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Pure Earth

Pure Earth is an international non-profit organization dedicated to solving pollution problems in low- and middle-income countries, where human health is at risk. Since 1999, Pure Earth has completed more than 80 clean-up projects in 20 countries. Pure Earth works closely with national stakeholders from communities, industry and governments, and coordinates with key organizations such as the World Bank, UN Industrial Development Organization, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Commission, many of which provide funding. Pure Earth focuses on locations throughout the developing world where human health is most affected by pollution. We combine pollution management with legacy pollution remediation to reduce exposures to toxins to local populations, especially children.

Date of Establishment:

18-Aug, 1999

Purpose of Organization:

Our mission is to identify and clean up the poorest communities throughout the developing world where high concentrations of toxins have devastating health effects. Pure Earth devises clean-up strategies, empowers local champions and secures support from national and international partnerships. Cleaning up one community at a time brings us closer to a Pure Earth

GEF/SGP involvement:

1. Reducing Environmental and Health Risks to Vulnerable Communities from Lead Contamination from Lead Paint and Recycling of Used Lead Acid Batteries 2014 to present, led by UNDP;
2. Building Capacity to Eliminate POPs Pesticides Stockpiles in Viet Nam, 2012 -2014, led by FAO
3. GCP/CMR/031/GFF “Disposal of POPs, obsolete pesticides and strengthening sound management of pesticides in Cameroon". 2015 -2019, led by FAO


Pure Earth works in highly polluted locations in the developing world with the intent of mitigating human health risks from pollution. Solutions to pollution problems vary according to each site and include factors such as:

type of pollution (air, water, groundwater, soil, etc.)
toxins involved (particularly their potency and longevity)
extent of the contamination
whether it is active or “legacy” (abandoned or ownerless sites)
variety of local geographical and political factors

With the long-term aim of banishing this problem throughout the globe, Pure Earth supports local action to deal with highly polluted places. In doing this, we have adopted a range of solutions that fit both with the requirements of each class of sites and with Pure Earth’s own limited resources. In general, our solutions follow one of the following paths:

Small scale clean-ups: Contamination is legacy, and clean-up is not too expensive (less than $100,000). Pure Earth will provide technical support and clean-up funds, usually requiring a match in funding from the local community. Projects are usually completed within 12 months. Often help to catalyze further action.

Large-scale clean-ups; Contamination is legacy, but scale and costs are very high. Pure Earth will support and fund a local coalition or stakeholder group to survey the issue and develop an action plan for remediation. The coalition is led by a local champion, and includes representatives from agencies that might provide long term funding, including the national government or international agencies such as the World Bank or Asian Development Bank. Often, these coalitions are the first real attempt to initiate remediation and they work to achieve the needed multi-million dollar project funding from other agencies.

Active sites: These are locations where the pollution is on-going, usually from specific industrial or mining activities. Pure Earth will fund a health impact analysis, in conjunction with all parties (including the owner, if possible). This review is then presented to the owner, with the intent of persuasion to reduce pollutants accordingly. Other more aggressive avenues are pursued only after this cooperative approach has been fully explored.

Complex (“Multi-Modal”) sites: These are areas that have mixes of legacy and active pollution, often with many different sources. Pure Earth will fund a coalition of all stakeholders, led by a local champion, to design an overall strategy and specific action plans for solution. Again, national or international players are a part of the necessary mix, as they can bring large-scale funding to the table.

To date we have cleaned up 84 sites, with a total impact on 4.2 million people (including 837,600 children).
We have 12 clean up projects active currently, impacting a total of 566,500 people (including 113,300 children).
A list of completed projects is here: http://www.pureearth.org/projects/completed-projects/
A list of ongoing projects is here http://www.pureearth.org/projects/projects-in-progress/
Detailed information on our Toxic Sites Identification Program here http://www.pureearth.org/projects/toxic-sites-identification-program-tsip/
Countries in which organization is active:
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Cameroon
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • Palestine
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Russian Federation
  • Senegal
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine
  • Uruguay
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia

Contact Details
Street Address:
475 Riverside Drive Ste 860, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10115
New York
Telephone No.:
Organization founded:

NGO Information
Focal Area:
  • Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  • Organization Type:
  • Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)
  • Geographic Scope:
  • Global

  • Contact Person
    Mr. Richard Fuller Key Contact Person
    President & CEO
    Telephone No.:

    Contact Person
    Ms. Rachael Kupka Key Contact Person
    Director, Strategy & Development
    Telephone No.:

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