Heard of the Quick Start Programme?

As one of the most ambitious international chemicals management programmes undertaken draws to a close in December 2019 after 13 successful years – here is what you should know about it.

What: The Quick Start Programme (QSP) was created in 2006 to support developing countries in the sound management of chemicals. More specifically, to help countries to produce and use chemicals in ways that minimise adverse impacts on the environment and human health – through projects spanning a range of sectors.

Where: Since its inception, QSP through its Trust Fund, has enabled 184 projects across 108 countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central & Eastern Europe as well as Latin America & the Caribbean. An amount of $47.6 million was mobilised through the fund.

How: QSP projects addressed various aspects of chemicals management by different actors.

For example, in Sri Lanka, QSP funded a project to educate national experts, academics and 600 employees from the country’s rubber, textile and tourism industries in managing chemicals efficiently. Supporting materials including training manuals, sector guidelines and an online course were developed. The project strengthened national capacity of institutions and universities as well as enhanced efficiency and environmental performance of local industries.

Read more about the programme’s impactful work in Sri Lanka: Empowering Sri Lanka’s vital industries to manage chemicals the SMART way.


Garments being made at a factory in Sri Lanka. Photo credit: Flickr - ILO/Crozet


A glimpse of a farm in Lesotho

In Lesotho, the programme enabled training sessions on proper herbicide and pesticide usage for 202 key personnel, including farmers, district staff, traders, environment officers and machinery operators. This was crucial as farmers in Lesotho often work without protective clothing and proper equipment – placing them at high risk for pesticide poisoning.

More about the Quick Start Programme

QSP is a funding mechanism under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). SAICM is a policy framework to promote chemical safety around the world, which supports the achievement of the 2020 goal agreed at the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. The SAICM Secretariat is hosted by UNEP. SAICM finishes its mandate at the end of 2020. Its stakeholders are currently negotiating successor framework for beyond 2020 to continue the important work for the sound management or chemicals and waste.


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