT use is done in accordance with WHO guidelines and/or that investigate and document possible diversions of DDT for non-approved uses.3
  • In Party countries that have registered other exemptions for POPs pesticides,4 mainly exemptions for controlling termites or ants, projects that demonstrate locally effective alternatives, including non-chemical alternatives.5
  • Projects that investigate possible illegal imports and/or use of listed POPs (for which a Party country has not registered a use exemption). Methods may include purchasing and testing pesticides available in local markets and determining how they are used.
  • Projects that identify and possibly label transformers or other equipment that contains PCBs and that promote their removal from use, safe storage and environmentally sound disposal. Special attention may go to equipment in areas associated with the production and processing of food or feed; and to equipment in schools or hospitals.6
  • Projects that sample and test for the presence of POPs pesticides or industrial chemicals in humans, biota or other media.

In general, projects that promote organic agriculture or agriculture with low chemical inputs can make valuable contributions to biodiversity preservation, and may contribute to reducing land degradation and the pollution of international waters. However, if an organic agriculture project is proposed for funding support from the POPs focal area, the proposal should include evidence that farmers in the area have recently used POPs pesticides, and that the demonstrated new practices will therefore reduce and eliminate POPs releases to the environment.

Article 5: measures to reduce or eliminate POPs releases from unintentional sources: dioxins, furans, PCBs and HCB (including measures described in Annex C)

  • Projects that identify, characterize and document sources of unintentionally produced POPs.7
  • Projects that identify and promote alternative materials, products and processes to prevent formation and release of unintentionally produced POPs.8
  • Projects that promote the use of best available techniques and best environmental practices for new and current sources of unintentionally produced POPs.9
  • Projects that demonstrate improvements in waste management with the aim of the stopping open burning and other uncontrolled burning of wastes,10 and/or as an alternative to the construction of a new waste disposal facility (e.g. incinerator) that forms and releases unintentional POPs.11
  • Projects that promote alternatives to the construction of new waste disposal facilities and minimization of municipal and medical waste generation; including resource recovery, reuse, recycling, waste separation and promoting products that generate less waste.12
  • Projects that monitor for unintentionally produced POPs in humans, biota or other media.

Article 6: measures to reduce and eliminate releases of POPs from stockpiles and wastes

  • Projects that identify existing stockpiles of pesticides that include POPs pesticides; characterize these stocks; and provide information to decision-makers and stakeholders with the aim of achieving environmentally sound containment and disposal.13
  • Projects that identify products, articles and wastes that contain POPs and that contribute to national inventories of POPs contaminated wastes and hotspots.14
  • Projects that promote environmentally sound handling, collection, transport and storage of POPs-containing wastes.
  • Projects that promote the appropriate disposal of POPs-containing wastes.15

Article 8: Listing of Chemicals

  • Projects that support collection and preparation of information about candidate POPs to enable NGOs observers to the POP Review Committee to prepare comments on topics relevant to Convention Annex E (Information Requirements for the Risk Profile).16

Article 9: information exchange about POPs

  • Projects that develop and exchange information on the elimination of production and release of POPs and on alternatives to POPs; and that provide information to the Stockholm Convention Secretariat in its role as clearing-house mechanism for information on POPs.

Article 10: public information, awareness and education about POPs

  • Projects that provide information on POPs to the public, including public awareness programs on POPs and their health and environmental effects, especially programs that target women, children and the least educated.17
  • Projects that encourage and support public participation and that help provide input to Stockholm Convention National Implementation Plans.18
  • Projects that help train workers, scientists, educators and technical and managerial personnel about POPs.19
  • Projects that develop public awareness materials about POPs for national and international use and in local languages.20
  • Projects that develop and implement POPs education and training programs at local, national or international levels.21

Article 11: research, development and monitoring of POPs

  • Projects that contribute to a better local, national and/or international understanding of: sources and releases of POPs to the environment; presence and levels of POPs in humans and the environment; environmental transport, fate and transformation of POPs; effect of POPs on human heath and the environment; socio-economic and cultural impacts of POPs; POPs release reduction and/or elimination; or methods for making POPs source inventories or techniques for measuring POPs releases.22

B. Measuring Project Success and Outcomes

Communities and NGOs have developed and implemented POPs projects of the kinds outlined above, and have achieved successful outcomes. Project success may be measured both by how activities contribute to implementation of the Stockholm Convention and also by how they achieve designated expected outcomes, such as the list of expected outcomes of GEF's pops strategy for GEF-4.
Each project should clearly identify its intended outcomes and should be evaluated against the job it does in achieving these outcomes. Since SGP projects are small, in many cases, the successes they achieve will also be small relative to the overall task of national Stockholm Convention implementation and relative to the national efforts that will be needed to reduce and eliminate POPs releases to the environment. Still, many SGP projects will produce results that can be replicated and some may produce results that can lead to the development of follow-up GEF Medium Size Project proposals.

