Chemical management training for Pacific Islands

Update: 1:30PM FOURTEEN Pacific Island countries are expected to have comprehensive chemical management policies through a training program offered by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the University of the South Pacific (USP).

The first phase of the program that continues through to December will focus on the development of resource materials to support the training of government agency staff, laboratory staff, education sector representatives and customs personnel involved in the use, management and regulation of chemicals.

A statement from SPREP noted that the countries and territories of the Pacific were particularly vulnerable to the adverse effect of poor chemical management due to poorly maintained storage facilities and limited resource capacity.

“These factors are exacerbated by the region’s exposure to storm surges and tropical cyclones,” the statement said.

Dr Bruce Graham, who will be working with USP on the delivery of the training, said the final outcomes would see the development of a regional best-practice guide that will feed into and inform, draft national guidelines and action plans on chemical management.

“This will be the first time that Pacific Island countries have action plans that are specifically focused on the management of all chemicals,” he said.