SAICM Communities of Practice Foster Dialogue on Chemicals and Waste Management

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By IISD's SDG Knowledge Hub, July 10, 2020

The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is forming a number of Communities of Practice (CoPs) that will bring together representatives from different sectors to focus on challenges related to the sound management of chemicals and waste.

CoPs are voluntary networks composed of members with expertise and interest in specific thematic areas that regularly exchange and discuss their knowledge and experiences.

SAICM’s four Communities of Practice were established with the University of Cape Town on ‘Emerging Policy Issues (EPIs)’ related to chemicals. They aim to provide a space for interactive discussions and exchanges of best practices on the sound management of chemicals and waste among SAICM stakeholders, including academia, governments, industry, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, consumers, and citizens. 

The Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHP) CoP will foster multisectoral engagement to identify issues related to HHPs and emerging issues to contribute to deliberations of the fourth meeting of the intersessional process considering the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 (IP4) and the fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) in July 2021.

The Lead in Paint CoP supports practitioners working to eliminate lead paint, such as the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint. This CoP helps share knowledge, the latest research and developments, and what representatives from different sectors are doing to phase out lead in paint. It also provides access to expertise on various topics related to lead in paint.

Chemicals in Products CoP participants will exchange knowledge on topics that might include information in the supply chain on chemical presence and composition, circular economy, life cycle analysis and innovation.

The Chemicals and SDGs CoP will facilitate discussions with stakeholders from different sectors on knowledge materials being developed around linkages between chemicals management and achieving the SDGs. The CoP will also bring in and engage with youth in relation to chemicals and the SDGs. 

More generally, all the CoPs will include:

  • online discussions on a live chat session around questions submitted in advance to registered participants;
  • one moderator and one facilitator  during the online live chat session to help guide the discussion, with a transcript and summary of the discussion distributed to participants; and
  • open membership to all interested parties, who will participate in online discussions, share experiences and knowledge, and respect divergent opinions.

Furthermore, CoP members will: be able to lead discussions on relevant topics; have first-hand access to up-to-date information produced by SAICM and other stakeholders on SAICM EPIs; be able to contribute to peer-to-peer learning exchanges on best practices, case studies and experiences on chemicals management; and be able to contribute to the development of new initiatives towards SAICM objectives and the SDGs. Join a SAICM CoP here