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Global Best Practices on Emerging Chemical Policy Issues of Concern under SAICM

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Towards safer products for our environment and health 

Global environmental problems  

Global contaminants such as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) or mercury are regulated by Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), namely the Stockholm and Minamata Conventions respectively. A number of additional ‘Emerging Policy Issues’ (EPIs) have been nominated for voluntary, cooperative risk reduction actions by countries through the Strategic Approach for International Chemicals Management (SAICM). These EPIs are:

The SAICM GEF 9771 project focuses on two EPIs: Lead in paint and Chemicals in products, which generate particular environmental and health challenges. The project also addresses the need for knowledge management, information exchange and strategic planning to ensure concerted and coordinated action on all EPIs. 

The project objective is to accelerate adoption of national and value chain initiatives to control Emerging Policy Issues (EPIs), and contribute to the 2020 SAICM goal and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The project focuses on 3 components:

1. Lead in paint: Working with governments to develop laws that restrict the use of lead paint and working with SMEs to promote the phase-out of lead additives.

2. Chemicals in products: Increasing the ambition of different stakeholders to track and control chemicals of concern in products along the value chains of electronics, toys and building products sectors.

3. Knowledge and stakeholder engagement: improving access to information and knowledge on chemicals management amongst SAICM stakeholders.

 

The map below showcases the 40 countries where the SAICM GEF 9771 project is supporting activities to address lead in paint and chemicals in products:
*Map tooltip indicates 6 stages of drafting lead in paint laws: #1 No progress; #2 Government interest; #3 First steps taken; #4 Early stages of drafting; #5 Final stages of drafting, and #6 Final lead paint law.

Component 1: Lead in paint 

The lead in paint component promotes regulatory and voluntary action by government and industry to phase out lead in paint.

Key targets already achieved on lead in paint:

15 new countries have adopted legislation to establish legal limits to Lead in Paint

14 paint manufacturers have completed paint reformulation demonstration projects to produce lead-free paint

90 registered awareness-raising events at the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (ILPPW) 2020

Outcome 1: At least 40 countries to legislate and implement legislation to restrict the use of lead in paint.

The first project output will address the technical barriers in the manufacture of paints with no lead additives. The second project output will address the barrier on lack of capacities in developing countries to introduce and enforce lead paint limits. The main activity is advocacy with governments for policy development and assistance in drafting lead paint laws.

Outcome 1.1: Paint reformulation demonstrations with paint manufacturers in Small and Medium Sized enterprises (SMEs) executed in seven countries.

Output 1.2: Policy support and awareness raising generate support for lead phase out.

  • Regional workshops to provide an overview of the Lead Paint Alliance, the recommended actions and available advice to support the establishment of lead paint laws
  • Provision of technical assistance by the project execution partners to over 60 countries.
  • Interactive visualization of the status of lead paint laws

Component 2: Chemicals in products 

Component 2 on "life cycle management of chemicals present in products", focuses on chemicals of concern in three sectors (building products, electronics and toys) and how to minimize the adverse effects of chemicals of concern.

Key targets already achieved on chemicals in products:

Tools in development for governments and value chain actors to manage chemicals of concern in products

40 value chain and government actors trained on the use of new tools and guidance to manage chemicals of concern in products

Outcome 2: Governments and value chain actors in the building products, toys, and electronics sectors to track and manage chemicals of concern (CoC) in their products.

The component is developing new tools and guidance to reduce the use of chemicals of concern in the building products, electronics and toys sectors and provides training and support for government and value chain actors to trial and adopt new guidance and tools.

The component is guided by a value chain approach and the Component Summary Document provides an overview of the approach and the interventions in the three sectors.

Output 2.1: New tools and guidance to reduce the use of chemicals of concern (CoC) in the building, electronics and toys sectors.

Guidance/tools for building sector

Guidance/tools for electronics sector

Guidance/tools for toys sector

Output 2.2: Training and support for government and value chain actors to trial and adopt new guidance and tools.

  • Training on USEtox model for companies of building products and toy sectors in Sri Lanka and China.
  • Eco-innovation and/or Sustainable Public Procurement pilot projects in Colombia and Sri Lanka.
  • Sustainable finance pilot project in Sri Lanka.
  • Training and consultations on regulatory and compliance approaches for toys and electronics sectors.

Additional documents

Project-sponsored events on Chemicals in Products:


Component 3: Knowledge Management and stakeholder engagement

The third component explores ways to create, manage and disseminate knowledge on chemicals of concern. 

Outcome 3: A broad group of SAICM stakeholders access information and participate in communities of practice for peer-to-peer learning exchanges.

