Press-release: Seminar on POPs on December 19-20, 2009 in Dushanbe

Posted on December 15, 2009 in Obsolete Pesticides.

ON PROBLEMS OF PERCISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS (POPs) IN REPUBLIC OF TAJIKISTAN AND THE METHODS OF THEIR SOLUTIONS

At the conference of United Nations for the environment and development (Rio-de-Janeiro) and World Summit on sustainable development (Johannesburg, August – September, 2002) special attention was given to security issues of the use of chemical substances of the increased danger. The basic directions of international collaboration and obligation of the countries in the sphere of control of the use of dangerous chemical substances, acknowledged as persistent organic pollutants (POPs), reduction of emissions and their removal are determined by the Stockholm convention on POPs, which was signed by Tajikistan on May 20, 2002 and ratified on December 6, 2006. Republic of Tajikistan became the party of this convention on May 9, 2007. In accordance with article 7 of convention the National Plan of the fulfillment of commitments of Republic Tajikistan on POPs was prepared in the county. On the 1st October 2007 it was adopted by the government of Republic Tajikistan.

In accordance with the positions of a number of international agreements, POPs are the chemical substances, which possess toxic properties, are persistent, biologically accumulate, are easily transferred through the atmosphere to the great distances and precipitate far from the place of formation, can cause significant negative consequences for the health of people and environment near and far from their sources of formation.
In the list of the chemical substances, regulated by Stockholm convention, were initially included twelve especially dangerous toxic substances, so-called “dirty dozen” – the preparations of the agricultural designation: aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, mirex, heptachlor, DDT, toxaphene, chlordane; and industrial POPs: hexachlorobenzene, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (CDDs) and dibenzofurans diphenyls, in liquidation of which the majority of the countries of world is interested. In 2009 nine new chemical substances (“dangerous nine”) are introduced into the list of POPs: insecticides γ- HCCH (Lindane) and chlordecone, and also the industrial substances: Pentabromodiphenyl and Octabromodiphenyl ethers, Alpha hexachlorocyclohexane, Beta hexachlorocyclohexane, hexabromobiphenyl, Pentachlorobenzene and to Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).
Under the conditions of Tajikistan one of the main sources of environmental pollution by POPs are the obsolete and forbidden to use pesticides. The rash use of pesticides in 1960-1990 led to the pollution of soils, available water resources, agriculture industry, which cause the damage of human health and environment. The difference between the volumes of the pesticides, imported into the country and the volumes of those used in the agriculture, contributed to accumulation in the economies of a significant quantity of obsolete and forbidden pesticides.
At present in the agricultural sector of Tajikistan faces the problem of the liquidation of these pesticides. The state of the substantial part of the inspected storages for storing the pesticides does not satisfy the health and hygiene requirements of storage of toxic chemicals – leaking roofs, the absence of window frames and doors, soil around the storages is considerably contaminated. A similar state of storages presents threat to the health of the nearby living people and it leads to the pollution of the components of environment.
The state of two burial sites for burying the toxic chemicals – Vakhshskiy (Khatlon region) and Kanibadamskiy (Sogdiysk region), does not satisfy the requirements, presented to the objects of a similar designation – there is no fence and security of these objects, which allows the unsanctioned penetration of inhabitants, with the purpose of extraction, the previously buried toxic chemicals and their selling on the markets under the different names. On the burial sites in the period from 1973 to the beginning of 2000 about 11 thousand tons of toxic chemicals were buried, including about 4 thousand tons of preparations, which possess properties POPs (DDT, γ- HCCH (Lindane) and other).
At present, there is an acute problem on repacking of the remainders of the forbidden and obsolete toxic chemicals, including those possessing properties of POPs, and on their further destruction. For the realization these of measures it is necessary to conduct the detailed inventory of the storages and burial sites.
Within the framework of the realization of the Stockholm convention on POPs, the inventory of a number of storages, which are located in the Khatlon region was carried out in 2009 with the support of the World Bank. The Khatlon region, situated in the Vakhshsk valley, is selected as the priority object of study, because it is the region of intensive land use with the high potential of the use of toxic chemicals. For this purpose during April-November 2009 the experts from the international organization: Milieukontakt International, Tauw, Witteveen+Bos in collaboration the Committee of the Protection of Environment of the government of Republic Tajikistan, Center for the implementation of Stockholm Convention and public organization “Hamkori Bakhri Tarakiyot” have conducted the inspection of pesticides 15 storages and Vakhshsk burial site of toxic chemicals. On the Vakhshsk burial site soil and water samples for conducting of the analyses to determine concentration of POPs pesticides were taken.
To increase qualification of 12 specialists, conducting the inventory of obsolete and forbidden pesticides seminar-training on inventory of pesticides and risk analyze using PSMS that were developed by UN FAO programme – determination of the risk factors for the each storage, pesticides risk factor (Fp) and environmental risk factor (Fe) – was conducted by TAUW expert from 5th to 23rd of October 2009. Obtained results were made public via the web site: http://psms.fao.org/psms/ .
Based on the results of the executed works the final seminar in the presence of the international organizations and stakeholders from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan will be held on 19-20th December 2009 in Dushanbe (Tajikistan).

Press is the center of the seminar.

Press-release workshop TJ December 2009 in Russian

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