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Perspectives on addressing HHPs in the SAICM context

The SAICM Secretariat, in partnership with the University of Cape Town, established a community of practice on Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) to foster discussions, exchange of best practices, and recommendations to address HHPs amongst relevant stakeholders. This is a summary of the discussion on Perspectives on addressing HHPs in the SAICM context, which took place on 19 August 2020.

Presenter: Brenda Koekkoek (SAICM)

In 2006 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), a multi-stakeholder policy framework to promote sound chemicals management around the world. SAICM is the core international forum for achieving a key goal set in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development: by 2020, chemicals will be used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment. In 2015, the International Conference for Chemicals Management (ICCM) adopted a resolution that recognized HHPs as an issue of concern and called for concerted action to address HHPs. The SAICM mandate expires in 2020, long before we will reach the target of minimizing the health and environmental impacts of chemicals throughout their lifecycle. Overall progress has been uneven and there is still a significant need for development and implementation of effective chemical and waste management policies and practices around the globe.

The Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) has agreed to facilitate collaboration, cooperation and contributions of stakeholders in the implementation of the HHP Strategy. The proposed strategy to address HHPs in the context of SAICM was developed by FAO, UNEP, and WHO (see resources below). SAICM stakeholders are encouraged to undertake concerted efforts to implement the HHP Strategy at the local, national, regional , and international levels, with emphasis on promoting agroecologically based alternatives and strengthening national regulatory capacity to conduct risk assessment and risk management, including the availability of necessary information, mindful of the responsibility of national and multinational enterprises. The discussions on SAICM and the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 provide an opportunity to inspire wider stakeholder engagement and a renewed commitment to implementing the Strategic Approach and encourage stakeholders to continue concentrated efforts to address HHPs.