This project component supports the development and dissemination of knowledge on chemicals of concern. The knowledge platform saicmknowledge.org is a key tool developed within this component.

Key targets already achieved on knowledge management and stakeholder engagement:

Over 400 scientific and policy knowledge resources shared with policy members on EPIs and SDGs through the new SAICM Knowledge platform

More than 800 active members registered in the new SAICM communities of practice

Output 3.1: Collaboration and engagement with the SDG agenda and scientific community to promote Emerging Policy Issues (EPIs).

• Production of publications on chemicals-related topics:

Policy briefs on chemicals and SDGs

Thematic papers

Gender Review Mapping with a Focus on Women and Chemicals: Impact of Emerging Policy Issues and the Relevance for the Sustainable Development Goals

• Presentations on SAICM at scientific community events and related policy events.

• Convening of side-events to raise awareness on emerging policy issues.

Output 3.2: Development of a Knowledge Management platform provides a repository of information and forum for exchange of scientific and policy information.

  • A SAICM Knowledge Management Strategy.
  • The development of a new dynamic platform to facilitate knowledge sharing on the sound management of chemicals and waste – saicmknowledge.org
  • Establishment of four Communities of Practice to enable dialogues amongst SAICM stakeholders on relevant chemical issues.

Stakeholders

The project involves the following groups of stakeholders for a successful implementation:

 

Partners

National Cleaner Production Centres (NCPCs)

  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    The Link between Climate Change and Chemical Accidents

    The Link between Climate Change and Chemical Accidents

    The Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) have launched a Community of Practice (CoP) on Chemicals and SDGs to bring representatives from different sectors together and to create a learning network around issues related to addressing Chemicals and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is a summary of the discussion on The Link between Climate Change and Chemical Accidents, which took place on 20 April 2022. Read More
  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Cross-sectoral global minimum transparency standard for hazardous chemicals in products - an essential tool to detoxify material cycles

    Cross-sectoral global minimum transparency standard for hazardous chemicals in products - an essential tool to detoxify material cycles

    The SAICM Secretariat, in partnership with the University of Cape Town, established a community of practice on Chemicals in Products to bring representatives from different sectors together and to create a learning network around issues related to addressing Chemicals in Products (CiP). This is a summary of the discussion on Cross-sectoral global minimum transparency standard for hazardous chemicals in products - an essential tool to detoxify material cycles, which took place on 17 March 2022. Read More
  • Article
    Public Consultation: Lead Paint Law Compliance and Enforcement Guidance

    Public Consultation: Lead Paint Law Compliance and Enforcement Guidance

    Under the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, the United Nations Environment Programme has developed draft Lead Paint Law Compliance and Read More
  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Lead Paint Testing: Case Studies of Impact

    Lead Paint Testing: Case Studies of Impact

    The Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) have established a Community of Practice (CoP) on Lead in Paint to bring representatives from different sectors together and to create a learning network around issues related to the elimination of Lead Paint. This is a summary of the discussion on Lead Paint Testing: Case Studies of Impact, which took place on 9 March 2022. Read More
  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Community of Practice on Lead in Paint - 2021 Digest Compliation

    Community of Practice on Lead in Paint - 2021 Digest Compliation

    The Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) have established a Community Read More
  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Community of Practice on Chemicals in Products - 2021 Digest Compliation

    Community of Practice on Chemicals in Products - 2021 Digest Compliation

    The SAICM Secretariat, in partnership with the University of Cape Town, established a Community of Practice (CoP) on Chemicals in Products to bring Read More
  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Community of Practice on Highly Hazardous Pesticides - 2021 Digest Compliation

    Community of Practice on Highly Hazardous Pesticides - 2021 Digest Compliation

    The Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) have established a Community Read More
  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Community of Practice on Chemicals and SDGs - 2021 Digest Compliation

    Community of Practice on Chemicals and SDGs - 2021 Digest Compliation

    The Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) have launched a Community of Read More
  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Is there lead in my paint? All about testing and labs

    Is there lead in my paint? All about testing and labs

    The Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) have established a Community of Practice (CoP) on Lead in Paint to bring representatives from different sectors together and to create a learning network around issues related to the elimination of Lead Paint. This is a summary of the discussion on Is there lead in my paint? All about testing and labs, which took place on 8 December 2021. Read More
  • Report
    Addressing the Issue of Chemicals of Concern in Electronics: Challenges and recommendations for labelling initiatives

    Addressing the Issue of Chemicals of Concern in Electronics: Challenges and recommendations for labelling initiatives

    Chemicals provide a variety of specific functions in electric and electronic products or in their manufacturing process. However, some of these Read More