Industrial Chemicals, especially asbestos, management in the Asia-Pacific Region: funded by the Government of Japan

The Asia-Pacific region remains the largest consumer of chrysotile asbestos in the world, with resulting adverse exposure and health implications indicating greater focus on this chemical is needed within the region. In addition, inadequate chemicals management systems are compounded by weak legislation and regulatory infrastructures.

The Secretariat has been implementing this project in collaboration with WHO, ILO and other partners to support the sound management of Industrial Chemicals in the Asia and Pacific region, with a special emphasis on asbestos. This project aims at strengthening the ability of governments in the Asia-Pacific region to: safely manage asbestos through a series of activities that are designed to increase the awareness of the risks and associated issues ; address the legal aspects required for safe management at the national level; highlight the associated health and environment aspects ; and the necessary institutional infrastructures The project addresses the lifecycle management and related issues of asbestos in three pilot countries (China, Indonesia and the Philippines) and the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention and related Multi-lateral Environment Agreements (MEAs).

The following activities have so far been carried out:




November 2009

Formation of a multi-stakeholder Inter-Agency Project Implementation Working Group (IAWG) on Sound Management of Industrial Chemicals to coordinate the implementation of the activities for this project (agencies involved were Rotterdam Convention Secretariat, UNEP Chemicals, Basel Convention Secretariat, WHO – (IHE, IPCS, and IARC), ILO and UNITAR)


November 2009






October 2011


May 2011

Cooperation Agreement for $200,000 USD was signed with Basel Convention Secretariat. Under this agreement, the Basel secretariat would make the necessary arrangements with the Basel Convention Coordinating Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Asia and Pacific region in Beijing, China and the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for South-East Asia in Jakarta, Indonesia for implementation of the Project activities. The following projects were implemented, respectively by the two centers;


September 2010

Initial workshop: Inter-Agency Awareness-raising Workshop on the Sound Management of Industrial Chemicals, with Special Emphasis on Asbestos, for the Asia-Pacific Region (China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam) Bangkok, Thailand, 31 August -2 September 2010




April 2012

Toolkit for the Elimination of Asbestos-related diseases was developed through the coordinated efforts of the University of Occupational and Environmental Health (UOEH), Fukuoka, Japan in conjunction with a Working Group that had experts from WHO, ILO, International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA), UK Health and Safety Executive, Korean Occupational Safety and Health Agency, and Ministry of Public Health of Thailand

Completed, April 2013

Link to the Toolkit

January 2011

Pilot project deliverables with the Department of Health of the Philippines:

  1. Legislation/administrative Review process on asbestos management in the Philippines
  2. Philippines National Programme on the Elimination of Asbestos-related Diseases (PNPEAD);
  3. National Asbestos Profile for the Philippines;
  4. Medical surveillance training on the early detection of symptoms resulting from asbestos exposure

In May 2011, had a request to extend timeframe for project by 1 year, due to more stringent processes that had been adopted by Government. Thus MOU was extended to April 2013.

Received an Inception Report in 2013.

Completed 2014.

29 September
1 October 2014

In conjunction with the Basel Convention Regional Centre in Indonesia (BCRC-SEA), convened Inter-Agency Workshop on the Sound Management of Industrial Chemicals, with Special Emphasis on Asbestos, for the Asia-Pacific Region, in collaboration with the 7th International Seminar of the Asian Asbestos Initiative (AAI-7), 29 September to 1 October 2014 (China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia,  Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam).


This activity is still on-going.