Blacksmith Convenes Legacy Pollution Conference in Italy
Findings Will Accelerate Remediation of Toxic Sites
At a conference hosted by Blacksmith Institute in collaboration with the Asian
Development Bank and the World Bank, 31 senior-level participants gathered from 16
different organizations at the Bellagio Centre, Italy, to discuss toxic pollution and health
risk in developing countries.
View the full conference summary here.
In attendance were five Ministries of Environment from developing countries (Indonesia,
Mexico, Philippines, Senegal and Ukraine), three multilateral development banks (World
Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank), three donor
agencies (Canadian Aid Agency (CIDA), Japanese Aid Agency (JICA), European
Commission), and three UN agencies (UNEP, UNIDO and WHO), as well as Blacksmith
Institute and TerraGraphics environmental consulting firm.
The purposes of the conference were:
1. To present the scope of toxic pollution in developing countries, highlighting the
challenges of pollution and its human health effects, using new data collected by the
Blacksmith Institute in collaboration with UNIDO, and with funding from the European
Commission and Asian Development Bank;
2. To look in-depth at success stories, remediation efforts and current programs
in place addressing toxic pollution, remediation and effects on health; and
3. To explore next steps in the short-term to long-term to promote awareness of
toxic pollution, its health effects and a global response.
Blacksmith Institute presented the preliminary results of its Global Inventory Project,
which works with local experts in about 50 countries to identify highly contaminated
sites with significant health risk. The project has found several thousands of places
where health is endangered, with a total population at risk at over 100 million people.
The size of the population at risk implies a public health problem that is of significance
in the global health arena.