FGEF strategy for phasing out chemical pollutants and persistent organic pollutants
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP)
Agriculture and industry in the emerging countries are greatly increasing the use of chemicals that produce residues or harmful substances known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
POPs comprise twelve dangerous substances (pesticides, industrial chemicals and chemical by-products), which have long lifetimes and migrate into soils and water, sometimes over great distances.
These substances bioaccumulate along the food chain and are easily ingested by living organisms, including humans, in which they cause immune deficiencies and genetic malformations.
The FGEF is acting to phase out POPs and to prevent their use
Given the impacts of POPS on the environment and health, and in line with the strategies of the GEF and the Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the FGEF is supporting regional pilot programmes designed to phase out and prevent the use of POPs in its priority areas of intervention (Africa and the Mediterranean Union).
The activities supported rely on French know-how (on managing and phasing out dangerous products, pesticide treatments, etc.) and its dissemination.
4 properties of POPs
- Toxic to the health of humans and ecosystems: POPs have harmful effects on reproduction and development and have carcinogenic properties
- Persistent in the environment: they degrade by only 50% in 7 to 8 years
- Bioaccumulating: POPS accumulate in living tissue, increasing in concentration as they move up the food chain
- POPS are transported over long distances: they typically travel from warm to cold environments, and especially to the Arctic.