Press Release

March 25, 2022

Results of the 14th Workshop on Environmental Monitoring of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in East Asian Countries

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE), Japan, held online the 14th Workshop on Environmental Monitoring of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in East Asian Countries, from March 2 to March 4, 2022. The summary of the results is as follows.


1. Background and objectives

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) (hereinafter referred to as the "POPs Convention") was adopted in 2001, and entered into force on May 17, 2004, with the aim of preventing and reducing global pollution by POPs such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).


In addition to regulating the production of the POPs, this Convention stipulates that the parties conduct domestic and international environmental monitoring to verify the presence of POPs in humans and the environment (Article 11), and to assess the countermeasure effectiveness of the POP Convention, by using the monitoring data and other information (Article 16).


MOE Japan has been holding workshops on Environmental Monitoring of POPs in the East Asian countries since FY2002. The purpose is to organize an international cooperative monitoring system in the East Asia region and to continuously collect data contributing to the assessment of the effectiveness of the POPs Convention.


2. Outline of the workshop

Date and time: March 2 - March 4, 2022

Venue: Online

Organizer: Ministry of the Environment, Japan (MOEJ)



Government officials from 10 East Asian countries (Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan).


Experts from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Orebro University (Sweden), Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Japan.



Main Content:

The workshop was chaired by Dr. SHIBATA Yasuyuki, Vice Director, the Environmental Safety Center, Tokyo University of Science, and discussed the following topics


(1) Assessment of the Effectiveness of the POPs Convention

Opinions were exchanged on the regional implementation status of the 3rd Global Monitoring Program and the report related to the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions reported on the Global Monitoring Plan for the next assessment of the effectiveness of the POPs Convention.


(2) Analytical Results and Status Report on POPs Monitoring in East Asia

It was reported regarding the status and results of the monitoring efforts at the two priority research sites (Cape Hedo [Okinawa Prefecture, Japan] and Jeju Island [South Korea]), which were designated as sites unaffected by specific sources of contamination. In addition, the participants agreed to continue the monitoring at the same places for the priority research sites. A status report on POPs monitoring in the Philippines was also presented and information was shared.


(3) Future Monitoring Plan

Regarding cooperative monitoring in the East Asian region in which Japan will support sampling and analysis, it was confirmed that it will be conducted in Vietnam in FY2022, and that it will be coordinated for implementation in the Philippines, Thailand and Mongolia in FY2023. In addition, research to clarify the feasibility will be conducted in Mongolia in FY2022.


(4) Framework for a future East Asia POPs Monitoring Project

In order to continue and strengthen POPs monitoring in the East Asian region in a sustainable manner, it was discussed to establish a number of research institutes that will play a central role following Japan and Korea, and so that they can independently conduct sample collection and analysis. Based on this, it was agreed that the Philippines and Thailand would be candidates for the core research institutes to follow Japan and Korea, and that the content of these activities would be clarified in the future.


3. Chairperson's Summary: