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News and opinion articles to inform on challenges, trends and achievements on the sound management of chemicals.

  • February 25
    Can Environmental Negotiations Regain Momentum in 2020?

    Can Environmental Negotiations Regain Momentum in 2020?

    It is timely to take stock of global environmental governance as the world enters a new year and a new decade. In a new IISD report, 'The State of Global Environmental Governance 2019,' the Earth Negotiations Bulletin team reflects on the successes, shortcomings and overall trends of 2019. We also look ahead, with optimism 2020 will regain the momentum recently lost.

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  • February 11
    OECD Portal Improves Access to Information on Chemical Properties, Exposure

    OECD Portal Improves Access to Information on Chemical Properties, Exposure

    The eChemPortal aims to contribute to international commitments on making information on chemical properties publicly available. The latest version provides classification results according to hazard classification schemes, such as the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. The information is intended to support health and environment decisions regarding chemicals.

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  • January 28
    Call for Proposals Open for Chemicals and Waste Management Projects

    Call for Proposals Open for Chemicals and Waste Management Projects

    The Special Programme supports national-level institutional strengthening for implementing the BRS Conventions, the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and SAICM. Assistance is available to help governments with the application process.

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  • January 28
    Quick Start Programme Shares Stories on Sound Chemicals Management

    Quick Start Programme Shares Stories on Sound Chemicals Management

    QSP projects have helped raise awareness and build institutional capacity for the sound management of chemicals at the national level and advance mainstreaming and multi-sectoral approaches. The QSP enabled the implementation of 184 projects in 108 countries, including 54 LDCs and SIDS, and mobilized USD 47.9 million through its Trust Fund.

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  • January 16
    Discussion on Environmental Governance and 2030 Agenda Focuses on Synergies

    Discussion on Environmental Governance and 2030 Agenda Focuses on Synergies

    Speakers addressed ways that promoting synergies between the biodiversity and chemicals and waste multilateral environmental agreement (MEA) clusters could help deliver the 2030 Agenda. Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP, highlighted the importance of recognizing interlinkages among all of the 2020 activities, and illustrated the possibilities for thinking about synergies in terms of operational and programmatic linkages.

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  • January 16
    Convention on Mercury Takes Steps on Compliance

    Convention on Mercury Takes Steps on Compliance

    COP3 delegates were pleased with progress on some institutional agenda items, including the decisions taken on the sharing of secretariat services between the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and the operationalization of the Implementation and Compliance Committee. A last-minute compromise that reduced the scope of the decision on the effectiveness evaluation had a direct bearing on the programme of work for the coming biennium.

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  • January 16
    Future of the Strategic Approach on International Chemicals Management to be Decided in 2020

    Future of the Strategic Approach on International Chemicals Management to be Decided in 2020

    The Strategic Approach on International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is a global multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder, voluntary policy framework aimed at minimizing significant adverse effects of chemicals on human health and the environment by 2020. A new approach for the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 is currently under negotiation.

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  • January 9
    It’s Time to Talk about Expectations for Super Year 2020

    It’s Time to Talk about Expectations for Super Year 2020

    This year, the SDGs on gender, climate, the ocean, life below water and on land, and responsible consumption and production, as well as on means of implementation, will have their moment to shine. Actors also will be able to look clearly upon the processes and institutions they rely on to drive change, and decide whether they are enough to slow the existential crises with which 2020 has begun. It is time to look for the opportunities to "change course" in an effort to reach crucial goals.

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  • January 6
    SAICM Details Efforts to Reduce Chemicals of Concern in Textiles, Toys, Building Materials and Electronics

    SAICM Details Efforts to Reduce Chemicals of Concern in Textiles, Toys, Building Materials and Electronics

    The GEF-funded project on ‘Global Best Practices on Emerging Chemical Policy Issues of Concern under SAICM’ aims to accelerate the adoption of national and value chain initiatives. Information exchange helps identify and address chemicals of concern in products, particularly for manufacturers, retailers and consumers.

