29 - 30 November 2012, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – A National Forum on Governance and Priority Setting for SAICM Implementation was held in the Dominican Republic from 29 to 30 November 2012. The workshop was held under the framework of a national project for the implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), and consisted of a review of the progress made to date, establishing priorities for national chemicals management, and preparing action plans for selected priorities.

The workshop was attended by nearly 50 representatives of government, industry, non-governmental organisations, and universities, as well as UNITAR. As part of the mid-term review of the project, the national project team presented key project documents for discussion and endorsement. These included the National Profile, the terms of reference for an interministerial coordination mechanism, and a national website on chemicals management. These documents were provisionally endorsed by the participants and will be finalised after the workshop.

Based on the conclusions of the National Profile, the participants agreed on a dozen national priorities for chemicals management. These included hazardous waste management, control and audit, training in chemicals emergency response, and communication of chemical risk to workers.

During the second day of the workshop, UNITAR guided the participants through the process of planning and developing action plans. The participants began drafting action plans for five of the agreed national priority issues:

  • Facilities for hazardous waste disposal;
  • Control and audit;
  • Register of hazardous chemical imports;
  • Hazardous waste management, including medical waste; and
  • Coordination mechanisms to respond to chemicals emergencies.

These action plans will be further developed over the next months and will form an integral part of the National SAICM Implementation Plan.

The National Forum was hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic, with technical support provided by UNITAR, and financial support provided by SAICM’s Quick Start Programme Trust Fund.

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