Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 16, 2017 (SKNIS): Regional stakeholders from their respective National Bureaus of Standard are currently in St. Kitts and Nevis participating in the Regional Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Inventories Validation Workshop, which runs from November 16 – 17 at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
The workshop is organized by the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean Region (BCRC-Caribbean), in collaboration with the St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards (SKNBS) within the Ministry of International Trade. The workshopsupports the Update of National Implementation Plans (NIPs), Component 1 of the broader project, ‘GEF 5558 – Development and Implementation of a Sustainable Management Mechanism for POPs in eight (8) Caribbean countries.’
Dr. Ahmad Khan, Director of BCRC, said that the two-day workshop is aimed at discussing results for the above mentioned project in eight Caribbean countries, namely, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname.
He noted that the project “is targeted towards allowing the eight countries to build both the institutional capacity and physical infrastructure to better manage Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in our respective environments.”
A number of other important topics in terms of the project will also be discussed. Dr. Khan encouraged the participants to have “open, fair and frank discussions on everything” that will be presented to them over the next two days, as this would be the opportunity “for us to discuss as a regional team – the results of the inventories…” and the way forward as a region and individually.
Hiram Williams, Acting Director of SKNBS, echoed the importance of St. Kitts and Nevis’ participation in such a project and noted that it will prove beneficial. He said that it has always been “a challenge for countries in the Caribbean… to deal with and manage the production and use of chemicals that are severe and harmful to the environment and humans” and therefore it is important to have proper mechanisms in place to deal with these chemicals…“to prevent negative impacts, particularly from discharge and emissions.”
“This project will provide us with approaches that are crucial for finding and implementing solutions to facilitate the use of chemicals in a way that the negative impacts are minimized and as such, helps us to fulfill our obligations on the Convention,” the SKNBS Director stated, adding that over 500 million tons of chemicals are produced, processed and used worldwide. “These chemicals continue to pose a real threat to human health and the environs. So as a region, we need to develop and continue to update our national implementation plans under the Stockholm Convention.”
Dr. Khan wished the participants a successful two-day workshop and said that it is his hope that it bears tremendous fruits and that an opportunity will be created to have meaningful interactions among all.
The Stockholm Convention on POPs is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have harmful impacts on human health or on the environment.