OECD Describes Benefits of Implementing a Chemical Management System

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By IISD SDG Knowledge Hub, April 14, 2020

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published a brochure presenting the benefits of the sound management of chemicals for governments, industry, and the general public. The publication also highlights linkages with specific SDG targets and multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) on chemicals. 

The brochure titled, ‘Benefits from Implementing a Chemical Management System,’ focuses on benefits related to: the management of industrial chemicals; agricultural pesticides; chemical accidents prevention, preparedness and response; and the establishment of the Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs).

The brochure describes the ways in which sound chemicals management contributes to achieving specific SDG targets, namely:

  • Target 3.9 on reducing the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination;
  • Target 6.3 on improving water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping, and minimizing the release of hazardous chemicals and materials;
  • Target 9.4 on making infrastructure and industries sustainable;
  • Target 11.6 on reducing cities’ environmental impacts; and
  • Target 12.4 on achieving the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes.

In addition, the brochure points to progress and challenges related to the tracking of SDGs with PRTRs. It mentions that the OECD is exploring how PRTR data can be used to undertake analyses, and evaluate and potentially accelerate progress towards meeting relevant SDG targets.
Sound chemicals management also helps implement various chemicals-related MEAs, which were adopted between 1985 and 2013, including: the Minamata Convention on Mercury; the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs); the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (PIC); the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer; and the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.

Sound management also helps implement the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), which was established in 2006, and is currently under negotiation for the period beyond 2020. [Publication: Brochure on the Benefits from Implementing a Chemical Management System]