Background, purpose, mandate

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants protects human health and the environment from the negative impact of toxic chemicals, and persistent organic pollutants. It covers the production, using and release of POPs from the service, unintentional production of POPs, and stockpiles and wastes containing POPs.

The Stockholm Convention also contains an evaluation mechanism on whether measures adopted by the Convention to eliminate or significantly reduce POPs releases into the environment are effective (article 16).

To track the status quo and changes of POPs levels in the environment and humans, the Stockholm Convention set up a Global Monitoring Plan to identify, generate, harmonize, collect, analyze, visualize and interpret global data on environmental and human exposure to POPs in 2005. The Global Monitoring Plan defines POPs core matrices, time intervals between data collection stages (6 years),and establishes expert bodies responsible for the evaluation of information (Global Coordination Group and Regional Organization Groups).

Global monitoring plan also regularly produces regional reports that summarize changes in POPs concentrations over time and its outputs and visualizations generated by the GMP DWH. Structure of the reports showing comparable, harmonized and reliable information on POPs levels in core environmental matrices (air, human tissues (breast milk/blood), and water) is defined by a technical document, Guidance on the global monitoring plan for persistent organic pollutants which was adopted in 2007 and since then it has been continuously updated. The documents specify which POPs, including their congeners, isomers, precursors, transformation and degradation products, should be monitored to receive the most comprehensive information. This information is then mirrored in the structure and scope of the GMP DWH.