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Paying for POPs: Negotiating the Implementation of the Stockholm Convention in Developing Countries

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A key aspect of the negotiations for the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) related to provisions surrounding its financial mechanism to facilitate its implementation in developing countries. This article examines how financial aspects of the Convention were negotiated as the treaty was taking shape and how financial provisions have been implemented since the Convention’s entry into force in 2004. Regarding the design of the financial mechanism, developing countries stressed the need for new and additional financial resources and a tailored institution, while developed countries favored working with existing financial institutions, notably the Global Environment Facility (GEF). In the end, countries compromised by agreeing that GEF would serve as the Convention’s “interim” financial mechanism while also recognizing that financial and technical support is directly related to developing countries’ ability to comply with the treaty’s obligations. We discuss the implications of this outcome and then provide an overview of how this arrangement has played out in practice. We conclude by discussing the implications of recent developments, notably the expansion of the scope of the Convention from 12 to 21 chemicals in May 2009 and the finalization of the fifth replenishment of the GEF in May 2010.

Affiliations: 1: University of Alaska Fairbanks PO Box 756420, Fairbanks AK 99775 USA, Email:; 2: International Institute for Sustainable Development 27 Fairfield Gardens, London N8 9DD UK, Email:


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