4 - 5 June 2012, Yaoundé, Cameroon – Cameroon held its National Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) Planning and Inception Workshop from 4 to 5 June 2012 with the participation of UNITAR. The objectives of the workshop were to raise awareness about the SAICM and to launch and plan the activities of the national project for the implementation of SAICM, entitled “Enabling Activities for the Development of a SAICM Implementation Plan within an Integrated National Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals and Supporting GHS Capacity Building in Cameroon”.  The project aims to strengthen the national capacity to implement SAICM through the updating of the National Profile to Assess Infrastructure and Capacity Needs for Chemicals Management, the strengthening of national governance mechanisms for intersectoral cooperation and information exchange on chemicals management, the development of a SAICM National Implementation Plan, and the undertaking of enabling activities for the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of chemicals (GHS).

Some 40 participants from public and private sectors, civil society, and academia were given presentations on SAICM and the international context for sound chemicals management, followed by presentations on key project activities. The workshop represented an opportunity to discuss about project activity implementation and specific roles and responsibilities to be played by the different stakeholders.

Based on the outcomes of this workshop, Cameroon will formalize the National Project Coordinating Committee, update its National Profile, and strengthen the national governance structure, through the development of a National Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Mechanism, Information Exchange Mechanism, and Stakeholder Involvement Policy.

The National SAICM Planning and Inception Workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Protection of Nature of Cameroon, Direction of Standard and Control, with technical support provided by UNITAR, and financial support provided by SAICM’s Quick Start Programme Trust Fund.