Photography: courtesy of the project

GEF and UNDP will help #Belarus with the removal and disposal of 700 tons of unwanted pesticides stored in warehouses of various agricultural organizations in Viciebsk and Hrodna regions.

The disposal will be done by the ongoing project “Sustainable Management of Persistent Organic Pollutants and Chemicals in Belarus, GEF-6”, funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented by the Ministry of Natural Resources of Belarus in partnership with UNDP. The initiative aims at safe disposal of stockpiles of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which include unwanted pesticides, while reducing the key risks to people and the environment.

The topic of Persistent Organic Pollutants is relevant across the globe as they pose a serious threat the environment. In #Belarus, a significant proportion of POPs - polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) - are found in old electrical equipment such as transformers and capacitors, made back during the times of the Soviet Union. Today the country has more than five hundred enterprises - owners of PCB-containing equipment, the total weight of which is more than 3,000 tons. Unwanted pesticides that passed their expiry date, are mostly stockpiled in warehouses of agricultural organizations or buried in underground storage facilities.

Since 2004 Belarus is a party to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which defines international requirements for the management of POPs. Under the Convention, the country plans to phase out PCB-containing equipment by 2025 and to dispose it by 2028.

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