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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
    Reformulation is entirely possible

    Reformulation is entirely possible

    The Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) have established a Community Read More
  • Policy document
    Understanding chemicals in products: SAICM Policy Brief

    Understanding chemicals in products: SAICM Policy Brief

    The transparency of information about chemicals in global supply chains has been an emerging policy issue for the Strategic Approach to International Read More
  • Policy document
    Chemicals of Concern in electronics: List of Lists and Regulatory Frameworks

    Chemicals of Concern in electronics: List of Lists and Regulatory Frameworks

    Chemicals in products and hazardous substances within the life cycle of electrical and electronic products have been longstanding emerging policy Read More
  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Promoting youth engagement with different stakeholders in chemicals and waste

    Promoting youth engagement with different stakeholders in chemicals and waste

    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 Promoting youth engagement with different stakeholders in chemicals and waste, which took place on 26 May 2021. Read More
  • Report
    Summary report on Chemicals in Toys Policy in China

    Summary report on Chemicals in Toys Policy in China

    China is one of the largest producers, exporters and consumers of toy products in the world. In order to ensure the quality and safety of toys, and to Read More
  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    The Role of Alternatives in Phasing out HHPs

    The Role of Alternatives in Phasing out HHPs

    The SAICM Secretariat, in partnership with the University of Cape Town, established a community of practice on Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) to foster discussions, exchange of best practices, and recommendations to address HHPs amongst relevant stakeholders. This is a summary of the discussion on The Role of Alternatives in Phasing out HHPs, which took place on 19 May 2021. Read More
  • Report
    Review of chemicals related Toy Safety Policies and Regulations in selected Low and Middle Income Countries

    Review of chemicals related Toy Safety Policies and Regulations in selected Low and Middle Income Countries

    With a total revenue of more than 90 billion USD in 2018, the global toy market is an important sector of consumer products. Like many other products, Read More
  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Chemicals and Biodiversity

    Chemicals and Biodiversity

    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 Chemicals and Biodiversity, which took place on 28 April 2021. Read More
  • Report
    Chemicals of concern in electronics: Review of legislative and regulatory approach

    Chemicals of concern in electronics: Review of legislative and regulatory approach

    This UNEP report provides a comprehensive but not necessarily exhaustive overview of the various regulatory approaches for CoC in EEE. Further Read More
  • Project document
    National baseline information on lead paint in Jordan

    National baseline information on lead paint in Jordan

    The World Health Organization (WHO) with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has launched the initiative called "Global Alliance to Read More