16-18 July 2013, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – Burkina Faso held its National SAICM Planning and Inception Workshop from 16 to 18 July 2013 with the participation of UNITAR and UNEP. The objectives of the workshop were to raise awareness about the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and to launch and plan the activities of the national project for the implementation of SAICM, entitled “Strengthening Capacities in Burkina Faso for National SAICM Implementation and Promotion of Synergies among the Stockholm, Basel, and Rotterdam Conventions”.  The project aims to strengthen the national capacity to implement SAICM through the strengthening of national governance mechanisms for intersectoral cooperation and information exchange on chemicals management, the preparation of a SAICM National Implementation Plan, the development of a National Policy for SAICM Implementation, the establishment of a National chemicals management database, and the organization of an awareness raising campaign and training workshops, targeting in priority mining industry workers, cotton production workers and National Focal Points and relevant decision makers regarding the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions.

Some 35 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, Burkina Faso will formalize the National Project Coordinating Committee, strengthen the national governance structure, through the development of a National Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Mechanism, Information Exchange Mechanism, and Stakeholder Involvement Policy, develop a SAICM National Implementation Plan, including specific action plans for identified national priorities, and prepare a feasibility study and an action plan for the development of the National chemicals management database.

The National SAICM Planning and Inception Workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Burkina Faso, with technical support provided by UNITAR and UNEP, and financial support provided by SAICM’s Quick Start Programme Trust Fund.