National Implementation Plans (NIPs) are one obligation under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants that guides the Parties to meet the objectives of the Convention. It comprises inventories of the chemicals listed under the Convention that inform on the sources, uses, production and presence of stockpiles and waste. It also includes an action plan to mitigate potential harm to health and the environment.
As additional chemicals that exhibit the 4 criteria of POPs are listed at biennial Conferences of the Parties, Parties must update their NIPs to conduct inventories on the new chemicals but also to gauge their implementation of Convention obligations and revise or develop new strategies as needed.
Below are some findings from the updated NIPs of Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, and Saint Kitts and Nevis which are the first three countries to submit their NIPs to the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention.
Pesticides are well managed in Trinidad and Tobago by the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Act. Trinidad and Tobago’s action plan addresses the need to manage electronics and electrical equipment (manufactured before 2004), end of life vehicles (manufactured before 2004), imported products that are potentially treated with flame retardants, transformer oils which may contain PCBs and firefighting foams which may contain PFOS. The management of potentially contaminated sites are also addressed. The effective management of POPs in Trinidad and Tobago requires cross-sectorial collaboration between government agencies, the industrial section, NGOs and the general public.
Suriname’s NIP documented their management of pesticide. It recorded no use of POPs pesticide as is the trend in the region but noted the need to collect data on life cycle and residual effects of the pesticides used in large-scale rice and banana production and disseminate information to stakeholders. Further assessment is also needed on Brominated Flame Retardants in End-of-Life vehicals.
Continuing the trend in the region, Saint Kitts and Nevis recorded no POPs pesticides. Pesticide containers are managed by storing separately. Farmers, gardeners and other users are advised to practice triple rinsing and separate storage for disposal. PCB-contaminated transformer oils were negligible. UPOPs emissions were attributed to commingled waste, open burning and power generation. Stockpiles of AFFF (PFOS-containing fire-fighting foams) were found at fire stations. Another noted trend in the region was the need for the management of end-of-life vehicles. Saint and Nevis will prioritize legislative and institutional management to mitigate the potential effects of POPs on health and the environment.