EPASL CONDUCTED TWO DAYS NATIONAL VALIDATION WORKSHOP ON THE REVIEWED AND UPDATED NAP PLAN OF THE STOCKHOLM CONVENTION

The Environment Protection Agency Sierra Leone (EPA-SL) with support from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) has recently concluded a two-day national validation consultative forum  with partners on the “Review and Updated National Implementation plan (NIP) to popularize the Stockholm convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants” (POPs) in Sierra Leone. The focus of the engagement was to validate and popularize the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) through the National Implementation Plan in order to protect human health from the impact associated with the unprecedented and unintentional use of hazardous chemicals like POPs on the environment.  Delivering a keynote address, the Executive Chairman of the Environment Protection Agency Sierra Leone (EPA-SL) Professor Foday Moriba Jaward recalled that the Stockholm Convention on POPs in 2016 added eleven (11) more chemicals to the already existing twelve (12) on which the 2008 National Implementation Plan was developed, amounting to twenty (23) POPs.  He said Sierra Leone as a member country to the convention must endeavor to reduce hazardous wastes in order to protect human health and environment. He disclosed the Agency together with its international partners was developing the national plans to implement the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Rotterdam and the Basel Conventions. He further added that, it was not a secret that, POPs were associated with human health, causing cancer and lung disease. Laboratory studies have shown that low dose of certain POPs in humans could adversely affect the human system. The future success of chemical management and the ability to eliminate toxic chemicals in cities, industries and in the food system depend on the effective implementation of the Stockholm Convention on POPs and other Conventions and Protocols on chemicals. Professor Jaward mentioned that, Sierra Leone as a member country within the United Nations must be committed to its obligations to join the global efforts to phase out hazardous chemicals in Sierra Leone.   Furthermore, Professor Andrew Boma in his opening statement mentioned that, there has been a drastic growth in hazardous chemicals and pesticides production in trade during the past three decades and this he said has raised public concern about their harmful impacts on human health and the environment. Since chemical contamination shows no respect for territorial borders, it is important for Sierra Leone to join other countries and organizations to take collective action against hazardous chemicals and pesticides. Adding that, the good work of the Executive Chairman of the EPA-SL has created positive impact to ensure a sustainable environment.   Professor Boma, advised participants to embrace the draft validation document on controlling Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) for the protection of humans and the environment. The draft document was to create a sound environmental management in Sierra Leone as developing nations are considering alternatives to phase out hazardous chemicals like POPs on the environment.

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