Addressing emerging pollutants to achieve SDGs

Thursday 01 September | 14.00-15.30 | Room: FH Congress Hall A
Blue water drops

A growing water quality challenge across the globe is the management of a wide variety of emerging pollutants found in water resources that pose a risk to human and environmental health. The current scientific understanding on the fate, transport and risk of emerging pollutants, individually and in combination, is limited, and identifying priority pollutants for policy action is therefore problematic. Addressing this challenge is necessary to achieve the SDG Target 12.4 to “… reduce the release of chemicals to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment”, and other related SDGs on water (Target 6.3), human health (Target 3.3), ecosystem protection, poverty alleviation, sustainable consumption and production, and sustainable agriculture, amongst others.

The event will provide a platform for a multi-stakeholder discussion on science and policy approaches to better understand and manage the challenge of emerging pollutants to support the achievement the SDGs. The event will also provide an opportunity to take stock of the knowledge generated by the major UNESCO project on ‘Emerging Pollutants in Wastewater Reuse in Developing Countries’, complemented with various country case studies on the needs and solutions to address the potential risks posed by emerging pollutants.


Moderated by Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa, UNESCO

14:00 Introduction and setting the scene: The global challenge of emerging pollutants and the relevance in the SDGs

Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa, Division of Water Sciences – International Hydrological Programme (IHP), UNESCO  

14:10 Swedish priorities for international cooperation on water sciences

Claire Lynga, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Sweden

14:15 Update on the scientific understanding of EPs and the risks posed to human and environmental health

Alistair Boxall, University of York, United Kingdom

14:25 UNESCO Project Case studies:

- Status report on pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea region

Dmitry Frank-Kamenetsky, HELCOM, Finland

- Emerging Pollutants in Water and Wastewater of East Ukraine: Occurrence, Fate and Regulation

Yuliya Vystavna, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic

- Modelling the chemical fate of emerging contaminants in waterways of Africa, Asia, and Latin America for rapid risk assessments, geospatial exposure mapping, and screening purposes

Usman Khan, McGill University, Canada

- Microplastics in freshwater environments

Michiel Roscam Abbing, Plastic Soup Foundation, The Netherlands

- Harnessing Scientific Research Based Outcomes for Effective Monitoring and Regulation of Emerging Pollutants: A Case Study of Emerging Pollutants in Water and Wastewater in Nigeria

Simone Grego, UNESCO Abuja Regional Office, Nigeria

14:58 Policy perspective

 Hannah Leckie, OECD

15:05 Interactive panel discussion

15:25 Closing remarks

 Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa, UNESCO, and Hannah Leckie, OECD