National Implementation Plans and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) was adopted in 2001 with the following objective (Article 1):
Mindful of the precautionary approach as set forth in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the objective of this Convention is to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants.
Under Article 7 of the Convention, Parties are required to develop and endeavour to implement national implementation plans (NIPs). These NIPs are to be transmitted to the Conference of the Parties (COP) within two years of entry into force of the Convention for the transmitting Party. The Stockholm Convention is dynamic, in that Parties regularly add chemicals to the lists in Annexes A, B and/or C to the Convention. This has implications; NIPs addressing newly added chemicals are due within two years of the entry into force of the amendment which added them to the scope of the Convention. Parties are also required under Article 7 to review and update, as appropriate, their NIPs on a periodic basis.
Article 7 further calls on Parties, where appropriate, to “cooperate directly or through global, regional and subregional organizations, and consult their national stakeholders, including women’s groups and groups involved in the health of children, in order to facilitate the development, implementation and updating of their implementation plans.” Finally, Parties are to integrate their NIPs into their sustainable development strategies where appropriate.
This course provides an introduction to the process of preparing, reviewing and updating NIPs. The course aims to, among others, strengthen the capacity of Parties to implement and enforce relevant provisions and obligations under Article 7 of the Stockholm Convention with respect to:
- Preparing, reviewing and updating their NIPs and transmitting them to the COP in a timely manner;
- Undertaking POPs inventories through consultations with relevant stakeholders; and
- Integrating their NIPs into sustainable development strategies.
The course enhances knowledge and understanding of the Stockholm Convention, in particular with respect to POPs inventories, and helps learners identify and use available guidance, tools and technical assistance. With such knowledge and tools, learners are better equipped to undertake the preparation, review and updating of NIPs, thereby better protecting human health and the environment.
After completing the course, learners will be able to:
- Describe the important contribution of NIPs towards meeting obligations of the Stockholm Convention (Lesson 1)
- Explain steps required to prepare, review and update NIPs (Lesson 2)
- Identify the challenges in the process of undertaking POPs inventories (Lesson 3)
- Describe how POPs inventories are used in planning exercises (Lesson 4)
- Discuss strategies to strengthen NIPs (Lesson 5)
- Explain the importance of putting in place the means of regularly reviewing and updating NIPs (Lesson 6)
This course is self-paced and adapted to the schedule of full-time working professionals. The six lessons of the course were developed with a logic and flow in mind, and are designed to be completed in sequence. The six lessons are grouped into three modules:
- NIPs and the Stockholm Convention on POPs
(1) How do NIPs contribute to meeting Stockholm Convention obligations? (2) What are the steps required to prepare, review and update NIPs?
- Preparing NIPs: POPs inventories
(3) What are the challenges of undertaking POPs inventories for NIPs? (4) How are POPs inventories used in planning exercises?
- Reviewing and Updating NIPs
(5) What strategies are used to strengthen NIPs? (6) Why regularly review and update NIPs?
The successful completion of the course rewards the learner with a certificate of completion. To earn this certificate, the learner must pass a quiz associated with each of the three modules with a minimum grade of 70% from no more than three attempts for each quiz.
The primary target audiences of this course are:
- Official Contact Points and National Focal Points of Parties for the Stockholm Convention;
- Members of national steering committees or coordinating bodies for developing and updating NIPs (coordination units) and their different task teams; and
- Stakeholders, from government, the private sector, civil society and the general public, participating in any of the phases of NIPs preparation, review and updating.
The course is suited for learners irrespective of their level of pre-existing knowledge of the Stockholm Convention. It is focused on the NIPs process, and it not intended to provide a comprehensive overview of all the provisions of the Convention.