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  $3.5 million project on POPs launched

 (submitted by CENN, Georgia)

The United Nations Development Programme and the Georgian Ministry of Environment Protection have launched a three-year, $3.5 million project intended to reduce the decades-long accumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POP). 

The project's objective is to “minimize releases of POPs from obsolete pesticide stockpiles in Georgia and create capacity in management of the POPs pesticide stockpiles”. This will directly contribute to the broader goal of “support[ing] sustainable development through elimination of POPs from the environment”. 

UNDP Deputy Local Representative Ms Inita Paulovica and the Minister of Environmental Protection Mr. Goga Khachidze held meetings with representatives of the Kvemo Kartli government, the Marneuli municipality, and NGOs, to detail the construction of safe storage at the Ialguja dumpsite, in order to house approximately 230 tons of obsolete POPs. 

The project, whose budget amounts to USD 3.5 million and is being implemented with financial support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNDP, will also include training, a focus on changing legislation, establishment of monitors, and a minimization of discharge from obsolete pesticide dumps. 
PoPs are chemical substances with toxic properties, which resist biodegradation, bio-accumulate, and are transported through air and water and can re-deposit far from their place of release. They accumulate in land and aquatic ecosystems and can have significant impacts on human health and the environment. 

POP pesticides, mainly DDT, began accumulating in Georgia during early 1970s, due to the oversupply of pesticides as a result of the former planned economy. The pesticides were stored across the country at farming centers and small warehouses. 

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