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Brazil granted UN funding to implement chemicals policy

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A UN financing programme has granted Brazil funding of more than $400,000 to help implement its industrial chemicals policy.

The country recently released its draft policy, which sets out its plan to create a national inventory of substances and strengthen the management of chemicals.

Brazil will receive $402,901 through UN Environment's Special Programme Trust Fund. This is financed through contributions by countries signed up to the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions. Brazil will add $298,481 from its own budget.

The money will be used to implement the chemicals policy, as well as the Conventions and activities of the UN's Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (Saicm).

The funds will largely help achieve measures set under a three-year project with UN Environment. This aims to "strengthen the legal and institutional frameworks" for managing chemicals in the country. The measures are to:

  • raise awareness regarding chemicals and waste management issues among decision‐ makers, the media and the public;
  • evaluate international information systems for monitoring chemicals and design such a system to meet Brazil’s needs;
  • evaluate the current infrastructure available for chemicals management in Brazil and propose improvements; and
  • train those responsible for enforcing the law, as well as members of Brazil's proposed technical and deliberative committees, which will be responsible for selecting substances and imposing regulatory measures.

Leticia Reis de Carvalho, director of the environment ministry's department of environmental quality in industry, told Chemical Watch: "The Special Programme Project represents an opportunity to improve the chemicals agenda in Brazil, providing the necessary funds to promote the actions needed in order to achieve a better chemicals management strategy."

The draft policy is currently being reviewed by Brazil’s legal advisory unit. From there, it is expected the draft will move on to the country's executive office – the Civil House – which sends proposed laws of the executive powers to Congress where it is signed into law.

It is unclear when the policy will become law or whether the legislative plans will be affected once the successful presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro takes office on 1 January.

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