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“The Sound Management of Chemicals is essential if we are to achieve sustainable development, including the eradication of poverty and disease, the improvement of human health and the environment and the elevation and maintenance of the standard of living in countries at all levels of development”


- Dubai Declaration on International Chemicals Management, 2006


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UNEP DTIE Chemicals Branch mainstreaming programme


UNEP DTIE Chemicals Branch work on mainstreaming is directly concerned with implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) in support of the achievement of the World Summit on Sustainable Development goal that by the year 2020 chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on the environment and human health.


Furthermore, the rationale for mainstreaming chemicals management priorities into national development planning has been based on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) officially established in 2000. To ensure the achievement of the MDG-7, environmental sustainability, linkages with the Sound Management of Chemicals (SMC) has been essential to contribute to sustainable development. Essentially, UNEP DTIE Chemicals Branch has developed five complementary initiatives to coherently address these issues.


 (Examples of links between SMC and the development issues can be found here).


More information on the international context of mainstreaming can be found in “Mainstreaming Sound Management of Chemicals into Development Planning: Background and Rationale ”.



Why mainstreaming?


The traditional fragmented approach to chemicals management has lead to the proliferation of uncoordinated – and sometimes contradictory – policies that have failed to provide a coherent framework for maximizing sustainable development benefits of chemicals. The lack of awareness of the full environmental and health costs of chemicals mismanagement and the lack of capacity to develop integrated chemicals management solutions for sustainable development resulted in chemicals management being seriously underfunded.

Developed in close cooperation with Governments from developed and developing countries, IOMC and other organizations, private sector and civil society, the goal of UNEP Chemicals mainstreaming programme is to increase the priority given to chemicals management issues in national development agendas, and ultimately to secure sustainable financing for addressing these.



What does UNEP Chemicals mainstreaming programme aim to achieve?

  • Improve cross-sectoral governance for better coordination of chemicals management activities
  • Raise political awareness of the need for preventive and integrated chemicals management for sustainable development
  • Promote and assist the integration of chemicals management into development planning policies
  • Build capacity of national chemicals management practitioners to  develop coherent and comprehensive solutions and make a convincing case for sustainable financing of chemicals management 

UNEP Chemicals mainstreaming Activities

      UNEP Global Chemicals Outlook

Mobilize support and commitment from governments, private sector, civil society, academia and scientific societies toward a comprehensive, coherent and complementary policy approach to chemicals.

UNEP-WHO Health and Environment Strategic Alliance

Promotes and facilitates coordinated action in developing countries to reduce environmental threats to human health in support of sustainable development objectives.

UNEP Costs of Inaction Initiative

Provide an economic business case for increasing investments in Sound Management of  Chemicals for sustainable development, by providing a more complete picture of the  environmental and health costs of chemicals mismanagement.

UNEP Guidance on the Development of Legal and Institutional Infrastructures and Sustainable Financing Options for the Sound Management of Chemicals
Help the design of comprehensive and coherent legal frameworks and related institutional arrangements for life-cycle management of chemicals, including sustainable financing options.

UNDP-UNEP Partnership Initiative for the Integration of Sound Management of Chemicals (SMC) into Development Planning Processes
Promote and assist the integration of selected SMC priorities into national development planning decision-making processes of developing countries.