The objective of the Project is to support country-driven institutional strengthening at the national level, in the context of an integrated approach to address the financing of the sound management of chemicals and wastes, taking into account the national development strategies, plans and priorities of each country, to increase sustainable public institutional capacity for the sound management of chemicals and wastes throughout their life cycle. Institutional strengthening under the Special Programme will facilitate and enable the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the Minamata Convention and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).
The first session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-1), in June 2014, in resolution 1/5 on Chemicals and Waste, further adopted the terms of reference for a Special Programme, to be funded by voluntary contributions, to support institutional strengthening at the national level to enhance the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the Minamata Convention on Mercury and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). The Special Programme is one of two complementary elements of dedicated external financing under the integrated approach, with the GEF being the other element.
The Special Programme is part of the sub-programme 5 on chemicals and wastes in UNEP’s Programme of Work, in particular Project 515.2 Special Programme to support institutional strengthening at the national level to enhance the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the Minamata Convention and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). It specifically addresses expected accomplishment (a) that countries increasingly have the necessary institutional capacity and policy instruments to manage chemicals and waste soundly including the implementation of related provisions in the multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).
Following the third call for applications, the Government of Vanuatu submitted their application for funding from the Special Programme Trust Fund to strengthen their capacities for national implementation of chemicals and waste related international agreements. The Executive Board of the Special Programme, at its fourth meeting held from 29 to 31 January 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland, approved the application submitted by Vanuatu.
Objective of the PCA
The proposed project seeks to strengthen the institutional capacity in Vanuatu to implement sound chemicals and waste management in accordance with obligations under the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions. The project will be implemented by the Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation (DEPC), with strategic oversight provided by a National Chemicals Coordinating Committee. A Project Management Unit staffed by a Project Manager and a part-time Project Assistant will be established under DEPC to coordinate the day-to-day implementation of the project.
Institutional capacity to implement the Conventions will be strengthened through:
- development of a national chemicals profile for Vanuatu through a comprehensive situational analysis. This will provide the data and information to establish a solid baseline and set priorities
- development of a contemporary National Chemicals Management Policy and costed implementation plan, which will help to mainstream Vanuatu’s obligations under the Conventions into national implementation priorities
- reviewing and updating the national legislative framework for chemicals management to reduce overlap, close legislative loopholes, and strengthen national capacity for environmentally sound chemicals management
- establishment of a centralised data management system for chemicals and wastes to enable updated data on chemicals and waste to be collected, stored, reported, and used for better decision- and policy-making strengthening the human technical capacity of relevant institutions through the provision of training to stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Conventions, as well as those involved in the life-cycle management of chemicals; and through the establishment of accredited and sustainable training programs that support implementation of the Conventions.