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Tackling Persistent Organic Pollutants must to safeguard human health, environment: Arif Ahmed Khan

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Islamabad, September 29, 2015 (PPI-OT): Secretary the Ministry of Climate Change, Mr. Arif Ahmed Khan, said on Tuesday, while addressing the first Project Steering Committee that addresses issues related to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the country is vital to reducing human health and environmental risks by enhancing management capacities and disposal of the existing POPs present in Pakistan.

“However, development and implementation of a viable regulatory, policy and enforcement system is key to effective elimination of the POPs,” the secretary emphasized while chairing a project steering committee meeting of the five-year ‘Comprehensive Reduction and Elimination of POPs in Pakistan’ project here at the Ministry.

The project has been launched at a cost of US$ 39.38 million for which the government will contribute 11.57 in kind, followed by UN Development US$ 300,000, Programme Global Environment Facility (GEF) US$ 5.15 million and private sector US$ 22.36 million.

Mr. Arif Ahmed Khan directed the National Project Manager, Rahman Hamid and his project team to strive hard to achieve the project goals in the wider public interest and country’s overall environmental development for the implementation of the Stockholm Convention in Pakistan.

During the presentation, the National Project Director and Director-General (Environment and Climate Change), Mr. Irfan Tariq informed the committee about various sources of POPs, their effects on human health and environment and measures to be taken under the project to address the POPs risks.

He told the meeting that the key goal of the initiative is to significantly reduce vulnerability of population to the POPs through improved sustainable environmental management practices including climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Giving briefing about the annual work plan as a part of the project implementation, the project director told the meeting that efforts are being take to strengthen POPs regulatory and policy instruments adopted and POPs management systems for controlling and reducing releases of POPs, capacity building of local communities and public and private sector stakeholders to reduce exposure to and releases of POPs, proper and environmentally-safe collection, transport and disposal of OPS pesticides.

POPs are chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate through the food web and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment. The Pollutants are resistant to environmental degradation through chemical, biological, and photolytic processes.

The meeting was attended, amongst others, by representatives of UNDP, GEF, National Food Security and Research Ministry, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and private sector, who also suggested various measures for eliminating POPs relevant to their areas.

For more information, contact:
Muhammad Saleem
Deputy Director
Media and Communication
Ministry of Climate Change
Government of Pakistan
LG and RD Complex, G-5/2, ISLAMABAD
Ph: 051-9245565
E-mail: moccpakistan@hotmail.com
Web: http://www.mocc.gov.pk/

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