The SAICM Project in Macedonia was approved by the Trust Fund Implementation Committee among the first three eligible countries in October, 2006 and was launched in April 2008 upon the signing of the Agreement by the Ministry of the Environment and Physical Planning as an Implementing Partner and the UNDP Resident representative as an Implementing Agency.
The main goal of the project is to support the Government:
- to assess its sound management of chemicals (SMC) regime
- to put a plan to begin addressing gaps in the national regime, and
- to help improve the incorporation of national sound management of chemicals into the national development planning agenda.
More specific objectives of the project are:
- development of an Initial National Situation Report and gathering of data on areas of high/risk/exposure for the environment and human health within the country;
- qualification of links between priority major chemicals problem areas and human health and environmental quality in the country, and quantification of the costs of inaction/benefits of action in planning/finance/economic language regarding major chemical management problem areas;
- identification of the areas of its national SMC governance regime that need strengthening most urgently and development of a realistic phased plan to address these needs;
- strengthening its national capacity relative to SMC and enhance general knowledge and understanding on SMC issues amongst decision makers, managers, the industry, NGOs and the public;
- proposing a path forward for our country to mainstream the highest priority SMC issues in our country’s development planning processes and plans and prepare a strategic national document which will express Government commitment towards the implementation of environmentally sound chemicals management;
- development and formulation of a National Plan on the implementation of SAICM’s Global Plan of Action.
This project is implemented in collaboration with UNEP as part of UNDP/UNEP “Partnership Initiative for the integration of SMC Considerations into Development Planning Processes”.
Four major value-added features of the Strategic Approach, relative to the international management of chemicals work that preceded it, are:
- A strengthened focus on improved cross-sectoral governance for the sound management of chemicals** at the national and local levels (i.e. rather than addressing chemicals on a chemical-by-chemical for chemicals class basis exclusively);
- An acknowledgement that the sound management of chemicals is essential for achievement of sustainable development, including the eradication of poverty and disease, the improvement of human health and the environment and the elevation and maintenance of the standard of living in countries at all levels of development;
- Recognition that for sound management of chemicals to be advanced significantly beyond the pre-SAICM situation, there will need to be much stronger links established with the development planning priorities, processes and plans of developing countries with the goal of integrating chemicals management into development planning (ICDP) and,
- Addressing, in a more comprehensive / holistic manner, the increasing gap in the capacity of developed and developing countries to manage risks posed by chemicals.
Through this project the country also could serve as an example that will help donor (QSP trust Fund) and recipient countries to better assess how to mobilize and target additional resources for implementation of SAICM going forward. For this reason, this project advances the country’s national objectives in the implementation of SAICM and will allow the country to contribute replicable examples that will benefit other countries under SAICM.