About this project
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is a legally binding instrument that presently has 179 Parties. The Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention has agreed on a Global Monitoring Plan (GMP) to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Convention by inter alia generating data on the presence of POPs in core media worldwide. Lack of capacity to analyse POPs or the access to POPs laboratories is considered one of the crucial issues for countries to fulfill the obligations under article 16 of the Stockholm Convention. As a response to requests from developing countries worldwide, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is implementing projects on a regional basis to strengthen POPs laboratories and to generate new and high quality data. Since 2005, the MTM Research Centre serves as a reference and training laboratory for UNEP and in February 2016, the University entered into a new 4-year contract with UNEP to support the GMP in three UN regions; i.e., Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean.
The project will be implemented in 43 countries and will assess the presence of POPs in the core matrices of the Stockholm Convention: environment (ambient air and surface waters) and in humans (mothers' milk). More specifically, the MTM Research Centre will analyse samples from developing countries for dioxin-like POPs and perfluorinated alkyl substances. It will further provide training courses on the analysis of POPs and coordinate, in collaboration with IVM VU University (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) two rounds of interlaboratory assessments.
MTM Reseach Centre will work in collaboration with UNEP, WHO and other experienced laboratories and especially with institutions in developing countries as strategic partner in generating high quality POPs data. The outputs will assist Parties to the Stockholm Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 16 of the Convention. In this project, analysis will include all POPs, i.e., initial 12 POPs but also the new POPs that were adopted between COP-4 and COP-6 (until 2013). Water as a new core matrix for PFOS will be addressed for the first time.