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Industry, government, and international trade and
environment experts are currently gathering in the city of Puerto Varas for the
22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Chemical Dialogue.
This premier regional, chemical-specific forum aims to strengthen cooperation
between government authorities, industry, and trade stakeholders in order to
foster innovation, promote high standards of protection for human health and
safety, and the environment, and prevent barriers to trade.
At this year’s APEC Chemical Dialogue, attendees will
participate in the “Risk Challenge” – an interactive, hands-on, capacity
building exercise designed to help participants take efficient and
scientifically sound approaches to risk assessment for chemical substances.
About Risk Challenge
In the Risk Challenge exercise, participants will work as a
member of a team which has been asked to formulate the risk problem, assess the
exposure and effects data, use those data to characterize the risks, and make
risk management recommendations. As with real-world circumstances, each team
will have limited funds and time to gather the data needed for analysis and
reach a decision or recommendation.
The goal of the Risk Challenge exercise is to illustrate the
steps in risk assessment and risk management under realistic conditions. These
steps include problem-formulation, developing data generation strategy,
resource management, as well as making scientifically sounds decisions in an
open, collaborative manner.
It’s Vital to Build
Capacity among APEC Members
APEC members account for a 69% share of the $5.2 trillion
USD global chemical industry, which directly employs 11.7 million people in
APEC economies. Lack of capacity and inefficiencies in risk assessment
procedures in these economies lead to barriers to trade, drive up costs, and
delay the introduction of innovative products by the chemical industry, which
serves as a foundation for the Asia-Pacific economy. It is critical that APEC members
understand how collaboration and regulatory cooperation can prevent these
During this interactive workshop, attendees will gain a “hands-on” experience
employing risk assessment and risk management procedures under realistic
conditions. This workshop aims to build the capacity of regulators,
officials, and stakeholders in APEC economies to employ the principles and best
practices of efficient risk assessment and risk management -in the context of
the chemical industry -under realistic, resource-constrained conditions.
APEC member economies, particularly developing economies and
those with less robust or resource-constrained regulatory oversight regimes, will
build proficiency in implementing best practices for risk assessment for the
chemical industry under realistic conditions.
Priorities through Capacity Building
This year’s Risk Challenge will carry forward the Chemical
Dialogue’s overall focus on international regulatory cooperation – which
remains the top substantive priority for 2019. Risk assessments are a key
component of the Chemical Dialogue’s Best Practice Principles, in particular
the principle that chemical regulators should adopt a risk-based approach to
developing and administering regulation.
This workshop supports two of the three ‘shared goals’ from
the Dialogue’s Strategic Framework: (1) to facilitate trade by expanding and
supporting cooperation and mutual recognition among chemical regulators in the
region, and (2) to enable effective cooperation between industry and
governments to improve chemical product stewardship and safe use.
In addition, this workshop supports the APEC 2019 priority
of “Integration 4.0.” In particular, the workshop supports Good Regulatory
Practices (GRP) in regional trade agreements, and International Regulatory
Cooperation (IRC), which is an “important tool for GRP and in facilitating
trade and reducing non-tariff barriers (NTBs).”
This workshop will also contribute to achieving numerous
trade facilitation instructions from APEC Leaders and Ministers. For example,
APEC Trade Ministers at their 2018 meeting instructed officials to (1)
“undertake initiatives in the areas of transparency, alignment of standards and
conformity assessment systems… as well as promoting good regulatory practices
in the preparation, adoption and application of standards, technical
regulations and conformity assessment procedures,” (2) “encourage economies to
share successful practices that have been used to improve their regulatory
frameworks…,” and (3) “call for closer cooperation between government and the
private sector in developing regulatory and policy processes to create a
conducive environment for doing business[.]”
The Goal of Risk
participating in the workshop will be encouraged to then share their
recommendations, approaches, and other insights with officials from other APEC
economies. This interactive exercise on chemicals will demonstrate the
principles and practices of human and ecological risk assessment, realistic challenges
of resource-limited, multi-stakeholder decision-making, and methods for
maximizing the benefits of available public and private resources through
efficiency. Successful risk assessment
approaches will contribute to economic development, innovations that raise
standards of living, and strong protections for human health and safety and the
environment through effective chemical management.
To learn more click
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