Retailers figured it out a long time ago. They could improve business if they made shopping easier. So they began to offer consumers everything they might need under one roof. Hence the success and popularity of one-stop shops. In a way, we are applying the same concept with GAHP, our one-stop shop for pollution solutions. The newly formed GAHP, or Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, will make pollution cleanup easier for low and middle-income countries looking for help.
While the international community has resources available to help clean up toxic pollution, navigating the process can be daunting. Expertise is available from different organizations and agencies depending on the type of toxin, the source of pollution, and where the hotspot is located. Often countries are plagued by more than one type of pollution problem, making the task of looking for help even more complex. The time and effort taken to find the right match can delay life-saving cleanup.
With GAHP, that process is now simplified. Instead of having to “shop around,” countries can now turn to one source – the GAHP – to access multiple lines of support. This is how it works. GAHP is made up of an unprecedented international alliance of members that include the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and UNIDO, among other agencies. All GAHP members have an interest in fighting pollution. They just have different expertise and rules governing their operations. By banding together, they can help fill the gaps. If one member cannot offer a complete solution, maybe two or three working together can.
Whenever a country seeks help, GAHP members get together to see who can help with what. For example, one GAHP member might have a program that targets lead cleanup, while another may only deal with education. Working together, they can help a country clean up lead-contaminated hotspots AND establish an education program to prevent further pollution.
Different GAHP members might also get together to help a country deal with a range of pollution problems. For example, in the Philippines, GAHP members convened to strategize on how they could help the government solve its toxic pollution problems. The USAID Philippines mission expressed interest to deal with artisanal gold mining issues in the country, while the World Bank plans to support a US$50 million initiative to begin cleanup of the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando river system. Meanwhile, Blacksmith will continue to provide technical assistance and support for smaller remediation projects. Before the meeting, activities in the Philippines in this area were piecemeal, and there was no large institutional support for dealing with problems at scale.
What we are trying to do with GAHP is to make pollution cleanup easier. If cleanup is easier, we believe more cleanups will take place. GAHP is the first ever one-stop shop for the world’s pollution fighting needs. Our doors are open.
To join GAHP or seek GAHP help, contact the GAHP Secretariat at [email protected]
Read about the GAHP in the Huffington Post: Global Alliance to Fight Toxic Pollution