Media Release

CELA awaits Canada’s plan to meet international commitment on toxic chemicals

May 17 2006

Toronto – May 17th, 2006 marks an important date for Canada as it fulfills its commitment under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). On this date, Canada and other Parties to the Convention are expected to submit their National Implementation Plans (NIP) to the UN Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. The NIPs outline how Parties expect to meet their obligations under the Stockholm Convention on POPs, including efforts to eliminate and reduce 12 POPs: PCBs, dioxins and furans, hexachlorobenzene, aldrin, DDT, mirex, chlordane , dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor and toxaphene. The 12 POPs are used as pesticides, in industrial processes or are by-products of industrial processes. POPs have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer, and reproductive and immune system damage.Canada has played a key role in the negotiation phase and early implementation of the Convention. Canada provided important data demonstrating the elevated levels of POPs in the Canadian Arctic, wildlife and human populations. Canada also made a commitment of $20 million to the Canada POPs Fund to assist developing countries and countries in economic transition with implementation of the Convention. The signing of the Stockholm Convention on POPs in 2001 by over 120 countries was a historical occasion as the global community committed to the elimination of POPs. The Stockholm Convention on POPs entered into force on May 17, 2004. Canada was the first country to sign and ratify the Convention in 2001. “The submission of the NIP is an important first step for Parties affirming their commitment to the goals of the Stockholm Convention.” stated Fe de Leon, researcher at the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA). CELA is eager to view the details of Canada’s plan and is looking for:

  • Canada’s mechanism for nominating POPs to the Convention;
  • Canada's commitment to promoting alternatives and technologies that do not use or produce POPs;
  • The resources needed to meet Canada's obligation under the Stockholm Convention; and
  • Canada's plans to report on its progress to eliminate POPs domestically.

CELA and other non-governmental organizations have provided substantive comments to Environment Canada on elements that should be considered in a National Implementation Plan. See: Responding to Canada's National Implementation Plan under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the POPs collection linked below.- 30 -For more information: Fe de Leon, Researcher, 416-960-2284 ext. 223