The Malaria Project was a Washington-based initiative set up in 1998 by lawyer and academic Amir Attaran, with funding from Ralph Nader. Initially its remit was to highlight the severe underspend on malaria research by governments worldwide. However, its focus changed during 1999, when it acted on behalf of the Malaria Project International to lobby against controls on the pesticide DDT in the months of negotiation that culminated in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
It co-ordinated an open letter with the Malaria Foundation International, lobbying against a ban by 2007 (advocated by environmentalist groups, especially the WWF, at the time) The letter attracted 400 signatories. They later held a public conference using Web Cam Chat to address the issues.
The Stockholm Convention does not include a date for the elimination of DDT use. The project does not seem to have seen much (or indeed any) activity since this victory.
The director of the project was Dr Amir Attaran of the Center for International Development, Harvard, who continues to speak on the issue of DDT controls, but not under the aegis of the Malaria Project.
- Amir Attaran, Invitation to sign open letter, Malaria Foundation International website, 29 March 1999