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01 Jul 2013
A new project aiming to eliminate current legacies of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which are highly toxic chemicals, causing an array of adverse effects among humans, animals and environment launched at a kick-off meeting in Ankara at the beginning of June.
New Horizons - The project which is named “POPs Legacy Elimination and POPs Release Reduction” project will be implemented by the United National Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) under the coordination of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization with Global Environment Facility (GEF) funds.
The preparation phase of the project was launched at the kick-off meeting.
The project aims not only to eliminate current legacies of POPs, but also to ensure longer-term national capacity to manage POPs in line with international practices and standards and integrate POPs activities into national sound chemicals management initiatives.
“POPs cross border easily and persist in the nature for a long time”
The kick-off meeting was attended by approximately hundred people from various institutions including ministries, private sector companies, universities, research centres, representatives of organized industrial zones, associations and the Deputy Minister for Environment and Urbanization Muhammet Balta.
In his opening speech, UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States’ (RBEC) Practice Leader for Environment and Energy Mr. Martin Krause underlined the importance of eliminating POPS legacies.
He said that “POPs adversely affect human health and the environment and can be easily carried via water and air. POPs cross border easily and persist for a long time passing from species to species.”
He emphasized that “We cannot sustain our lives without properly taking care of our wastes”.
Martin Krause stressed the importance of mobilizing all relevant actors in this process and pointed to Turkey’s already existing advantage for the baseline of this process as Turkey is a party to important relevant international conventions.
Deputy Minister of Environment and Urbanization Muhammet Balta emphasized the importance of the outcomes of this project and stated that no matter how high a country’s gross national product is, its citizens cannot live in peace without a clean and safe environment.
Activity plan of the project was shared during the meeting
During the kick-off meeting, historical background information on POPs was provided, the proposed components and activity plan of the project were shared and recommendations were received.
In the following year, preparations of the project will be completed and will be re-submitted to GEF for approval and its implementation.