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Persistent Organic Pollutants

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemicals which are toxic, persistent in the environment, and liable to bioaccumulate. These chemicals are among the most dangerous and highly toxic pollutants released into the environment every year by human activity. Their effects on humans can include cancer, allergies and hypersensitivity, damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems, reproductive disorders, and disruption of the immune system. Some POPs are also considered to be endocrine disrupters, which, by altering the hormonal system, can damage the reproductive and immune systems of exposed individuals as well as their offspring; they can also have developmental and carcinogenic effects.

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was established to eliminate or restrict the production and use of POPs.  Through the GEF, countries are creating sustainable capacity and ownership so as to meet their obligations under the Stockholm Convention including preparation of POPs National Implementation Plans. A National Implementation Plan describes how each country will meet its obligations under the Convention to phase-out POPs sources and remediate POPs contaminated sites.

The World Bank Group assists its client countries to address the objectives of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants within its overall mandate of promoting sustainable development.

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