The Stockholm Convention was adopted on May 22, 2001 and entered into force globally on 17 May 2004. Its main objective is to protect human health and the environment from POPs. The Convention focuses initially on the following twelve chemicals that are grouped into three categories, namely:
Pesticides aldrin, chlordane, Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, mirex, toxaphene, and hexachlorobenzene (HCB)
Industrial chemicals - Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), HCB and mirex
Unintended by-products dioxins and furans, PCBs and HCB
The Convention requires its Parties to take measures to reduce or eliminate releases from intentional and unintentional production and use of these chemicals. These measures include the development and implementation of action plans to be able to fulfill the Partys obligations to the Convention. In summary, Parties to the Convention are obligated to:
Immediately ban production and use of all POPs pesticides except DDT
Restrict the use of DDT for vector control and aim to phase out over time
Ban production and use of PCBs and hexachlorobenzene
Phase out existing PCBs over the next 25 years
Dispose stockpiles of unwanted POPs
Reduce with the ultimate aim of eliminating unintentional POPs by-products (dioxins, furans, PCBs, hexachlorobenzene)
Identify and manage contaminated sites
Parties are also obliged to share information, promote information dissemination and awareness, and undertake research, development, and monitoring of POPs and their alternatives. The Convention further requires Parties to set up infrastructure for the monitoring and surveillance of future POPs.
The Convention recognizes that many Parties will need technical and financial assistance to meet their obligations. Thus, Parties from developed countries will establish appropriate arrangements to provide technical assistance and promote the transfer of technology to developing country Parties and Parties with economy in transition to assist them in fulfilling their obligations.