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  • January 17
    SAICM Launches Project on Best Practices for Chemical Policy Issues of Concern

    SAICM Launches Project on Best Practices for Chemical Policy Issues of Concern

    > The project will focus on three components: phase out of lead in paint; lifecycle management of chemicals in products; and knowledge management and stakeholder engagement. ...

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  • November 14
    ‘INECE Compliance Conversations’ Build Capacity on Lead Paint Laws

    ‘INECE Compliance Conversations’ Build Capacity on Lead Paint Laws

    Participants discussed the Model Law and Guidance for Regulating Lead in Paint, and highlighted efforts by the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, established by UNEP and the WHO to raise awareness regarding the harmful impacts of lead and on safe alternatives. A working paper will be drafted summarizing the topics discussed during the webinars.

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  • October 21
    Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Promotes Actions to Eliminate Lead in Paint

    Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Promotes Actions to Eliminate Lead in Paint

    Organized by UNEP and WHO through the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paint, International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2019 aims to raise awareness and promote actions to address the human health effects of lead exposure, especially in children. The Week highlights countries’ and partners’ efforts to prevent lead poisoning, and urges further action to eliminate lead paint through regulatory action at country level. The worldwide event is running from 20-26 October.

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  • October 17
    POPRC Recommends Elimination of One Industrial Chemical, Further Review of Two Organic Pollutants

    POPRC Recommends Elimination of One Industrial Chemical, Further Review of Two Organic Pollutants

    POPRC carries out a range of technical work in support of the Convention’s objective to protect human health and the environment from POPs. The Committee decided to recommend one widely used industrial chemical for elimination with no exemptions and to commence the second stage of review for two chemicals that were newly proposed for listing.

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  • October 17
    Rotterdam Convention Review Committee Recommends Making Flame Retardant Subject to PIC Procedure

    Rotterdam Convention Review Committee Recommends Making Flame Retardant Subject to PIC Procedure

    Chemicals listings under the Rotterdam Convention do not constitute a ban, but initiate an information-sharing process between Parties to the Convention trading in these chemicals or severely hazardous pesticide formulations. Delegates reviewed notifications from countries that took a domestic final regulatory action that banned or severely restricted three chemicals, and decided to make decabromodiphenyl ether (a flame retardant used in textiles, electronics, and building materials) subject to the PIC procedure.

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  • October 15
    UNEP Updates on Global Status of Lead in Paint Laws

    UNEP Updates on Global Status of Lead in Paint Laws

    As of 30 September 2019, 73 countries, or 38% of all countries, have legally binding controls to limit the production, import and sale of lead paints. The Update describes two approaches used in lead paint laws: establishing a single regulatory limit on the total concentration of lead in paint; and establishing chemical-specific regulatory limits. Most industrialized countries adopted laws or regulations to control the lead content of residential and decorative paints in the 1970s and 1980s, while in other parts of the world, lead paint use remains a significant source of human exposure.

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  • October 15
    INECE Compliance Conversations Bring Together Experts and Practitioners to Discuss Effectiveness of Lead Paint Laws

    INECE Compliance Conversations Bring Together Experts and Practitioners to Discuss Effectiveness of Lead Paint Laws

    As of September 2019, 73 countries around the world have enacted laws that limit lead in paint. Although the adoption of national laws has demonstrated success in reducing lead paint exposure, binding limitations are still lacking in 120 countries. Compliance Conversations on 1 November and 7 November, hosted by the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement in partnership with the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, will bring together policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders to discuss current global initiatives concerning lead paint, the challenges of enacting legislation to address lead paint, and what support is needed for communities working on this issue.

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  • September 15
    UN Report Highlights Possible Future Scenarios to Address E-Waste

    UN Report Highlights Possible Future Scenarios to Address E-Waste

    The report details three scenarios related to the future of e-waste: a business-as-usual “linear growth” scenario; a “reactive approach” scenario; and a “proactive path” scenario. Under a baseline scenario, the amount of e-waste will more than double by 2050 to approximately 111 million tonnes per year. All stakeholders, including producers, users, e-waste collectors, recyclers and policymakers, will have to take significant action to ensure a sustainable production and consumption system for e-products.

