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.