Groundwork and training are underway in the Cook Islands to prepare a National Implementation Plan on persistent organic pollutants or POPs.
Rarotonga's private sector and civil society are being asked to share information on how they use, manage, store and eventually dispose of dangerous chemicals.
The project coordinator, Maureen Hilyard, says banned chemicals such as DDT and Lindane were once widely used in the Cook Islands.
But she says research has shown that some imported canned fish contain much higher levels of POPs than fish caught in the country.
In 2004, the Cook Islands signed the Stockholm Convention which obliges the Government to produce a plan on how it will protect the people and the environment from the risks of exposure to POPs, dioxins and other dangerous chemicals.