Jordan has ratified the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in 2004, and the Ministry of Environment (MoEnv) became the national focal point for POPs issues. By becoming a party, the Government had taken on the mandatory obligations to implement the Convention and the control measures identified in its guidance text.
The first step towards meeting the obligations was the development and formulation of the National Implementation Plan (NIP) for Stockholm Convention. The NIP was prepared and transmitted to the Stockholm Convention Secretariat in December 2006.
The requirement to deal with Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) has been identified and highlighted in the NIP of Jordan. It was reported that no PCBs were ever produced in the country or re-exported, and that some of the old electrical equipment could contain PCBs. The PCB equipment was in fact an imported product originating from other countries. The two main chemical which were suspected to be in the equipment were limited to Askarel and Sovtol.
The main barriers are summarized in the list below, these will be targeted by the project:
· Limited legislation which does allow comprehensive regulation of the PCB management.
· Insufficient sectors wide data on the PCB inventory/stockpiles.
· Limitations in the PCB analytical capability.
· Low level awareness on the PCB associated risks and dangers.
· Limited capacity and knowledge in maintenance procedures for PCB containing equipment.
· Caution and knowledge to avoid releases of PCB and limit exposure to workers and environment.
· Limited infrastructure to store the PCB materials for their sound management in line with international standards
· Lack of experience at the country level for PCB disposal.
Ministry of Environment is currently implementing the project “Phase I of a comprehensive Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) management system in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” with financial and technical support from Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).