Supporting access to the SAICM Quick Start Programme


The International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) decided in resolution I/4 to establish the Quick Start Programme (QSP) for the implementation of SAICM objectives. The objective of the QSP is to support initial enabling capacity building and implementation activities in developing countries, least developed countries, small island developing states and countries with economies in transition. The QSP contains a voluntary, time-limited trust fund, administered by UNEP, and includes multilateral, bilateral and other forms of cooperation.

The third session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Rotterdam Convention recommended in its decision RC-3/5 that individual developing country Parties and Parties with economies in transition propose projects under the SAICM QSP that:

  • build foundational capacities in sound chemicals management necessary for their adequate implementation of the Rotterdam Convention;
  • support activities directed at enabling the implementation of sound chemicals management objectives by mainstreaming them into national development strategies.

Please visit the SAICM website for more information on the SAICM Quick Start Programme and the SAICM Overarching Policy Strategy.


Developing countries and countries with economies in transition are eligible for support from the QSP trust fund. Approval of QSP funded projects will take into account geographic and sectoral balance and pay particular attention to the urgent needs and requirements of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. Proposals may be presented by SAICM participating Governments that have given appropriate formal recognition to SAICM, at a minimum by having designated an official SAICM national focal point.

At this stage of the QSP, the Executive Board has limited each country to having trust fund support for one national project, one multi-country project and one civil society project, with certain exceptions.  Further information and a list of eligible countries can  be found on the following eligibility page of the SAICM website.

Applications to the QSP Trust Fund

Applications to the QSP trust fund can be submitted twice a year. The seventh round of applications will close on 31 August 2009 and the following round is expected to close in March 2010, with the exact date to be confirmed. The SAICM and Rotterdam Convention secretariats are willing to provide information and guidance for the development of project proposals relating to implementation of the Rotterdam Convention. Please note that project proposals should be sent to the secretariats well in advance of the closing date to enable the SAICM secretariat to review them for completeness.

What projects and activities can be funded by the QSP?

Projects that support initial enabling capacity-building and implementation activities in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, consistent with the objective and strategic priorities of the QSP:

  1. Development or updating of national chemical profiles and the identification of capacity needs for sound chemicals management;
  2. Development and strengthening of national chemicals management institutions, plans, programmes and activities to implement SAICM, building upon work conducted to implement international chemicals related agreements and initiatives;
  3. Undertaking analysis, interagency coordination, and public participation activities for integrating – i.e., mainstreaming – the sound management of chemicals in national strategies, and development assistance priorities.

Parties considering submitting proposals should keep in mind that:

  • Multisectoral projects are welcomed and proposals for such projects need to show evidence of support from the various stakeholders (e.g. via letters from health, environment, agriculture and labour ministries, and civil society groups, as relevant); 
  • Intergovernmental organizations, including Convention secretariats, can act as project executing agencies (for an administration fee of up to 8%) or as sub-contractors, but this is not a requirement;
  • Projects can be valued from $50,000 to $250,000;
  • QSP funds can, in principle, be used for co-financing larger projects.

QSP strategic priority B, above, allows for a broad variety of possible projects. Those relating to Rotterdam Convention implementation could include, for example, activities aimed at strengthening governance, policy and legislation and undertaking training and research, such as:

  • Development of action plans;
  • Research for risk reduction strategies;
  • Strengthening capacity to address illegal trafficking;
  • Reviews of legislation relevant to national implementation of the Rotterdam Convention;
  • Strengthening coordination of the national implementation of the chemicals-related MEAs (e. g. Stockholm, Rotterdam, and Basel Conventions). 

There are a number of projects approved by the Quick Start Programme Trust Fund that are related to the QSP strategic priority B. One example is the project on Capacity Building and Awareness Raising Programmes on the Implementation of the Rotterdam Convention in Thailand.

This project aims to strengthen the capacity of personnel and local communities for better management of chemicals, building upon work conducted to implement the Rotterdam Convention. Based on priorities identified in Thailand’s National Strategic Plan on Chemical Management and the National Action Plan for the Implementation of the Rotterdam Convention, activities would focus on four main areas.

Firstly, customs and border control officials will be trained to monitor and control imports and exports of chemicals and compliance with MEAs.
In a second phase, awareness-raising activities on the Rotterdam Convention and their associated roles for effective implementation of the Convention will be aimed at industrial and agricultural associations and local communities. Capacity building on reporting on severely hazardous pesticide formulations will be introduced to relevant Government agencies.

Finally, outreach activities will target local communities, including farmers, teachers and students, auditors and regulators in product inspection, to promote the safe use of pesticides and good agricultural practices.

The guidelines and application materials are available on the SAICM web site

Please note that the updated Arabic, French and Spanish versions of the guidelines are currently being updated.

Funding application guidelines

The Secretariat strongly recommends that project proponents share an initial short concept paper with the SAICM and Rotterdam Convention secretariats as early as possible, so that it can provide guidance on compliance with QSP requirements.

Contact Details

SAICM Secretariat

Chemicals Branch
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
United Nations Environment Programme
Chemin des Anémones 11-13
CH - 1219 Chatelaine
Tel.: +41 22 917 8532
Fax: +41 22 797 3460

Rotterdam Convention Secretariat

Secretariat for the Rotterdam Convention
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
11-13 Chemin des Anémones
CH-1219 Châtelaine GE

Tel:  +41 22  917 8296
Fax: +41 22  917 8082

Secretariat for the Rotterdam Convention
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome

Tel:  +39  06 5705 2188
Fax: +39  06 5705 3057