The Stockholm Convention came into force on 17 May 2004 and seeks to control chemicals that are persistent, bioaccumulate in fatty tissues and biomagnify through the food chain. These chemicals include pesticides such as DDT, and industrial chemicals such as PCBs (polychlorinated bi-phenyls) found in electrical components such as insulating oil, for example, and in transformers and capacitors used in electricity grids. There are 21 chemicals controlled by the Convention. All these chemicals have been used in Asia and the Pacific in the past while some remain in use or are in stockpiles.
Parties to the Convention are obliged to develop a National Implementation Plan (NIPs) which identifies the current state of these chemicals and their management and articulates the policy, program, priorities and activities that Parties will take to eliminate the use of these chemicals. So far, 34 countries in the region have developed and submitted their NIPS, 29 of these with assistance from the Global Environment Facility. Nine countries have begun implementing these plans through national projects. Additionally there and six ongoing regional projects:
- Capacity Building on Obsolete Pesticides in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia Countries
- Demonstration of BAT (Best Available Techniques) and BEP (Best Environmental Practices) in Fossil Fuel-fired Utility and Industrial Boilers in Response to the Stockholm Convention on POPs in East and South East Asia and Central Asia
- PAS Pacific POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) Release Reduction Through Improved Management of Solid and Hazardous Wastes
- Demonstrating and Scaling Up Sustainable Alternatives to DDT for the Control of Vector-borne Diseases in Southern Caucasus and Central Asia
- PAS Supporting the POPs Global Monitoring Plan in the Pacific Islands Region and one Global project:
- Demonstrating and Promoting Best Techniques and Practices for Reducing Health-care Waste to Avoid Environmental Releases of Dioxins and Mercury