Dialogue: 8 Years - 8 Actions towards the 2020 goal of Sound Chemicals Management
In today´s global economy , chemicals are an essential part of our daily lives and are therefore a vital component in all three pillars of sustainable development. Sustainable development cannot be realised without managing the challenges and utilising the opportunities raised by chemicals. The Sound Management of Chemicals should therefore be an integral part of any approach aimed at addressing the solutions for sustainable development so that significant adverse effects on humans and environments are minimized.
- Representatives of the business sector, voluntary organisations, international organisations and different countries were invited to the dialogue on chemicals on 24 April.
- Achim Steiner of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Minister for the Environment Lena Ek, Nina Cromnier of the Swedish Chemicals Agency and Rachel Kyte of the World Bank spoke during the dialogue on chemicals.
- Achim Steiner of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Minister for the Environment Lena Ek pointed out the importance of highlighting the question of chemicals in the work on sustainable development.
In conjunction with the Stockholm+40 environmental conference, Minister for the Environment Lena Ek, together with Director-General of the Swedish Chemicals Agency Nina Cromnier, organised an international chemicals dialogue on Tuesday 24 April. While significant progress has been made in some parts of the world, there are still differences within and between different regions. Only eight years remain for governments, the industry and other stakeholders to achieve the 2020 goal agreed by the heads of state in Johannesburg in 2002 and further reinforced in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), which calls for all stakeholders to further step up their efforts towards reaching the 2020 goal.
Dialogue on chemicals - a platform for different actors
In connection with the international chemicals dialogue, Ms Ek presented the initiative 8 Years - 8 Actions towards the 2020 goal of Sound Chemicals Management. With eight years left until the goal must be met, eight areas are being highlighted which Ms Ek sees as particularly important for the work to reach the 2020 goal. The dialogue was primarily aimed at seeking support for the eight areas identified and, equally important, creating a platform for dialogue between different actors in society. The focus of the discussions was to jointly identify important preconditions for implementation and to come up with concrete proposals in each of the eight areas.
There was broad support for the areas and a desire from the group to hold similar informal dialogues in connection with other meetings. The participation of the business sector was especially appreciated.
Declaration of intent - towards the 2020 goal of Sound Management of Chemicals
As a step forward, Ms Ek adopted a declaration of intent focusing on eight selected areas in which to concentrate implementation efforts over the next eight years.
- Awareness raising; focusing on increased awareness on Sound Chemicals Management as a key component in Sustainable Development.
- Access to information; focusing on actions that improve accessibility to clear, timely and appropriate information to decision makers at all levels in the society.
- Health aspects; focusing on action that would further strengthen the health aspects of Sound Chemicals Management and further integrate chemicals aspects in the health agenda.
- Substitution; focusing on action toward progressive substitution of chemicals that pose an unmanageable risk to human health and the environment.
- Resource efficiency; focusing on action towards improved waste prevention and waste management, including prevention of chemicals risks from waste.
- Chemicals in the development agenda; focusing on action that contributes towards strengthening the linkages between Sound Chemicals Management and the development agenda.
- Capacity building; focusing on more coherent action towards bridging the gap in differences of capacity to handle the challenges and opportunities for Sound Chemicals Management.
- International Environmental Governance; focusing on further enhancing cooperation and coordination and an integrated approach to financing for chemicals and waste.