Communities of Practice (CoPs) are voluntary networks consisting of individuals with expertise and interest in a thematic area who may learn how to do better in that area by interacting regularly and exchanging their knowledge and experiences. 

SAICM, in partnership with the University of Capetown established four communities of practice in 2020 under the SAICM GEF 9771 project on Emerging Policy Issues: Highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs), Chemicals in products (CiP), Lead in paint (LiP), Chemicals and the sustainable development goals (CSDG). This project has been successful in achieving its goal of creating and harnessing a platform for exchange of knowledge and information and for hosting multi-stakeholder discussions. The CoPs activities came to an end in December 2022. Nevertheless, considering the success and interest from stakeholders in having such a platform for knowledge sharing, and to contribute to the SAICM project 9771 sustainability, the SAICM Secretariat decided to continue the execution of one all-encompassing community of practice on Chemicals and Waste Management.

Lead can be present at high levels in paint, especially in the over 100 countries that still allow the manufacture, import and sale of paints containing lead. Lead is a cumulative toxic element particularly harmful to young children and pregnant women. 

The purpose of the Lead in Paint CoP (learn more about Lead in Paint here) is to support all practitioners working to eliminate lead paint such as the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint (Lead Paint Alliance). The community of practice will help share knowledge, latest research and developments, learn what representatives from different sectors are doing to phase out lead in paint and provide access to expertise on various topics related to lead in paint.

Pesticides are inherently hazardous, and among them, a relatively small number of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) cause disproportionate harm to the environment and human health including severe environmental hazards, high acute and chronic toxicity.

The goal of the HHPs CoP (learn more about HHPs here) is to foster online discussions and multisectoral engagement that will identify key issues related to HHPs and exchange best practices on how to address this Emerging Policy Issue. 

Outcomes of these discussions may also contribute to the deliberations under the SAICM’s  intersessional process (IP4) and the fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5).

Chemicals are important components in many of the products modern society uses and relies on. However, Chemicals of Concern may be  released at any stage of the product life cycle resulting in potential exposures of humans and the environment, including from both newly produced products and products already present in society. 

The purpose of the community of practice is to bring representatives from different sectors together and to create a learning network around issues related to Chemicals in Products (learn more about Chemicals in Products here).

Participants will discuss on topics that might include information in the supply chain on chemical presence and composition, circular economy, life cycle analysis, innovation.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs were adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in September 2015. The SDGs aim to meet the dual challenge of overcoming poverty and protecting the planet. They highlight a comprehensive vision of sustainable development  that  embraces  economic, social and environmental  dimension. The goal of this community of practice is to facilitate discussions with various stakeholders from different sectors on documents and other knowledge materials being developed around the linkages between chemical management and the achievement of the sustainable development goals, including gender (learn more about SDGs here). Another key goal is how to bring in and engage with the youth in relation to chemicals and the sustainable development goals.