Main Issue

Toxic chemicals are found in practically all ecosystems on Earth, affecting biodiversity, agricultural production or water sources. Moreover, scientists estimate that everyone carries within their body a large number of chemical contaminants that have an unknown impact on health.

Many chemicals, such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury, can travel over large distances through air, migratory species and water currents. For example, they have been found in high concentration areas, such as the Arctic, where these chemicals are not used. Some POPs can remain in the body for more than 50 years. Read more+

What We Do

The GEF is a catalyst for both governments and the private sector to help eliminate or reduce harmful chemicals and waste. We are a financial mechanism to implement both the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and The Minamata Convention on Mercury. We also play an important, complementary role in achieving the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. And our support for action on chemicals and waste is helping achieve related SDGs.

To achieve transformational change, our projects seek closer integration with global supply chains. We want to ensure that products crossing national borders are free of global priority substances that otherwise enter into markets and recycling chains. Increasingly, this process engages the private sector. Read more+



Over time, the GEF has moved toward an integrated approach to chemicals and waste that combines persistent organic pollutants (POPs), ozone-depleting substances (ODS), mercury and the Strategic Approach to Integrated Chemicals Management (SAICM) in a single focal area. This new approach maximizes cross-cutting global environmental benefits, while continuing to support the individual chemical conventions. Read more+