Knowledge Note

"What are the necessary tools and enabling conditions for the sound management of harmful chemical waste around the world?"

Over 100 million man-made chemicals and chemical formulations are used in every sector of the industrial economy. When used improperly or disposed of unsafely, chemicals pose significant risks for both the environment and human health: scientists infact estimate that just about every person on the planet carries within their body a large number of chemical contaminants that have an unknown impact on their well-being.

Despite recent advances made under various waste management agreements, the production, use, and disposal of chemicals are rapidly increasing in developing countries and countries in economic transition. These rapid changes increase economic opportunities, but they must be matched by enhanced programs and initiatives for sound chemicals and waste management.

This Knowledge Note delineates the Global Environmental Facility (GEF)'s approach to waste management within its operations, while also outlining the GEF’s proposed steps for generating stronger private sector engagement and investment within this global initiative. This note was produced by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF); an organization established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet's most pressing environmental problems. To read more about the GEF and its projects, please click here.