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  [Events > Workshop Sound Management of Chemicals ]

Workshop on Mainstreaming the Sound Management of Chemicals into National Action Plans
Implementing the 8 Years – 8 Actions towards achieving the 2020 Goal
Nairobi, Kenya, 2-4 July 2013



The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management SAICM, adopted in 2006, recognizes that the extent to which developing countries can make progress towards the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) goal, “to ensure that, by the year 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse effects on the environment and human health,” requires an integrated lifecycle chemical management strategy. Recent reports (Global Chemicals Outlook, UNEP 2012) project drastic increases chemical use, production and disposal in the coming years, on top of significant increases over recent decades. The report on Cost of Inaction, UNEP 2013, reveals high economic However, national legal and institutional arrangements for chemical management and public resources for ensuring the sound management of chemicals throughout their life-cycle are often insufficient, in particular in Africa.

The Swedish Minister of Environment, Ms Lena Ek launched on 24 April 2012 a “Declaration of intent – towards the 2020 goal for sound management of chemicals”. The Declaration of intent calls for actions under the following 8 headings:

  1. Awareness raising;
  2. Access to information;
  3. Health aspects;
  4. Substitution;
  5. Resource efficiency;
  6. Chemicals in the development agenda;
  7. Capacity building;
  8. International Environmental Governance.

The regional workshop supports the 8 years, 8 actions as a mean to assure the fulfilment of the 2020 goal. UNEP is of the view that an initial awareness raising campaign on the importance of these actions is needed in order for them to be incorporated in the national activities of countries in these regions and the regional action plans for SAICM implementation.

In particular SAICM emphasizes the need for enhanced coherence, consistency and cooperation in national chemical management legal and institutional arrangements, to address the gaps and overlaps in national chemical management activities. In this regard, the availability of secure, predictable finances is critical for the adoption, improvement and sustained enforcement of adequate and efficient chemical management regimes.


The workshop aims at identifying:

  • Main legal and institutional elements necessary for the sound management of chemicals across their life cycle, to reach the 2020 goal at country level, taking into account the integrated approach to address the financing of the sound management of chemicals and wastes;
  • Critical milestones in the implementation of these elements in a step wise approach taking into account the country situations. The project consists of three national studies (Zambia, Burkina Faso and Uganda) to gather the information specified above.

The results from the national study will then be discussed at a regional African workshop 2-4 July 2013.

The expected outcome is a better understanding of the necessary elements for the sound management of chemicals across their lifecycle and a process for implementation of these elements in African countries in order to achieve the 2020 goal on chemicals.

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