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Scientific Expert Group on Chemicals and the Environment (SECE)

Background & Purpose

In 2009, a brainstorming meeting on “Environmental and Other Factors Needed for Evaluating and Managing Risks Posed by Pesticides at Local Level” was held with stakeholders. Stakeholders included those responsible for pesticide management at the country level and in international development agencies. The meeting recommended the development of guidance materials addressing environmental factors and concerns linked to pesticide use and that UNEP establish an expert group to assist in this process.

In 2011, UNEP developed Terms of Reference for an expert group and established the Scientific Expert Group on Chemicals and the Environment (SECE) to provide scientific advice and guidance on environmental issues linked to the sound management of chemicals. The SECE provides the UNEP and its stakeholders a resource of expertise that can be drawn upon to address particular environmental issues concerning chemicals (e.g. pesticides management; assessment of specific chemicals, including methodologies, and management of specific environmental issues or ecological endpoints).

The Guidance Documents

The guidance documents currently being developed are:

  • Mapping local factors in the identification of ecosystems potentially affected by chemicals - application of the Regional and Relative Risk Model
  • Pollution prevention and reduction to protect ecosystem services of water bodies  Socioeconomic Factors and Analysis for Pesticides Management
  • Methods and Tools for Environmental Fate Modelling of Organic Chemicals – a Practical Approach
  • Simple approaches for identifying sensitive ecosystems and their vulnerabilities to chemical stressors using the ECOSENS Model
  • Chemicals and the Environment: Socioeconomic Factors and Analysis for Pesticides Management

These different documents can be used separately but complement each other to form the basis for a holistic assessment of the local determinants if applied in an integrated way.