Open burning refers to burning garbage in barrels, open pits, outdoor furnaces, woodstoves, or fireplaces. Open burning of garbage is much more harmful to your health and the environment than you may think.

The PCDD/PCDFs inventories of the participating countries revealed that open burning activities is accountable for a total of about 1118 g TEQ/year PCDD/PCDF releases into the environment, one of the leading sources of UP-POPs. According to the UNEP toolkit for the identification and quantification of dioxin and furan releases this sector includes a) various biomass burning activities such as agricultural residue burning, sugarcane burning, forest fires etc., and b) waste burning and accidental fires including dump site fires and backyard trash burning. Release reduction from these, generally diffuse sources, requires coherent legislative and institutional capacity from the government side and significant investments and technical capacity from the private/public sector. The proposed project will play a vital role in supporting the participating countries in fulfilling the objectives reported in the NIPs and specific national plans as detailed in the following sections:

     In Lao PDR, the original NIP formulated with the assistance of UNIDO, the total PCDD/PCDF releases was estimated as 102.199 g TEQ/year (based on 2002 production data) out of which uncontrolled combustion processes represented 90% (90.742 g TEQ/year). Tons of domestic waste is generated annually and only parts of them are properly collected and dumped at the landfill sites. The uncontrolled burning of domestic and other waste is widely used throughout the country. Most people use burning as the most convenient disposal method and therefore most of the waste is burnt either at home or at the dump sites.

     Poor waste management practices, along with the lack of awareness of potential dioxin generation from open burning, are recognized among the priority problems in Lao PDR.  The Action plans described in the National Implementation Plan (NIP), details the national priority projects relative to UP-POPs which include Research on Health Risk Management of Unintentionally POPs, Public Awareness Raising , the introduction of sound waste management practices, Sound Management of Landfills, the introduction and promotion of BAT and BEP in existing medical waste incineration plants and the improvement of the management of medical wastes.

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