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  • October 10
    Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop Showcases Industry, Government Efforts to Eliminate Lead in Paint

    Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop Showcases Industry, Government Efforts to Eliminate Lead in Paint

    Lead paint laws have been enacted in Australia, China, India, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Iraq, Israel, Jordan and Oman. In Malaysia, paint manufacturers have committed to eliminate lead in paint by 2020. Eliminating lead in paint contributes to the achievement of SDG targets 3.9 (reducing deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals, pollution and contamination) and 12.4 (environmentally sound management of chemicals and wastes).

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  • October 8
    Event Highlights Green Technologies for SDGs and Climate Action

    Event Highlights Green Technologies for SDGs and Climate Action

    The event highlighted emerging technologies that can help governments achieve the SDGs and climate goals. Participants discussed solar, hydrogen fuel cell, and geothermal technologies as well as e-waste and waste water solutions.

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  • October 8
    Monthly Forecast October 2019: First Opportunities to Act on September Pledges

    Monthly Forecast October 2019: First Opportunities to Act on September Pledges

    This policy brief highlights key opportunities for meeting global cries for climate action and equitable development with action. It provides an overview of upcoming October meetings on climate, energy, cities, chemicals and oceans, as well as the work of the UN General Assembly Second Committee, which focuses on climate change, poverty eradication, biodiversity, financing for development, countries in special situations, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at large.

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  • October 8
    SAICM Intersessional Meeting Paves Way for “Beyond 2020” Negotiations

    SAICM Intersessional Meeting Paves Way for “Beyond 2020” Negotiations

    The third meeting of the Intersessional Process Considering SAICM and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020 convened from 1-4 October 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. The outcomes of this meeting, and a final preparatory meeting scheduled for March 2020 in Bucharest, Romania, will be crucial in informing negotiations at the fifth meeting of SAICM’s governing body, the International Conference on Chemicals Management. SAICM was adopted in 2006 as a policy framework to promote chemical safety around the world, with the goal to ensure that by 2020 chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on the environment and human health.

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  • October 8
    Workshop Identifies Next Steps for LAC Region to Implement Lead Paint Laws

    Workshop Identifies Next Steps for LAC Region to Implement Lead Paint Laws

    The workshop highlighted the potential for addressing the need for effective laws to eliminate lead paint at the regional and sub-regional levels, for example through the Andean Community and the Caribbean Community. Some countries have already taken steps towards eliminating lead paint, including by establishing technical standards or laws, undertaking lead paint market studies, and forming technical committees. The workshop recommended a legal limit of 90 ppm total lead in paint.

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  • October 8
    Submission Contemplates Role of Private Standards, Certifications and Labeling Schemes in Post-2020 SAICM Framework

    Submission Contemplates Role of Private Standards, Certifications and Labeling Schemes in Post-2020 SAICM Framework

    Responsible chemicals use in the global textile supply chain through sound chemicals management has mostly been based on voluntary SCL systems as the presence and enforcement of regulations has been ineffective in many countries. The UN, based on its experience with the Global Compact, could identify private SCLs that meet minimum requirements as “best practices”.

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  • October 8
    Israel, Bangladesh Adopt Legislation to Limit Lead in Paint

    Israel, Bangladesh Adopt Legislation to Limit Lead in Paint

    Israel has set a 90 ppm lead limit for all paints, while Bangladesh has established a 90 ppm lead limit for decorative paints. The most effective means of preventing lead exposure from paints is to establish national laws, including legislation, regulations and/or legally binding standards that ban the use of lead additives in paints. No known level of lead exposure is considered safe for adults or children.

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  • October 3
    Expert Workshop on Indicators Contributes to SAICM ‘Beyond 2020’ Process

    Expert Workshop on Indicators Contributes to SAICM ‘Beyond 2020’ Process

    The workshop emphasized the need for synergies and the potential to capitalize on and support existing indicator and reporting processes related to other conventions, frameworks and processes, rather than “starting from scratch”. The main message of the workshop is that targets and indicators for the ‘Beyond 2020’ process should be developed in parallel to ensure their mutual effectiveness. The workshop underscored the need for a “layered approach,” whereby a set of minimum indicators for all countries would be produced, with use of additional indicators where appropriate.

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