AWARENESS RAISING AND INTERVENTION TO MINIMIZE EXPOSURE TO PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS (POPs)
Executive Summary
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are toxic, persistent, mobile, accumulate in fatty tissue and magnify in the food chain. The evidence of detrimental effects on living organisms at the level of entire populations of some POPs demonstrates the threat to biodiversity, and the potential for disruption at the ecosystem level.
This project aims to raise the awareness of consumers and demonstrate viable and cost-effective alternatives to POPs products and reduce emissions of unintentional POPs. The project activities include the conduct of twelve education and awareness raising programmes for consumers and farmers. Consumer brigades comprising groups of active consumers will play a key role in their communities to promote sustainable and healthy alternatives that would effect changes in behaviour towards minimizing exposure to POPs.
Educational materials to inform consumers and farmers on the hazards of POPs, how to avoid them and its alternatives will be produced and disseminated. At the end of the project a book on successful initiatives to minimize exposure to POPs will be published. The lessons learned in this project will be widely disseminated to facilitate replication of good practices at the national, regional and global levels.
This project under the GEF Focal Area on POPs would complement international and national initiatives to reduce and eliminate POPs emissions. The project would be conducted in five states i.e. Penang, Perlis, Kedah, Perak and Selangor.

The objectives of this project is to
? raise consumer awareness and knowledge on risks associated with POPs
? reduce exposure of consumers to POPs through change in consumption and production patterns.

The project activities in detail are:
Awareness raising programmes
The awareness raising programmes will be conducted using participatory and interactive approaches to ensure that the participants are involved and are committed to seeing changes. The programmes will involve talks, discussion on current practice, help people to explore possible options, etc. Visual aids via power-point presentations or banners, streamers that are put around the programme venue will emphasize what is said. Discussions will also be held on what kind of follow up actions and activities can be taken up.
At the start of the programmes, activities such as simple surveys will be carried out to ascertain consumption and waste disposal patterns. This will provide an input to establishing baselines for monitoring changes to consumer behaviour in the follow-up programmes.
Consumer brigades
Participants will be encouraged to set up activity groups which will make efforts to sustain activities and motivate changes among the participants of the specific target groups. These activity groups will be organized as special consumer brigades that will be able to undertake further follow up activities, sustain interactive activities in their communities to promote safe and healthy alternatives.
CAP would provide guidance to these consumer brigades to ensure continuity of motivation and actions. Participants with access to internet will be encouraged to connect with CAP through social networking such as CAP’s facebook account where we post CAP’s latest press statements and findings. Our education staff can also communicate regularly with the participants of the programmes and the activity groups through electronic mail to monitor feedback and keep track of follow up activities.
Sustainable alternatives will be demonstrated. Participants will be encouraged to give ideas on what can be done to live a healthier life. When the participants are part of a group such as the brigade, they will be actively involved in the learning process, would enable them to solve problems through discussions and thus more likely to change their practices.
CAP’s vegetable garden and earthworm breeding project will be maintained as a training centre for farmers and consumers. Besides CAP’s education officers, our gardener will also play a role as trainer as he has hands-on experience in handling problems relating to gardening, pest attacks and soil preparation.
Produce and publish educational materials
A review of existing material on POPs will be undertaken to obtain information about the types of exposure to POPs and how it can be prevented. We will then produce powerpoint presentations for use of the education staff. Popular education materials in print will be produced for dissemination and some pertinent ones will be posted online on CAP’s website.
The educational materials will be in the form of articles in CAP newsletter, books, streamers, banners, consumer guides and other forms of reading materials. The materials will be made available in English and vernacular languages i.e. Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and Tamil. We will also produce a book to demonstrate viable alternatives undertaken by the target groups of this project to minimise exposure to POPs.

Expected Outputs:
The conduct of education and awareness raising programmes for the specific target groups i.e. consumers and farmers.
? The creation of consumer brigades comprised of groups of active consumers who will play a key role in their communities to raise awareness and promote sustainable and healthy alternatives that would effect changes in behaviour towards minimizing exposure to POPs.
? The production of educational materials which inform consumers and farmers on the hazards of POPs, how to avoid them in their daily lives, including the provision of alternatives. The publications are in the form of leaflets, book and articles in Utusan Konsumer. The exhibits would include streamers and banners.
? A book on successful initiatives to minimize exposure to POPs.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee: CONSUMERS' ASSOCIATION OF PENANG
Country: Malaysia
Area Of Work: Chemicals
Operational Phase: Phase 5
Grant Amount: US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash: US$ 24,467.00
Co-Financing in-Kind: US$ 92,933.00
Project Number: MAL/SGP/OP5/Y2/STAR/CH/12/12
Start Date: 10/2012
End Date: 1/2015
Status: Satisfactorily Completed