A sound chemicals control is necessary for a sustainable development. The Swedish Chemicals Agency is cooperating with several countries, regions and organisations to support the development of a sound chemicals management.
It is important to manage chemicals in a safe way in order to avoid harm to human health and the environment. If chemicals are handled incorrectly, it can lead to huge costs to the society. Control of chemicals before they are placed on the national market is a necessary part of a sound chemicals management, but the preventive chemicals control is in many countries non-existent or very weak.
The Swedish Chemicals Agency are cooperating with several countries and regions as a part of the Swedish development cooperation (development aid). The cooperation is done in global, regional and bilateral programmes run by the Swedish Chemicals Agency, with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
Examples of activities within the Swedish Chemicals Agency’s development cooperation programmes:
- Support for the development of national legislation.
- Develop and strengthen the capacity for chemicals control at authorities and training to develop core competence, especially in the areas such as risk assessment, risk management, systems for informing about risks (classification and labelling, safety data sheets), chemicals register and enforcement.
- Support the implementation of the global chemicals strategy SAICM and conventions in the area of chemicals.
In development cooperation, it is important that the partner countries have a political will to lead themselves and take responsibility for their development. The partner countries are responsible for the capacity to implement the projects, with support from the Swedish Chemicals Agency.
What countries could be possible partner countries in development cooperation with the Swedish Chemicals Agency is governed by Sweden’s policy for global development together with the Government policies and development cooperation strategies for specific countries, regions and fields of work.
Other types of cooperation with strategic countries
The Government has a allocated specific funds for bilateral cooperation with countries that have a significant impact on the global environment and/or global environment and climate cooperation. Four Swedish authorities are participating in the bilateral cooperation projects: The Swedish Chemicals Agency, the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (HaV), the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is deciding about the distribution of the funds.
The Swedish Chemicals Agency is currently cooperating with Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, South Korea, Vietnam and Argentina.
The Nordic Council of Ministers for environment and climate is leading the Nordic environment cooperation. The cooperation is aiming to contribute to long-term solutions to common environmental problems, and is governed by the "Programme for Nordic Co-operation on the Environment and Climate 2019-2024". One prioritised area in the programme is “Chemicals – environment and health”, where the Nordic countries are working towards minimising the risks for environment and human health caused by chemical substances and chemicals in products.
Activities that are prioritised shall contribute to the development of the preventive chemicals control and strengthened development and implementation of the legislation for EU/EES. Other international chemicals issues are also prioritised, where the Nordic countries can cooperate in the pursuit of their interest with a greater impact and with a better result than if the countries would have operated on their own. The collaboration between the countries shall in that way contribute to a sustainable development in the Nordic region, in EU/EES and globally, and enhance the implementation of the global development goals in Agenda 2030.
The Swedish Chemicals Agency is participating in the Working group for Chemicals, Environment, and Health (NKE) under the Nordic Council of Ministers. This is group was previously called the Nordic Chemical Group (NKG). The chemicals authorities in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Faeroe Islands are also represented in the NKE.
The Nordic Council of Ministers allocates funds every year for different projects relating to chemicals. The funds are used to for example develop decision documentation and consultancy studies. The cooperation between the Nordic authorities is mainly conducted in projects that are initiated and implemented by subgroups to NKE, within a dozen different fields.
Sweden is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Swedish Chemicals Agency is the Swedish national contact point for the OECD Chemicals Programme.