The Quick Start Programme reported on its impacts after 13 years of working on the sound management of chemicals in developing countries. The QSP – a funding mechanism under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) – concluded its operations in December 2019.

In 2006, the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) established the QSP to help countries produce and use chemicals in ways that minimize adverse impacts on the environment and human health through projects in a range of sectors, including agriculture, environment, health, industry and labor. The Programme reports that its project helped raise awareness and build institutional capacity for the sound management of chemicals at the national level, as well as advance mainstreaming and multi-sectoral approaches.

During its tenure, the Programme enabled the implementation of 184 projects in 108 countries, including 54 least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS). It mobilized a total of USD 47.9 million through its Trust Fund.

QSP projects addressed: chemicals accident preparedness and poison centers; implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions and the Minamata Convention on Mercury; collection and systems for sharing, including pollutant release and transfer registers (PRTRs) and the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS); pesticides and agriculture; national chemicals profiles; and mainstreaming development plans and processes.

Among its country-specific initiatives, in Sri Lanka the QSP helped national experts, academics and 600 employees from the rubber, textile and tourism industries manage chemicals through training manuals, sector guidelines and an online course. The project titled ‘Empowering Sri Lanka’s vital industries to manage chemicals the SMART way‘ strengthened the capacity of institutions and universities and enhanced efficiency and environmental performance of local industries.

In Lesotho, the QSP helped improve food security through the proper use of herbicides and pesticides, including through training sessions on safe use for more than 200 farmers, district staff, traders, environment officers and machinery operators, among others.

Other projects addressed:

  • Protecting human health and the environment from mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in Cambodia and the Philippines;
  • Strengthening national capacities for the sound management of priority carcinogenic chemicals in Bhutan;
  • Building capacities and raising awareness on integrated non-chemical control of mosquitoes in Albania;
  • Capacity building for strengthening the management of heavy metals in Barbados;
  • Strengthening capacities in Burkina Faso for national SAICM implementation and the promotion of synergies among the BRS Conventions; and
  • Developing an integrated national programme for the sound management of chemicals and supporting capacity building on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) in Benin.

SAICM is a global multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder, voluntary policy framework aimed at minimizing significant adverse effects of chemicals on human health and the environment by 2020. A new overarching approach for SAICM and the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 is currently under negotiation through an intersessional process that is expected to conclude at ICCM5. [QSP Overview] [QSP at a Glance] [QSP Factsheet on 13 Years] [Interactive Visualization of Projects]