The project was aim at identifying and demonstrating the benefits of a regional approach for Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of PCBs and PCB containing equipment in several French speaking African countries, mainly in West and Central Africa, based on the identified problems and expressed priorities by the participating countries, which are associated with and accorded to the PCB wastes and PCB containing equipment. The countries share similar problems related to institutional setting and capacity for ESM of PCBs, and have common barriers in planning and implementing swift and coordinated actions for ESM to be incorporated in national policies and regulations, developing necessary capacity of involved stakeholders for ESM, and carrying out on-the-ground interventions to remove PCBs from current use and environmentally sound disposal of PCBs. The project has adopted a regional approach to demonstrate building necessary capacity in each participating country, in the fields of regulatory reforms, capacity building and preparation of investment programmes.
The project used the best use of the experience of UNEP, the Stockholm Convention and the Basel Convention in implementing pilot projects in Africa on the Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of PCBs and PCB containing equipment as well as the Stockholm Convention National Implementation Plans.
Through the implementation of planned activities of the different components, this project reduce environmental and human health risks from PCBs releases through the introduction of cost-effective environmentally sound management (ESM) to PCB oils, equipment and wastes held by electrical utilities in participating countries of the region. The outputs of the project are:
- regionally-harmonized national regulatory and administrative frameworks for PCBs Convention compliant ESM regimes for PCB oils, equipment and wastes;
- the destruction of target quantities of PCBs or PCB contaminated oils;
- the environmentally sound waste management of target quantities of equipment containing or contaminated with PCBs, and
- Awareness raising and dissemination of results and lessons to stakeholders at national, regional and international levels.