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Chemicals, waste and the SDGs

Sound management of chemicals and waste (SMCW) can make an important contribution towards implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and achieving its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), participants heard at an international expert and stakeholder workshop held in Geneva on 11-13 April.


SMCW is a specific target under SDG 12 on Sustainable Consumption and Production for example, as changes in consumer behaviour can drive this management. It is also referred to under SDG 3 on Good Health and Well-being and SDG 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation.


Mismanagement furthermore primarily affects people already in poverty. Indeed, “there is probably not one single SDG which is not linked to and dependent on SMCW,” said Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat.


During the event, more than 70 government, private sector, academia, civil society and intergovernmental organisation representatives met to forge a common understanding, commitment and action to national implementation of the SDGs and development planning through the sound management of chemicals.


Specific working group sessions were held for individual SDGs linking them to this national planning. There, a suite of indicators was seen as being needed for countries to measure institutional capacity and progress towards sustainable chemicals management for example. Opportunities for knowledge creation, exchange and management will now be explored and factsheets produced on the links between SMCW and the SDGs.


The workshop was organised by the UNEP Chemicals and Waste Branch, Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, the Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, The United Nations Institute for Training and Research and the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals.


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