Principles and approaches

IV. Principles and approaches

10. Implementation of the Framework should be guided by the principles and approaches in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and, as appropriate, those in annex II to the Framework, as well as the following: 

A. Knowledge and information

11. There is expertise in and among regions and strong support for the sharing of knowledge, including traditional knowledge and Indigenous knowledge systems shared on the basis of free, prior and informed consent. The Framework promotes coordination and access to information for informed and science-based decision-making on chemicals and waste management.

12. The implementation of the sound management of chemicals and waste at all levels should be supported by the best available science.

B. Transparency

13. Transparency is essential for ensuring informed and legitimate decision-making processes. The Framework supports transparency of information in all aspects of implementation. The ability to participate in decision-making processes, the encouragement of public awareness, and access to relevant information on chemicals and their use as well as to environmental information are fundamental to the protection of human health and the environment.

14. Effective access to justice is important for people to have their voices heard, to exercise their rights and to challenge discrimination.

C. Human rights

15. The implementation of the sound management of chemicals and waste contributes to the full enjoyment of human rights and human well-being and dignity.

D. Groups in vulnerable situations

16. Exposure to chemicals and waste often disproportionately affects people in vulnerable situations, including children, youth, the elderly, persons with disabilities, women, workers, migrants, farmers, people living in poverty, and Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The implementation of the Framework should take these groups into consideration when protecting human health and the environment. 

E. Gender equality

17. Women are agents of change and are essential to addressing the issues of chemicals and waste. The Framework advances gender equality through women’s full and equal participation and gender‑inclusive approaches in all aspects of the implementation of the Framework, including in decision-making.

F. Preventive approaches

18. Prevention is the hallmark of all activities aimed at reducing risks from chemicals and waste. A hierarchical approach consists of prioritizing primary prevention in order to prevent and, where prevention is not feasible, minimize exposure to hazards that may cause disease and injury or adverse impacts to the environment. 

19. Prevention of exposure to hazardous chemicals and their substitution contribute to intergenerational, social and environmental justice. The development and use of safe and sustainable chemicals are priorities for the sound management of chemicals and waste. 

G. Just transition

20. The shift to sustainable production can have unintended impacts on communities, health and livelihoods. A just transition towards an environmentally sustainable economy with the sound management of chemicals and waste contributes to the goals of decent work for all, social inclusion, protection of human rights and the eradication of poverty. 

H. Collaboration and participation

21. Networks, partnerships and mechanisms for technical cooperation are important for effective capacity-building, work on issues of common interest, and exchange of information, taking into account the circumstances of developing countries and their required capacity-building.