GEOITALY | GI-04 Global Observing System for Mercury and Persistent Organic Pollutants (PoPs)
GEO-ITALY è un gruppo di coordinamento degli esperti italiani coinvolti nelle attività del Group on Earth Observations
GROUP ON EARTH OBSERVATIONS, GEO, Biodiversity, Disaster, Energy, Mineral, Food security, Infrastructure, Public health, Sustainable urban development, Water resources management
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GI-04 Global Observing System for Mercury and Persistent Organic Pollutants (PoPs)

The task HE-02 “Tracking Pollutants” was established as a part of the 2009-2011 work plan of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and, through the establishment of coordinated global observation network for mercury and POPs, was meant to support the international conventions on toxic compounds (i.e. Stockholm Convention (SC), UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP)) and on-going international programmes (e.g. UNEP Mercury Program, Global Monitoring Plan (GMP) of SC on POPs, European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP).


The task includes two major components:

1. The Global Mercury Observation System (GMOS) is a worldwide observation system for the measurement of atmospheric mercury in ambient air and precipitation samples. GMOS includes ground-based monitoring stations, shipboard measurements over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and European Seas, as well as aircraft-based measurements. All data are made available through an ad-hoc, scalable and user-friendly infrastructure.


2. The network to measure baseline data for the various POPs (including the eleven new POPs listed in the SC in 2009, 2011, and 2013); including the Data Warehouse (GMP DWH), registered for access through the GEOSS portal.


Previous achievements have also resulted in the availability of data and reports through the GEO Portal.

In particular:  The GMP DWH together with the GENASIS primary database have been registered under the GEOSS portal.
Data from the 2nd GMP regional reports publicly available. The GMOS SDI has been registered under the GEOSS portal




User engagement The primary stakeholders are: parties to the Stockholm, Minamata and other Conventions, governments, IGOs, NGOs; the scientific community in related fields shares the interest within the scope of the project and could contribute to gathering information and mobilizing social groups; the civil society in general, benefitting from communication of risks associated with POPs and Hg releases, contamination and exposure

2016 Activities

The overarching goal of the task GF-04 (Global Observing System for Mercury and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) for 2016-2017 is to further develop the global observation systems for mercury and POPs by harmonizing standard operating procedures for monitoring of these substances in air, precipitation, surface water, soil, sediments, vegetation, and biota and support open access and sharing of standardized data.


Specific objectives include:

– To increase the availability and quality of Earth observation data and information needed to track chemical pollutants and anticipate changes to the environment;

– To harmonize standard operating procedures for monitoring priority pollutants, such as POPs and Hg, and their compounds in air, atmospheric deposition, water, soil, sediments, vegetation and biota.

– To understand temporal and spatial patterns of chemical pollutants transport and deposition to, and evasion from, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems;

– To support the validation of regional and global atmospheric pollutant models for use in evaluations of different policy options;

– To evaluate the effectiveness of international efforts to reduce releases of pollutants.

– To deliver specific documents and reports as requested by the users identified above.


Capacity building and training to assist regions in implementing new features of the GMP and filling existing data gaps (i.e. by means of the annual summer schools).

Resources and annual budget(s)

In-kind (human resources)

Secretariat staff time; Staff time of the regional organization groups and global coordination group members, strategic partners.



Resources from small projects of the Stockholm Convention Secretariat, contributions from strategic partners, contributions of the participating countries through resources necessary to operate the contributing POPs monitoring programmes (Canada, Czech Republic).



– GEF medium sized projects on analytical procedures for new POPs, capacity building for the implementation of the GMP in the regions.

– H2020 ERA-NET Projects, UNEP, projects funded in US, Japan, China as well as other national funded projects.


– Italian contributor: CNR-IIA

– UNEP Mercury Programme, the Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollutants Task Force (TF HTAP);

– Czech Republic, Masaryk University

– CARIBIC, Germany

– GEF – Global Environmental Facility of the World Bank

– European Monitoring and Evaluation Program (EMEP);

– MercNet/AMNet initiative in USA;

– CAMNet in Canada, and other international monitoring and modeling efforts.


Social Benefit Area
Implementation Mechanism

GEO Candidate Initiatives