Blacksmith Institute Press Release

European Commission Pledges Over $1 Million in Funding to Blacksmith Institute

August 13, 2008 New York, NY -- The European Commission has pledged over $1 million in funding to Blacksmith Institute and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to develop a landmark comprehensive Global Inventory of polluted sites. The two organizations will identify and assess places around the world where pollution poses a threat to human health.

Estimates indicate that environmental factors contribute to as much as 33 percent of the global disease burden, with a particularly negative affect on children.

Most developing countries now have regulatory and institutional systems in place and are gradually improving the environmental performance of major industries. There, however, remain many abandoned and neglected “legacy” or “orphan” sites that continue to poison local communities.

The Global Inventory will be an invaluable tool for governments, non-profits and affected communities seeking to remove the severe health threat posed by pollution.

Funding will go toward researching new polluted sites and conducting on-site assessments. The project will build upon the existing Blacksmith database of polluted sites, which currently lists more than 600 places around the world. An estimated 400 new sites will be assessed during the project by local staff.

The Inventory will include specific details about each site, including a description of the scale and scope of the pollution, as well as an overview of local efforts. 

This project is part of a larger effort of Blacksmith Institute to establish the Health and Pollution Fund. The Fund will be composed of contributions from governments and multi-lateral donors and will be used to remove the health risk posed by some of the world’s most polluted places.

About Blacksmith Institute

Blacksmith Institute designs and implements solutions for pollution related problems in the developing world.  Since 1999, Blacksmith has been addressing the critical need to clean up dangerous and largely unknown polluted sites where human health is most affected by pollution. Blacksmith has completed over 50 projects and is currently engaged in over 30 projects in 14 countries.