Technical Assistance on Industrial Chemicals

Industrial chemicals, especially asbestos, management in the Asia Pacific region: funded by the Government of Japan.

The Secretariat is in the process of implementing a project in collaboration with WHO, ILO and other partners to support the sound management of Industrial Chemicals in the Asia and Pacific region, focusing on industrial chemicals, with a special emphasis on asbestos. The following activities have taken place:

  • An inception workshop was carried out from 31 August to 2 September 2010 in Bangkok.
  • Malaysia and the Philippines requested to be two of the pilot countries to participate in the project, being executed in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).

The results of the activities in these two pilot countries will provide a means for other countries to learn and be guided as to the implementation of asbestos management frameworks.In conjunction with the WHO and other partners, Malaysia and the Philippines would be supported through the following activities:

  • Preparation of legal studies to review existing legislation for the sound management of asbestos in the context of overall chemicals management and occupational health and safety frameworks.
  • Identification of gaps and how best to adapt the existing legislation for the sound management of asbestos and other high priority industrial chemicals, and the effective implementation of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and other legally binding international instruments;
  • Implementation of a national workshop to raise awareness on the health risks and potential health and environmental impacts of asbestos; and,
  • Analysis of the approaches for identifying risk mitigation measures and best practices for prevention of asbestos-related diseases.

Industrial chemicals in the Africa, LAC and Asia Pacific regions:

Three regional awareness-raising workshops on industrial chemicals management were jointly organized with SAICM, GTZ, CIEL, UNEP Chemicals, WHO and the Secretariat in 2010 for the Africa and Latin American and Caribbean, and the Asia Pacific regions:

  • SAICM back-to-back workshop in Abidjan 25-29 January 2010
  • SAICM back-to-back workshop in Jamaica 13 March 2010
  • Industrial chemicals management workshop in Bangkok back-to-back with the Asbestos inception workshop, 3 September 2010.

Pilot studies for improving industrial chemicals management in developing countries and countries with economies in transition under the Rotterdam Convention:

Jordan and Botswana have requested to take part in the pilot programme on industrial chemicals. The following activities will be undertaken to accomplish the outputs and purposes of the project for Jordan and Botswana:

  1. Pre-project scoping meetings
    To set the stage for the implementation of the project, seek counsel with high level dignitaries, gain endorsement and to familiarize the stakeholders on the upcoming events, a 3 day mission including representatives from the Secretariat plus the expert that will provide technical support visit the pilot countries. These activities were carried out in November 2010.

  2. Initial Stakeholders’ workshop
    All relevant stakeholders will be invited to participate in a 5 day workshop to establish the responsibilities for data collection and analysis to determine the status of national industrial chemicals management of the country. Additionally, participants will get information on how to conduct a needs assessment and will be provided with information on the objectives, principles and tools of sound management of industrial chemicals. These activities took place in March and April 2011 for Jordan and Botswana, respectively.

  3. Preparation of a legal study on the existing management of industrial chemicals
    Using expertise from the country, a review of the current legislation that is in place will be undertaken. This review will consider the implications of overlapping laws and regulations and also consider enforcement arising from these pieces of legislation

  4. Update of the national profile on industrial chemicals management
    Stakeholders will be requested to provide information relating to the status of industrial chemicals management in the country. This information will be compiled and a report prepared that identifies the priorities and possible sources of funds considered to implement activities to overcome these issues.

  5. Final stakeholders’ workshop
    In line with the initial workshop, a second workshop will be convened for stakeholders to deliberate on the report of the status of industrial chemicals management and the implementation plan for capacity strengthening and increased management.

  6. Case study reports
    To document the success of the project and to establish a process for similar future exercises, a case study will be prepared. This case study will be critical for the finalization of the toolkit to be used to support development of industrial chemicals management for developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition to the Rotterdam Convention.