Since 2005, the Swedish Chemicals Agency has had global programmes for development cooperation with funding from Sida. Through the global programmes we have been able to contribute to a number of international projects and the development of several important documents to support low and middle income countries in developing a preventive chemical control.
The Swedish Chemicals Agency's global programme for development cooperation is a broad programme containing several different types of activities to promote the development of a preventive chemical control in the world. Below are some examples of activities in the programme.
Guidance for the development of preventive chemicals control
One of the goals of the Swedish Chemicals Agency's global programme is to support low- and middle-income countries in developing legislation and institutional capacity for preventive chemical control. We do this by providing guidance for the development of legislation and sustainable institutions for national chemical control.
The Swedish Chemicals Agency is developing its own guidance documents on various aspects of preventive chemical control. These and other guidance materials are also used in workshops in different countries and regions, where the Swedish Chemicals Agency participates.
Guidance and reports from UN organisations
In addition to our own guidance documents, cooperation with the UN Environment Program (UNEP) is ongoing, where the Swedish Chemicals Agency provides support for the development of a series of practical guidance and information documents on chemical control.
In collaboration with UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Swedish Chemicals Agency has, among other things, contributed to the development of guidance on very dangerous pesticides (so-called highly hazardous pesticides) and other guidance documents concerning pesticides.
We have also been able to contribute to the development of other important documents such as guidance on issues such as legislation for preventive chemicals control (the so called LIRA guidance) together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and guidance on the integration of sound management of chemicals countries' development planning together with the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
Another document produced by UNEP with the support of the Swedish Chemicals Agency is a report on the costs of not having a functioning chemical control, the cost of inaction. The report shows that there are significant costs and provides financial arguments for why countries should introduce chemical control.
Chemicals and gender
Chemicals can have different effects on men and women, and exposure to hazardous chemicals can also differ between men and women. In order to reduce the risks associated with chemicals, it is important to increase the knowledge about the exposure and thus the risks for different groups. The Swedish Chemicals Agency has supported a project that investigated this through case studies in Nigeria and Indonesia. The output was a documentary film and a report. This project was one of several projects supported by the Swedish Chemicals Agency via the secretariat for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.
Support for cooperation between countries
Many low and middle income countries have a weakly developed national chemical control. Exchanging experiences and in some cases sharing tasks with other countries in similar situations can contribute to providing better conditions for developing a preventive chemical control.
Within the framework of the global programme, support is provided for an e-mail-based network and a web-based discussion forum for pesticide issues. The University of Cape Town (UCT) is responsible for these networks. The cooperation between the Swedish Chemicals Agency and UCT also includes support for the cooperation group SAPReF (Southern Africa Pesticides Registrars Forum). SAPReF focuses on pesticides and is a technical committee under the SADC (Southern African Development Community).
Since 2010, the Swedish Chemicals Agency has been cooperating with the Africa Institute, which is the regional center for the Basel and Stockholm conventions for English-speaking countries in Africa. Countries such as Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia have participated in seminars aimed at creating the conditions for improving legislation and developing a functioning chemical control.