Environmental pollution is one of the most serious global challenges that affects the natural environment and human health worldwide.
Environmental pollution is one of the most serious global challenges that affects the natural environment and human health worldwide. Pollution has no borders. The effects are far-reaching and impact land, soil, seas, freshwater and air (IPBES, 2019).
Pollution disproportionately affects the most vulnerable groups. The 2017 Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health found pollution, especially in low- to middle-income countries (LMICs), to be the largest environmental cause of death and disability in the world. Key causes of pollution in developing countries include the growth of cities, rising demands for energy, increasing mining and smelting, agriculture and the global trade of toxic chemicals. In some developing countries, the effects of these drivers of pollution are often magnified by a lack of pollution literacy, infrastructure and monitoring data.
Pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss are closely linked. Successful control of these interconnected threats requires a globally supported, formal science–policy interface to guide research and inform intervention. The drivers of pollution, its impact on health and the environment, and its distribution, is not limited to local boundaries and therefore demands a global response. Addressing pollution has the potential to also tackle the effects of the other interconnected planetary crises, thus producing a triple win for pollution, biodiversity and climate change.
To this end, JNCC is committed to making pollution a priority and to providing solutions that foster collaboration at every stage of implementation. By providing technical assistance, both at a local level and in the international science–policy arena, we aim to address the threat of pollution for nature recovery and human health worldwide.
Official Development Assistance (ODA) Environmental Pollution Programme
The Official Development Assistance (ODA) Environmental Pollution Programme is a multi-year programme funded by the UK’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The programme aims to work with low- to middle-income countries to manage and mitigate pollution in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems to benefit climate, biodiversity, and people.
JNCC is providing technical assistance to partners in South Africa to support the delivery of projects centred around sustainable waste management.
United Nations Science–Policy Panel on Chemicals, Waste and Prevention of Pollution
In March 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly recognised the need to strengthen the science–policy interface at all levels to support and promote science-based local, national, regional and global action on the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020. Therefore, the Assembly formed a resolution to establish a science–policy panel for furthering the sound management of chemicals and wastes by 2024.
JNCC is supporting Defra form the UK position to help the formation of this panel. They are working with UK stakeholders to incorporate their views about the scope of the panel and developing the operating principles.
Reducing Pollution Through Partnership
The Reducing Pollution Through Partnership project was undertaken as part of the scoping year of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) Environmental Pollution Programme.
Through the one-year scoping project (2021–2022), JNCC worked with six pilot countries to develop an evidence base on the specific pollution challenges experienced by low- to middle-income countries within their environmental and social context. The Reducing Pollution Through Partnership scoping year informed the development of the multi-year ODA Environmental Pollution Programme.