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:
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.

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.

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.

Block id is component-1--lead-in-paint

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.
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
Block id is component-2--chemicals-in-products

Component 2 Chemicals in products

toy image

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:

Block id is component-3--knowledge-management-and-stakeholder-engagement

Component 3 Knowledge Management and stakeholder engagement

meeting image

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

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

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 is a key tool developed within this component.

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


Project status
31 Dec 2018 - 31 Dec 2023
Hover for more details


American Bar Association
American Bar Association
Green Electronics Council
Green Electronics Council
Green Policy Platform
International Institute for Sustainable Development
National Cleaner Production Centres (NCPCs)
One planet
One planet
UN Environment Programme
University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town
US Environmental Protection Agency
US Environmental Protection Agency
World Coatings Council
World Coatings Council
World Health Organization
Like Cycle Initiative
Life Cycle Initiative


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


  • Local policy makers
  • National policy makers
  • Public R&B Organisations (some text for testing)
  • Development banks
  • Regional governmental organizations

Civil society

Private sector

  • Entrepreneurs R&D
  • Retails
  • Private Research & Development Organisations
  • Trade associations
  • Alternative suppliers
  • Chemical importers
  • Chemical suppliers (not-SME)
  • Chemical waste disposal companies
  • Weste managements & recycling compoanies
  • Private testing laboratories
  • Procurement agencies
  • Paint SMEs
  • Large companies (non-SME)
  • Building materials SMEs
  • Electronics SMEs
  • Toy SMEs
  • Insureres
  • Private equity banks

111 resources found

Manuals and toolkits

Sustainable Procurement of Electronics: A Progressive Approach to Chemicals of Concern

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October 2022

This guidance addresses the role that sustainable procurement can play in managing chemicals of concern in electronic and electrical equipment procured across the public sector, during their entire lifecycle. It is primarily addressed to public procurers as well as those responsible for the procurement of waste management solutions at end-of-life for electronics equipment.

This guidance is aimed at helping procurement practitioners implement policies on chemicals management through sustainable procurement approaches and tools such as market dialogue, criteria and ecolabels.

Manuals and toolkits

Lead Paint Reformulation Technical Guidelines

The Lead Paint Reformulation Technical Guidelines have developed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and guided by the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint. The document provide a comprehensive starting point for all stakeholders to learn more about paint reformulation and best practices. They offer general information on processes and provide a step-by-step approach to reformulation, indicating where to find relevant information such as alternative raw materials and additional details such as standards for testing and in-depth case studies.The

Emerging Policy Issues: Lead in paint
Topics: Policymaking
Policy document

A review of PFAS as a Chemical Class in the Textiles Sector - Policy Brief

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May 2021
For over a decade, under both SAICM and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the class of chemicals known as PFAS is gaining increasing international attention. Since 2009, chemicals in products have been identified as an Emerging Policy Issue and PFAS as an Issue of Concern by the SAICM. The textiles sector is currently considered in the SAICM context through the ‘Chemicals in Products Programme’, which focuses on four priority sectors: textiles, toys, building products and electronics. The

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

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February 2021
This UNEP report provides a comprehensive but not necessarily exhaustive overview of the various regulatory approaches for CoC in EEE. Further inputs from the international community are welcomed to complement the research, especially with regards to relevant regulations that are not yet captured in the report.Chemicals in products and hazardous substances within the life cycle of electrical and electronic products have been longstanding emerging policy issues under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). To further advance these issues
Emerging Policy Issues: Chemicals in products

Update on the Global Status of Legal Limits on Lead in Paint

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February 2021
The new 2020 Update on the Global Status of Legal Limits on Lead in Paint reports new laws, new tools, and new momentum on progress toward laws to eliminate lead paint in 2020. Available in English and Spanish, the Update also describes activity and results by region. As of 31 December 2020, 79 countries have confirmed that they have legally binding controls on lead in paint, which is 41% of all countries. Since October 2019, Colombia, Lebanon and Vietnam established
Emerging Policy Issues: Lead in paint
Topics: Policymaking
Policy document

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

June 2020
Chemicals in products and hazardous substances within the life cycle of electrical and electronic products have been longstanding emerging policy issues under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). In order to track and control chemicals along the value chains of electrical and electronic products, stakeholders first must identify relevant chemicals to be addressed. Considering the complexity of the chemical world as well as the complexity of value chains in the electronics sector, this important step can be highly

Summary report on Chemicals in Toys Policy in China

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March 2020
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 promote the development of toys industry, China implements a series of related laws, regulations and standards, with many authorities participate in the supervision and management of toys industry.However, there are still gaps between China and the European Union in terms of the limits of chemicals in toys and the management of new
Emerging Policy Issues: Chemicals in products

Interactive visualisation of the status of lead paint laws

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January 2020
The interactive map shows the status of national lead paint laws as provided by governments to UNEP and WHO, Secretariat of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint. Information on an individual country’s lead paint law can be found by hovering over each country. The year indicates the year a country passed its lead paint law.This data visualization was prepared under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) full sized project 9771: Global best practices on emerging chemical policy issues of concern
Emerging Policy Issues: Lead in paint
Topics: Policymaking