The Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean Region recently hosted a Regional Inception Meeting and Training Workshop in support of the UNIDO/GEF #5558 Project, ‘Development and Implementation of a Sustainable Management Mechanism for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the Caribbean’.  The Workshop was facilitated by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), who were awarded a Contract for Services by the BCRC-Caribbean for the execution of Activities related to Output 1.1 of the project, Update of National Implementation Plans (NIPs) including the conduct of in-country inventories of new POPs added to the Stockholm Convention.

The Workshop was held at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, between November 08-10, 2016.  Workshop participants included members from the eight participating countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago), the CARICOM Secretariat, and the CARPHA and BCRC-Caribbean project teams.

The objectives of the Workshop were to:

  1. Introduce CARPHA to the regional UNIDO/GEF #5558 project team;
  2. Provide an update on the status of implementation of existing NIP action plans;
  3. Present CARPHA’s work implementation plan (draft) for updating the NIPs, POPs inventories and Capacity Development;
  4. Train the regional project team on the assessment of ‘new’ POPs.

Day 1 of the Workshop convened with opening remarks from the following:

  • Dr. Ahmad Khan, Director, BCRC-Caribbean – “This project is one example of how a regional unified approach to the management of waste and chemicals has borne fruit for the Caribbean”.
  • Ms. Beverly Khan, Chairperson, BCRC-Caribbean – “We at the Centre thank your respective Governments for their continued support as we collectively work towards implementing the enabling mechanisms for the management of POPs across the Caribbean region”.
  • Dr. Alfredo Cueva, Industrial Development Officer, UNIDO – “We are bringing our knowledge and expertise to advise the Centre mainly to reinforce its capacity for the NIP review and update process and POPs inventories. We are really sharing the challenges, solutions and lessons learned through our projects in many countries and are ready to learn from you”.
  • Dr. Thérèse Yarde, Project Officer ACP/MEA Unit, Division of Environment and Sustainable Development, CARICOM Secretariat – “We consider the BCRC to be a leading partner when it comes to supporting and implementing the waste cluster of Conventions”.
  • Dr. Karen Polson-Edwards, Ag. Director, Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control, CARPHA – “CARPHA thanks the BCRC-Caribbean for providing an opportunity to implement this important health programme. This will provide the foundation for more advanced work in the management of chemicals in the region with a scope for replication and scaling up to include other countries”.

The remainder of Day 1 was devoted to the BCRC-Caribbean’s introduction of CARPHA and provision of project background information, CARPHA’s outlining of their draft work implementation plan.  Participating countries presented on the status of implementation of the Actions Plans from their current National Implementation Plans.

On Days 2 and 3, Dr. Roland Weber, POPs Environmental Consultant and CARPHA’s Technical Lead, led the training on the NIP Update process, introduction to the new POPs and the assessment and conduct of new POPs inventories.

Presentations, Training Material and relevant documents from the Workshop are available under the Stockholm Convention folder at the following link: http://www.bcrc-caribbean.org/training/.