Brazil updates its plan to eliminate persistent organic pollutants

Brazil’s National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

Brazil is one of the signatories of the Stockholm Convention, an international treaty that aims to protect human health and the environment from the harmful effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). POPs are chemicals that have long-lasting impacts, accumulate in living organisms, and are toxic to humans, animals, and plants.

The Convention requires each country to submit a National Implementation Plan (NIP) that outlines the actions and measures to control, reduce, or eliminate the production, use, and disposal of POPs. Brazil submitted its first NIP in 2015, covering 23 substances. In January 2024, the Ministry of Environment (MMA) presented an updated NIP that includes seven more POPs identified since then, as well as the progress made and the challenges faced in managing these chemicals.

The updated NIP was developed in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), with the participation of 10 other ministries, the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the National Fund for Occupational Safety and Health (Fundacentro), and the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (Inmetro). More than 1,500 consultations were made with experts, civil society organizations, industry and trade associations, environmental agencies of all states, and the National Commission on Chemical Safety (Conasq), among others.

The NIP classifies POPs into three categories: those that must be eliminated; those with restricted use and prospects of elimination; and those produced unintentionally. About 44% of POPs are pesticides, 33% are industrial chemicals, 5% have both uses, and 18% have unintentional production.

The MMA stated that the NIP is a guide for the public and private sectors to reduce and eliminate POPs, and that it incorporates an international commitment while representing an essential tool for the country to mobilize resources for this purpose. The UNEP representative in Brazil, Alberto Pacheco Capella, stressed that the NIP is not an isolated plan for POPs management, but is directly linked to the sustainable development strategy of the country. He also emphasized the importance of the involvement of civil society, businesses, and governments at all levels in the implementation of the NIP.

The Stockholm Convention was adopted in 2001 and entered into force in 2004. Brazil ratified the treaty in 2004 and promulgated it through Executive Decree No. 5,472 of 2005.