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Top 10 Country Success Stories 2014

2014 Turning the Corner on Toxic Pollution

This 2014 report is the ninth in an annual series of reports published by Green Cross Switzerland and Blacksmith Institute for a Pure Earth. Joining the publication this year is the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), a collaborative body that facilitates the provision of technical and financial resources to governments and communities to reduce the impacts of pollution on health in low- and middle-income countries.

The “World’s Worst Polluted” series of reports has effectively raised global awareness about the extent and the impacts of toxic pollution in low- and middle-income countries. Last year, we looked back to the original top ten list from 2007 and updated the list to name a new top ten worst polluted places. This year we look back to our 2009 report, “12 Cases of Cleanup and Success” for inspiration and highlight the commitment and progress specific countries are making in “turning the corner” on toxic pollution. This year’s ten projects—success stories—showcase how countries are saving lives, improving human health and restoring environments. These projects are the result of extraordinary perseverance, hard work and determined leadership by champions inside government agencies, civil society groups and individual communities. 

Solving pollution around the world is a daunting task, but that is why the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP) was formed in 2012. GAHP assists nations lacking the resources, infrastructure and environmental engineering expertise to prioritize and implement remediation projects. GAHP also serves as a new mechanism to transfer technology and financial resources from wealthy countries to developing economies. 

Members of GAHP include the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Program, UNEP, UNIDO and about fifteen countries (including Mexico, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Senegal, Indonesia and the Philippines). Blacksmith Institute for a Pure Earth has been appointed secretariat of GAHP. 

The stories told within this publication are proof that in spite of numerous obstacles and lack of resources, with collaboration and commitment, something can always be done to begin to turn the corner and improve the most polluted environments.