On 26 August 2019, UNU-IAS held a special session on the topic “Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Monitoring and Management in Asia” at the 39th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants (DIOXIN2019) in Kyoto, Japan.
The session presented the activities and achievements of the UNU-IAS project Monitoring and Management of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Asia, which has been implemented since 1996. Supported by Shimadzu corporation, the UNU-IAS POPs project aims to strengthen management of environmental pollutants based on scientific monitoring, with a focus on the hydrosphere in Asia. The session outlined the outcomes of the project’s final phase, Phase VII (2016–2018) in environment monitoring and management of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in Asia.
Opening the session, Masatoshi Morita (Professor, Ehime University) gave an overview of the history of the project. Mario Tabucanon (Senior Visiting Professor, UNU-IAS) presented on “Science-Policy Interface for Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Related International Sustainability Processes”. Yasuyuki Shibata (Fellow, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan) spoke about the contribution of the UNU-IAS project towards sound chemical management in East Asia. Atsuro Ueyanagi (Senior Manager, Shimadzu Corporation) explained analytical methods for monitoring POPs, quality assurance, and quality control.
The second part of the session focused on PFC monitoring and management in Asia, as outcomes of Phase VII. PFCs are widely used and of concern due to their potential toxicity to the environment. National project coordinators from 10 Asian countries (China, India, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam) presented the results and analysis of PFC monitoring in surface water, sediment, and biota from their countries. Teruyoshi Hayamizu (Visiting Senior Research Fellow, UNU-IAS) presented on the overall analysis of PFC monitoring in Asia.
During discussion, speakers and participants exchanged views on interpretation of the monitoring data, and the achievements of the project in terms of capacity building for environmental monitoring.