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International Meeting of Environment and Development Partners. Global Trends in Chemicals Management and the Role for Integrating (Mainstreaming) the Sound Management of Chemicals in Development Policies and Plans: Assessing Status and Building Consensus o

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On 14-16 December 2009, UNEP Chemicals Branch held an international meeting gathering environment and development partners engaged on the topic of integrating (“mainstreaming”) the sound management of chemicals in development policies and plans. This includes the topics of economic analysis to make the case for mainstreaming, and improved policy infrastructure needed to create the conditions for sound management of chemicals in the development context.

Located in the International Environment House 2, Chemin de Balexert 7-9, CH-1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, the meeting was held back-to-back with the "Scoping Meeting for the Study of Stakeholder Needs for Information on Chemicals in Products" held on December 17-18, 2009.

Meeting Participants:
The meeting was held over 3 (three) days, with more than 50 participants attending, including representatives from:

  • Project managers from countries currently undertaking or planning to undertake mainstreaming projects;
  • NGOs and the private sector;
  • SAICM regional focal points;
  • Donor countries;
  • IGOs with current mandates and activities in support of mainstreaming SMC ; and
  • Practitioners from the UNDP-UNEP Poverty and Environment Initiative.

The meeting was not intended to be a venue for negotiations or establishing commitments for governments or international agencies, but rather was seeking dialogue with and inputs from in-country practitioners and international experts in their individual professional capacities. 

The meeting allowed significant time for open discussion following presentations given by representatives from the various constituencies noted above. Breakout groups have also been used to allow for detailed suggestions with respect to the path forward work programme (road map) noted in objective item 4 below.

Meeting Objectives:
This Meeting of Partners had four main objectives:

  1. Review recent international trends and policy developments that shape the context for work on integrating SMC into development policies and plans.
  1. Discuss the status, progress and lessons learned to-date from applied mainstreaming projects in developing countries and countries with economics in transition (CEITs).
  1. Discuss initiatives to advance the newer aspects of mainstreaming including economic analysis and justification, clarifying ways to characterize the economic costs of inaction on SMC, and the use of market-based instruments to help finance SMC investments at the national level.
  1. Elaborate a path forward work programme (road map) to advance mainstreaming activities for the next 3 years, including proposed initiatives to:
    1. Address the main lessons learned to-date from current in-country projects (e.g. strengthening the health and environment linkages; improving identification of sustainable policy instruments and infrastructure; etc.)
    1. Improve economic information available to countries in the context of mainstreaming initiatives, and the global community regarding the rationale for mainstreaming and the economic costs of inaction on SMC; and
    1. Improve the dialogue on how to fund national SMC investments through improved market-based instruments and public and private sector partnerships.
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