The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: A Global Agreement for Environmental Protection

3/4/20242 min read

a body of water with buildings in the background
a body of water with buildings in the background

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is a significant global agreement aimed at protecting the environment and human health from the harmful effects of certain substances. This convention was prepared by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and has been in force since May 17, 2004. With a total of 179 countries as parties, the Stockholm Convention is a testament to the international community's commitment to addressing the issue of persistent organic pollutants. Turkey, one of the signatories, joined the convention on January 12, 2010, after signing it on May 23, 2001. This demonstrates Turkey's dedication to environmental protection and its recognition of the importance of global cooperation in addressing this issue. The regulation on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which serves as the foundation for this international agreement, was implemented in Turkey after being published in the Official Gazette on November 14, 2018. This regulation aligns with the objectives of the Stockholm Convention and aims to restrict and regulate the use of substances that have permanent properties and pose a threat to the environment and human health. Persistent Organic Pollutants are a group of chemical substances that are highly resistant to degradation and can persist in the environment for long periods. These substances can bioaccumulate in living organisms, including humans, and have been linked to various adverse health effects, such as cancer, reproductive disorders, and immune system dysfunction. By limiting and banning the use of these substances, the Stockholm Convention seeks to minimize their release into the environment and reduce the risks they pose to both wildlife and human populations. The Stockholm Convention addresses a wide range of persistent organic pollutants, including pesticides, industrial chemicals, and unintentional by-products of industrial processes. It establishes specific control measures for each of these categories, taking into account their characteristics and potential risks. These measures include restrictions on production, use, import, and export of the listed substances, as well as the development of alternative technologies and practices to minimize their release. Furthermore, the Stockholm Convention promotes the environmentally sound management of stockpiles and waste containing persistent organic pollutants. It encourages countries to take measures to identify and eliminate these stockpiles and develop strategies for the safe disposal or destruction of POPs-contaminated waste. In conclusion, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is an essential global agreement that addresses the issue of harmful substances with permanent properties. By limiting and regulating the use of these substances, the convention aims to protect the environment and human health from the adverse effects of persistent organic pollutants. Turkey's participation in this convention demonstrates its commitment to environmental protection and its recognition of the need for international cooperation in tackling this global issue.