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OARE Short Course

July 2013

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OARE Access Problems and Solutions for Full-Text Articles (July 2013)

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SCOPUS: Searching for Scientific Articles (May 2010)

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Scope of the Chemicals and Waste Subprogramme

Both chemicals and waste play critical roles in today’s society and economy. At the same time they have major impacts on our environment and human health. De facto, many chemical substances are harmful to people and their environment while many forms of waste result hazardous and pose dangers to our lives and the nature surrounding us.

To address this urgent issue and provide mainstream solutions, UNEP - also as an implementing GEF agency - is working closely with governments, industries, and civil society organizations. In doing so, UNEP and its partners focus on achieving the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) goal that by 2020 chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment. In this way, countries, businesses and other stakeholders are supported improving their capacity to manage chemicals and waste soundly throughout their life-cycles. This is achieved by jointly developing policy instruments, including regulatory frameworks, and providing scientific and technical knowledge and tools needed to ensure a successful transition among countries towards sound management of chemicals and waste in order to minimize impact on the environment and human well-being.

To make this happen, UNEP’s Subprogramme on Chemicals and Waste* is implementing a threefold, results-based management strategy targeting the following Expected Accomplishments as part of its Programme Framework for 2014-2017 and Programme of Work for the biennium 2014-2015:

  1. Institutional Capacity and Policy Instruments:
    to increase the institutional capacity and policy instruments of countries to manage chemicals and waste soundly, including the implementation of related provisions in the MEAs;
  2. Scientific and Technical Knowledge and Tools for Sound Chemicals Management:
    to increase the use of scientific and technical knowledge and tools by countries, major groups and stakeholders, needed to implement sound chemicals management and the related MEAs;
  3. Scientific and Technical Knowledge and Tools for Sound Waste Management:
    to increase the use of scientific and technical knowledge and tools by countries, major groups and stakeholders, needed to implement sound waste management and the related MEAs;

*In previous years, the Subprogramme on Chemicals and Waste was known as the Subprogramme on Harmful Substances and Hazardous Waste.

Mainstreaming Sound Management of Chemicals into Developments Planning and Strategies

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. For more information contact the mainstreaming team / UNEP Chemicals Branch

UNEP’s Mainstreaming Activities
The mainstreaming initiative relies on coordination and complementarity of actions, bringing together main entities involved in national economic and social development as well as health and environment. This allows to address key priority issue in an integrated a holistic way.

  • 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
The initiative has demonstrated a management method for national ministries to make better use of available evidence – through linked assessment and health and environment impacts and costs and benefits which supports evidence-based economic development policies with a view to stimulate the needed investment and further strengthen and sustain the institutional infrastructures.

Special Programme

Adopted at the first session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in June 2014, the Special Programme aims to support institutional strengthening at the national level for implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the Minamata convention and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). Through the Special Programme, support can be provided to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to enhance their sustainable institutional capacity to develop, adopt, monitor and enforce policy, legislation and regulation and to gain access to financial and other resources for effective frameworks for the implementation of the legally binding chemicals and waste conventions and SAICM. Further details can be found in the terms of reference of the Special Programme.

Objectives
The Special Programme intends to support country-driven institutional strengthening at the national level, in the context of an integrated approach to address the financing of sound management of chemicals and wastes, taking into account:

  • National development strategies, plans and priorities of each country; and
  • Increase sustainable public institutional capacity for the sound management of chemicals and wastes throughout their life cycle

Current status

  • The secretariat of the Special Programme is hosted within UNEP’s Chemicals and Waste Branch in DTIE and became operational in 2015.

  • The Trust Fund for the Special Programme is established at United Nations Headquarters and is open to receive funds since September 2015. Significant contributions have been pledged to the Special Programme from the European Union, the Government of Finland, the Government of Sweden, the Government of USA, the Government of Germany, and the Government of Austria.

  • The Executive Board of the Special Programme has been established. The representatives from recipient countries are as follows: Kenya representing Africa, Pakistan representing Asia and Pacific, Brazil and Argentina representing Latin America and the Caribbean (noting that these countries will share the two-year term) , Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia representing Central and Eastern Europe, and Yemen representing least developed countries and small island developing States. The donor representatives on the Executive Board are the European Union, Finland, Germany, Sweden, and the USA.

  • The first meeting of the Executive Board was held from 2 – 3 February 2016 and significant progress was made with agreement reached ad interim on the Rules of Procedure for the operations of the Executive Board of the Special Programme, the application guidelines and related application forms and next steps. It is expected that final approval of the documents will be reached on 3 March 2016.