Health or Profit?
The POPs Elimination Treaty
“THIS IS A HEAVY RESPONSIBILITY, and I need help from all of you to fulfill it,” announced Diego Sandoval solemnly as he looked around the room at the senior staff of Medios Nuevos, the nongovernmental organization (NGO) for which he worked. Diego had just been appointed to the Peruvian delegation to the fourth Conference of Participants (COP) of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which was to take place May 4-8, 2009, in Geneva. Diego was the head of the environmental department of Medios Nuevos—a department that had expanded fourfold over the past five years under the international funding Diego had obtained for regional environmental research and implementation. It was the staff opinion that Diego's two latest projects in Lima's northern cone—one a pesticide education project for local farmers and their families and the other a plant that recycled sanitary sewer water from local neighborhoods for irrigation of park and (inedible) garden land—had caught the eye of someone in the government and resulted in this appointment. Diego had assembled the senior staff from all of the departments to ask for help in developing a comprehensive position.
“Much of the information available on these POPs [persistent organic pollutants] emerges from the situation and perspective of the developed nations and does not represent our situation here in Peru,” Diego went on. “There are many delegates from developing nations who, like me, come