In evaluating NGO or CBO POPs projects, one can use the indicators as outlined in the GEF POPs focal area strategy to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of the projects (See table 1 of Chapter 4), including:

  1. Strengthening regulatory and enforcement capacity.
  2. Quantity of obsolete POPs pesticides disposed of, reduced or avoided; or quantity of industrial POPs phased out and disposed of; quantity of unintentional release of POPs reduced or avoided
  3. Reduced risk of exposure to POPs of project-affected people
  4. Knowledge management packages developed;
  5. The viability and cost-effectiveness of alternatives to POPs, in particular DDT, are demonstrated in a number of setting

One can also ask does the project support Convention measures such as:

  1. Contribute to the reduction and elimination of POPs releases from intentional production and use.23
  2. Contribute to the reduction and elimination of POPs releases from unintentional production.24
  3. Contribute to reduction and elimination of POPs releases from stockpiles and wastes.25
  4. Provide information useful in evaluating the risk profile of candidate POPs.26
  5. Contribute to information exchange about POPs.27
  6. Lead to increased public information, awareness, and education about POPs.28
  7. Contribute to POPs research or POPs monitoring29

One might additionally ask, does the project:

  1. Have the potential for local, national and international replication
  2. Involve women, children, the least educated and other marginal groups.
  3. Have synergies with other GEF focal areas.
  4. Use other creative strategies which local communities, NGOS and CBOs can employ to reduce and eliminate POPs and to contribute to effective Stockholm Convention implementation.
  5. Meet other objectives of the SGP.

1; See Annex B, Part II, paragraph 1. Parties can notify the Secretariat at any time of their intention to use DDT, therefore, NCs and NSCs may consider supporting projects that present alternative to DDT in countries that have not yet registered exemptions, but are considering doing so.
2See Annex B, Part II paragraph 2;
3Id; See Annex B. Part II paragraph 2;
4See register of specific exemptions at ; See Article 4; paragraph 3.
5See Annex A Part I;
6Id; See Annex A Part II
7Id; See Article 5 (a) (i)
8Id; See Article 5 (c)
9Id; See Article 5 (d) and (e)
10Id; See Annex C, Part V, Section A (f)
11Id; See Annex C, Part V, Section B (b)
12Id; See Annex C, Part V, Section A (f) and Section B (f)
13Id; See Article 6, paragraph 1 (a) (i)
14Id; See Article 6, paragraph 1 (a) (ii)
15VId; See Article 6, paragraph 1 (d) (ii)
16Id; See Article 8, paragraph 4 (a)
17Id; See Article 10, paragraph 1 (c)
18Id; See Article 10, paragraph 1 (d)
19Id; See Article 10, paragraph 1 (e)
20Id; See Article 10, paragraph 1 (f)
21Id; See Article 10, paragraph 1 (g)
22Id; See Article 11, paragraph 1, (a) to (g)
23As in Convention Article 3
24As in Convention Article 5
25As in Convention Article 6
26As in Convention Article 8
27As in Convention Article 9
28As in Convention Article 10
29As in Convention Article 11

User: Pass:
!You are currently not logged in. Logged in users will receive an official certificate after completing the module. Register here

V Review Quiz:

  1. What are potential local POP project activities that might support implementation of Article 3 of the Stockholm convention?
    1.   Projects that develop or demonstrate safe alternatives to POPs
    2.   Projects that investigate possible illegal imports and/or use of listed POPs
    3.   Projects that sample and test for the presence of POPs pesticides or industrial chemicals in humans, biota or other media.
    4.   All of the above
  2. Samples of POPs projects activities that support Article 10 of the Stockholm Convention include:
    1.   Projects that encourage public participation in National Implementation Plans
    2.   Projects that train workers, scientists, technical personnel on POPs
    3.   a and b
 Chapter 1: ‘The Dirty Dozen’ and their Characteristics
 Chapter 2: Sources and Uses of POPs
 Chapter 3: Impacts of POPs on Health and Environment
 Chapter 4: Global Institutions and Policies to Reduce and Eliminate POPs
 Chapter 5: Harnessing the Power of NGOs and Communities
 Chapter 6: Case Studies: Local Actions; Global Results
 Chapter 7: Opportunity for National Coordinators and National Steering Committees to Facilitate Results in POPs Focal Area
 Final Quiz: POPs Awareness Self-Test
Quick Reference and Additional Information