Building support for a new science-policy interface on chemicals & waste management

Human activity produces vast amounts of chemical products and waste which can greatly harm human and planetary health, if not managed properly.  The scientific community working in the field of chemical pollution has been mobilising over the past few years to advocate for the creation of a New Global Science-Policy Body for chemicals and waste. They are echoing recommendations put forward by the UN Environment to enhance collaboration of scientists and decision-makers with the objective to achieve a sound management of chemicals and waste pollution (Global Chemicals Outlook II (GCO-II); UNEA resolution 4/8). 

This momentum will culminate during the Fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly on 28 February-5 March in Nairobi. This session is expected to adopt a resolution on a Science-Policy Panel on chemicals, waste, and pollution, proposed by Costa Rica, Ghana, Mali, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uruguay. 

In this context, the GSPI is proud to bring its support – via its Impact Collaboration Programme – to a collective of respected scientists and policy actors that has undertaken to review the need for policy-relevant scientific information required for the timely implementation of the main Multilateral Environmental Agreements that deal with chemicals and waste, namely the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, and the Minamata Convention. This collective, led by Dr. Zhanyun Wang from the ETH Zürich, has published its first analysis “Enhancing Scientific Support for the Stockholm Convention’s Implementation: An Analysis of Policy Needs for Scientific Evidence” in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

This groundbreaking analysis is aimed at scientists and experts from a variety of natural and social sciences and from all sectors (academia, civil society, industry, and government institutions), as well as research funding agencies. It provides practical guidance to scientists and experts to promote the visibility and accessibility of their work for the Convention’s implementation, and recommendations for sustaining scientific support to the Convention. 

This study is the first of a series on analysing policy needs for scientific evidence related to the global governance of chemicals and waste. The GSPI looks forward to supporting further engagement of key stakeholders around the findings and recommendations produced in this project.