SAICM Africa Meeting Calls on GEF to Allocate Resources for Implementation

SAICM27 November 2013: The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) convened the fifth African regional meeting on SAICM and related workshops. In its resolution on financing SAICM, participants called on: the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to allocate sufficient resources to SAICM from its sixth replenishment; and African governments to allocate at least 1% of their gross domestic product (GDP) to chemicals management.

Attended by 94 participants, the meeting took place in Pretoria, South Africa, from 18-22 November 2013, and provided a forum for extensive information exchange on achieving the Strategic Approach 2020 goal, as well as a platform for networking. The meeting adopted resolutions on: strengthening SAICM as a Chemicals Management Mechanism; highly hazardous pesticides; lead in paint; and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

During the meeting, Germany sponsored an information sharing session on environmentally persistent pharmaceutical pollutants (EPPPs), providing an overview of the current state of knowledge, including the documented ecotoxicological effects of EPPPs on the aquatic and terrestrial environment.

Participants at the regional meeting discussed the requirements to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies under the legally binding World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR). The region highlighted the establishment of poison control centers and the development of capacities for responding to chemicals accidents as priorities.

The meeting also included the awarding of three Quick Start Programme (QSP) projects for outstanding regional impacts. Awardees were: the Liberia, UN Development Programme (UNDP)-UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Partnership Initiative for the Integration of Sound Management of Chemicals Considerations into Development Plans and Processes; the Updating a National Chemicals Management Profile, Developing a National Capacity Assessment and Holding a national SAICM Priority Setting Workshop in five least developed countries project, which was undertaken in Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Madagascar, Rwanda and Sao Tome & Principe, with implementation support from the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR); and the Evaluation of Lead Concentrations in Domestic and Imported Paints, and the Development and Distribution of Educational Materials on Lead Hazards for SAICM Implementation in Cameroon, civil society project. [SAICM Webpage for Meeting] [IISD RS Sources]