United Nations Environment Programme environment for development

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    By promoting sound chemicals management, UNEP Chemicals Branch works to protect humans and the environment from adverse effects caused by chemicals and hazardous waste throughout their lifecycle.

    In order to accomplish this, UNEP Chemicals Branch provides access to information, builds capacity and catalyzes action.

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    UNEP Chemicals Branch Provides Access to Information

    The Chemicals in Products (CiP) project is an ongoing activity on the policy and practical facets of access to information on the chemicals contained in everyday products. The activities focus on increasing the availability and access to the information actors need – throughout.

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    UNEP Chemicals Branch Builds Capacity

    UNEP Chemicals Branch activities reflect global priorities identified by governments. It works directly with countries to build national capacity for the clean production, use and disposal of chemicals, and promotes and disseminates state-of-the-art information on chemical safety.

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    UNEP Chemicals Branch Catalyzes Action

    The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) was developed by a multistakeholder and multi-sectoral Preparatory Committee and supports the achievement of the goal agreed at the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development of ensuring that, by the year 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on the environment and human health.

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Latest News

http://www.unep.org/chemicalsandwaste/News/PressRelease/tabid/425/language/en-US/Default.aspx?DocumentID=26788&ArticleID=34776&Lang=en

Africa Celebrates Africa Environment Day and Life of Wangari Maathai

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Publications

http://unep.org/chemicalsandwaste/UNEPsWork/Mainstreaming/CostsofInactionInitiative/tabid/56397/Default.aspx

Costs of Inaction Initiative

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Publications

http://www.unep.org/chemicalsandwaste/Mainstreaming/GlobalChemicalsOutlook/tabid/56356/Default.aspx

Global Chemicals Outlook

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Multimedia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsAXWGO30ns

Women, chemicals and UNEA

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Heavy Metals

Mercury is toxic heavy metal that poisons the human nervous system and damages the environment. Cadmium is a non-essential element toxic for humans impacting the kidneys and skeleton. Childhood lead poisoning can have lifelong impacts, causing learning disabilities, anaemia, and coordination disorders. The Metals Team focuses on reducing and when possible eliminating use of these harmful chemicals in order to minimize their impact on vulnerable populations and the environment.

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Emerging Policy Issues under SAICM

The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is a policy framework to promote chemical safety around the world. The SAICM Team helps countries and other stakeholders achieve the 2020 goal of sound chemicals management. The SAICM Team coordinates work on emerging policy issues as agreed by stakeholders under the Strategic Approach.

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Mainstreaming

The Mainstreaming Team works to integrate sound chemicals management into the international development agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals. The Mainstreaming Team supports countries in integrating sound chemicals management into national policies through building capacity to coordinate across government departments and providing access to information.

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POPs and Science

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are chemical substances that remain in the environment, are transported over large distances, bioaccumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to the environment and human health. The Science Team provides technical information, background work and assistance to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention Secretariats.

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Global Environment Facility Team

The Global Environment Facility Team works with regional and country partners to develop, design and implement GEF-funded projects that reduce chemical impacts on human health and the environment. The GEF Team works with UNEP International Environment Technology Centre to develop and implement GEF-funded innovative waste management projects.

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Special Programme

The Special Programme to support institutional strengthening at the national level for implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), is the remarkable result of governments’ and other stakeholders’ efforts to find solutions to strengthen the institutional platform for the implementation of the sound management of chemicals and waste.

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Waste

The global economy is generating increasing amounts of hazardous waste in countries that lack the systems and resources for their proper management. This waste poses serious risks to people and the environment and has the potential to contaminate other non-hazardous waste and substances if it is not adequately controlled.

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Events

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http://www.unep.org/chemicalsandwaste/Portals/9/CW74%20Unep%20copy.pdf
UNEP - Next on the Global Agenda

Key Fact
92% of mercury in Arctic marine wildlife is likely to be of anthropogenic origin
Humans and wildlife are exposed to far more EDCs than just POPs, however only a fraction are understood
By 2020, the global green chemistry market will be valued at roughly USD$100 billion
Historical declines in some wildlife populations were due to the effects of DDT and TBT on the ability of these species to reproduce.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the total projected costs of illness and injury for pesticide users are projected to be USD$90 billion from 2015-2020
In 2004, the World Health Organization attributed 4.9 million deaths to environmental exposure to chemicals
E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world, estimated at 20-50 million tonnes per year