Determining two (2) Regional Standards for Development in the Caribbean
Subsequent to the launch of Output 1.4 in March 2023, The Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean (BCRC – Caribbean) embarked on Phase II of the activity ‘To increase capacity for the development and implementation of national and regional chemicals and products standards”, under the GEF ISLANDS 10279 and 10472 projects. The assessment phase for this activity was supported by input from the twelve (12) participating countries across the Caribbean Child projects, as well as the additional five (5) CARICOM countries that are not currently participating in the programme; specifically, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The consulting team led by Mr. Ramón Madriñán embarked on national assessments in each of these countries through a combination of desktop reviews of existing online resources on standards and legislation across the countries, as well as virtual discussions with the national focal points and standards representatives to understand what standards exist that align with the Basel, Minamata, and Stockholm conventions. Also, a Data Capture form was used to collect responses from a wide range of national stakeholders on the existence of these standards and legislation, while also providing feedback on the institutional capacity to implement the requirements of the standards, and national areas of importance under each convention.
In addition to the national assessments, this phase of the activity also involved an assessment of the standards developed through regional and international standards setting bodies to support the gap analysis. These included the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). The data collected during the assessments were compiled into a series of detailed reports which contributed to the general assessment report developed by the consulting team. This assessment report was shared with project stakeholders for their review and comment, at the regional validation workshop held on October 03, 2023.
The validation workshop allowed for national focal points and national standards bureau representatives to be presented with the results of the assessment and the two (2) standards proposed for development through the use of a multi-criteria analysis. The proposed standards are:
- Terminology and Definitions of hazardous substances or products containing hazardous substances, and
- Classification and Labelling of hazardous substances or products containing hazardous substances.
The standard on terminology and definitions was determined to be important for further development to facilitate the preparation of legislation, regulations or technical standards and to facilitate monitoring through the use of specific terminology. Also, in terms of classification and labelling, the utility of this standard would be for the preservation of health and safety of the public and for the purposes of standardization for trade. With no objection from the project stakeholders on these proposed standards, they were presented to the CROSQ Council for preliminary approval for fast-track development, which was granted. The next steps under this activity include the further development of the two (2) regional standards along with the support of CROSQ and the Technical Management Committee (TMC).
The Implementing Sustainable Low and Non-Chemical Development in Small Island Developing States (ISLANDS) Programme is a $515-million, five-year initiative backed by the Global Environment Facility (providing $61 million), supporting 33 Small Island Developing States in four regions – the Atlantic, Caribbean, Indian and Pacific Ocean to reduce and manage toxic waste in their territories. ISLANDS is led by the United Nations Environment Programme, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the Inter-American Development Bank.
About the UN Environment Programme
The UN Environment Programme is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
About the Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility is the largest multilateral fund working to enable developing countries to invest in nature. It supports the implementation of international environmental conventions on biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, and desertification. Since 1991, it has provided more than $21.7 billion in grants and blended finance and mobilized an additional $119 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects and programmes.
About the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer
The BCRC-Caribbean is one of fourteen (14) global regional and coordinating centres established under The Basel Convention. The Centre serves fifteen (15) Caribbean countries that are Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm, and Minamata Conventions and assists them with implementing their international obligations to manage wastes and chemicals and protect human health and the environment.