Positive responses received to 2007 World’s Worst Polluted Places report

As reported by IM, Blacksmith Institute released its second annual report The World’s Worst Polluted Places on September 12, 2007 in partnership with Green Cross Switzerland. Two joint press conferences were held to reveal this year’s ‘Top Ten’ and ‘Dirty Thirty’ lists of polluted places. Blacksmith Instituterepots that as a result of the media attention, the President and General Manager of Doe Run Peru, owner of the metallurgical facility in La Oroya, Peru, cited in the report, has invited Blacksmith Institute to visit the city of La Oroya and surrounding communities.  And in Russia, Norilsk Nickel, responsible for producing a fifth of the world’s nickel and emitting tons of highly polluting compounds, the institute reports, has contacted Blacksmith to partner on a remediation project in order to tackle the legacy pollution issues.
In another development, the Global Pollution Remediation Fund (GPRF), conceived by Blacksmith Institute, was launched last week at a conference attended by representatives from government agencies of the USA, Germany, China, Russia, Mozambique, Kenya, and the Philippines.  The group also included participants from the World Bank, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Green Cross Switzerland, and leading researchers from within the public health and pollution remediation fields.  The GPRF is a planned $400 million fund dedicated to combating toxic pollution in developing countries that has resulted from industrial, mining, and military operations.
The Fund will be directed toward cleaning up about 400 of the most highly polluted locations worldwide that affect more than 100 million people – people who suffer from reduced life expectancies, increased cancer risks and severe neurological damage. Projects supported by the fund will tackle sites causing the most severe health problems and will employ the most cost-effective technologies. Projects initiated by GPRF will channel support efficiently to local stakeholders with technical advice and oversight provided by a central secretariat.  Conference organisers will now approach donors including various development agencies, multilateral development banks, international aid organizations along with high net-worth individuals to build on an initial seed contribution of $10 million.