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(PRESS RELEASE) – Growing concern over the uncontrolled/unchecked increase in the presence of waste classified as hazardous waste with the ability to produce POPs and UPOPs which can cause a host of health issues to both humans and animals including marine life has prompted some action.
POPs are a group of toxic, long-lasting and bio-accumulative chemicals that can negatively impact health causing cancers, allergies and hypersensitivity, damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems, reproductive disorders, and disruption of the immune system. Some common examples include pesticides and industrial chemicals.
This effort commenced with training delivered by the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean (BCRC – C) in conjunction with the Authority and the Department of Sustainable Development, championed by Honourable Dr. Gale T. C. Rigobert, Minister of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development.
The training initiative, developed specifically for Saint Lucia, was based on the findings of a recent baseline study and training needs assessment for the waste management sector. The assessment considered governance, decision-making as well as technical and operational aspects relevant to the management of hazardous wastes, with a focus on reducing emissions of POPs.
The training was delivered in three (3) modules, targeted stakeholders across and at various levels of the sector and sought to achieve the following:
Raise awareness on the best international practices related to solid waste management and, in particular hazardous waste management;
Define the most suitable solution for Saint Lucia to increase the diversion rate of waste from the landfill in support of achieving a reduction in harmful emissions from the landfill;
Enhance the operational and health and safety competencies of landfill staff
By all accounts the training was well received by participants who are expected to train their colleagues/stakeholders and lead the process required for improved management of hazardous waste on the island. Saint Lucia will continue efforts to aggressively fulfill this agenda with the aim of achieving a higher quality environment and a healthier population.
This training initiative was delivered through a Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded project Development & Implementation of a Sustainable Management Mechanism for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS) in the Caribbean. Component two of this project aims to strengthen capacity to improve waste management practices at landfills and to reduce site contamination by POPS and unintentional POPs (UPOPS).
For more information on the project Development and Implementation of a Sustainable Management Mechanism for POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) in the Caribbean, call the National Project Coordinator at the Department of Sustainable Development at 468 5818 or 718 3826 or visit the BCRC-Caribbean’s website at: www.bcrc-caribbean.org