In an effort to increase public awareness and education about the invisible dangers of toxics, Toxisphera built a website to enable citizens to post information about chemicals and reach a wider audience. This interactive website also allowed other networks and websites to share articles and publications informing the public about emerging themes of SAICM as well as the Stockholm Convention on POPs, domestic chemical prevention projects, and mercury related issues.
Awareness-raising and Education
Volgograd Ecopress conducted a campaign to promote a regional management system designed to address a growing threat of mercury containing waste (light bulbs, medical equipment, etc.) contaminating the Volga River and Caspian coastal area. Consultations were first held with environmental authorities in the region to assess the existing challenges in handling the mercury containing waste.
Alianza por una Mejor Calidad de Vida organized a series of workshops and staged a media campaign with a national TV network to create public awareness about the dangers of pesticides in food. This included developing brochures tailored to the communities most affected by the use hazardous pesticides. An expose of pesticide poisoning cases of rural and seasonal female workers was also shared with the public. In addition, they worked closely with a prominent member of the National Congress to introduce legislation that would phase out the most hazardous and highly toxic pesticides.
In an effort to create public awareness about illegal waste incineration in the Czech Republic as well as the larger issue of waste incineration residues in general, Arnika conducted several activities. The first involved sampling for PCB, dioxins, and PAH residues at a waste site and making the results public through mass media. Subsequently, a workshop on POPs wastes and waste incineration was organized for Czech NGOs, with 22 participants. A joint declaration from the workshop was created, as well as the formation of a new network.
Using waste management best practices modelled after those in the EU, Zelena akcija developed and implemented a pilot waste management program with a variety of activities involving local community organizations, government officials, and public citizens.
PROBICOU conducted the first ever situational assessment of mercury in Uganda. The study aimed to provide information to the Ugandan government so that the government could be helped to legislate a relevant policy on mercury. The study involved many activities, including document review, and site visits at mining communities, health care institutions, government departments, and waste dumping sites. A critical part of this project involved a sensitization workshop organized for traders in Kampala with the goals of obtaining first hand community views on the effects of mercury exposure.
In 2011, the government of India submitted its National Implementation Plan (NIP) for persistent organic pollutants. Toxics Link, in an effort to bring a better understanding of this to interested stakeholders, prepared an easy-to-use and understand informational sheet that explains how the NIP is related to current issues on dioxin, furans and DDT use, as well as how the NIP is aligned with the Stockholm Convention.
Using analyses of paint samples from manufacturing and importing companies servicing the Amman marketplace, Land and Human to Advocate Progress (LHAP) was able to create awareness about high levels of lead in paints found in everyday paints. Along with educational materials produced specifically with the results of the analyses, community discussion groups (3 public hearings) were conducted to further communicate the impact of lead in paint. Social media was also used to achieve widespread media and public notice.
Pesticide Action Nexus (PAN)-Ethiopia pioneered an initial assessment of Ethiopia's E-waste situation and began a national conversation with leading Ethiopian stakeholders about the future of e-waste management. Project activities included an initial month long assessment, a national stakeholder workshop with various community and government officials, and a follow up visit to the country's only existing refurbishment center.
In 2010, Eco-Sense conducted a chemical assessment of 30 cosmetic and 30 household products found in local markets. The research resulted in a comprehensive list of chemicals present in these products, the risks linked to the chemicals found, and suggestions for chemical-free products that could be used by consumers as an alternative. In addition to a detailed report, colorful shopping guides with a picture of the product and a list of warning signs for consumers to use when choosing products were produced.