Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)
and the involvement of FAO
The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is a policy framework to promote chemical safety around the world. SAICM has as its overall objective the achievement of the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle so that, by 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment. This “2020 goal” was adopted by the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 as part of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. SAICM was adopted by the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), in February 2006.
SAICM includes agricultural chemicals. It will thus have an impact on the agricultural sector, in particular on the use and management of pesticides and the implementation of the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides, the Rotterdam Convention, the Codex Alimentarius and other international undertakings.
SAICM comprises three core documents:
- the Dubai Declaration on International Chemicals Management;
- the Overarching Policy Strategy,; and
- a Global Plan of Action (GPA).
Download: SAICM text, comprising the Dubai declaration, the Overarching Policy Strategy and the Global Plan of Action
The Global Plan of Action includes a variety of work areas with direct and/or indirect impact on the agricultural sector. Examples are:
- pesticide programmes
- sound agricultural practices
- highly toxic pesticides (risk management and reduction)
- legal, policy and institutional aspects
- risk assessment, management and communication
- waste management (and minimization)
- capacity building to support national actions.
FAO’s activities related to pesticides, in particular the International Code of Conduct, the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Programme, the Africa Stockpiles Programme (ASP) and the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat, address many of these areas. In many instances, reference is therefore made to the work of FAO in the Global Plan of Action. The overall objectives of SAICM are consistent with FAO’s approach to pesticide management.
Download: Comparison between the activities of the SAICM Global Plan of Action and the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides
The FAO Council, in its 131st Session in November 2006, discussed SAICM and agreed on its importance in assisting countries to meet the goals of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 and its contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. In line with the International Conference on Chemicals Management, it recognized the importance of Agencies such as FAO incorporating SAICM into their programmes, consistent with their mandate. It was also noted that the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides was to be considered as an important element of the SAICM process.
The FAO Council endorsed SAICM and recognized FAO’s role in the implementation of SAICM to the extent possible within existing resources. In view of the broad range of activities envisaged within SAICM, the Council suggested that the activities of FAO could include risk reduction, including the progressive ban on highly hazardous pesticides, promoting good agricultural practices, ensuring environmentally-sound disposal of stock-piles of obsolete pesticides and capacity-building in establishing national and regional laboratories.
Further information can be downloaded from the SAICM web site