Goal of the Special Programme

The Special Programme, also known as the Chemicals and Waste Management Programme, provides support to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to enhance their sustainable institutional capacity to develop, adopt, monitor and enforce policy, legislation and regulation for effective frameworks for the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the Minamata Convention and SAICM



In June 2014 the United Nations Environment Assembly adopted the terms of reference for a Special Programme in Resolution UNEA 1/5. The resolution requested the establishment of the Special Programme and its Trust Fund as well the provision of a Secretariat to deliver administrative support to the Programme.

The Special Programme intends to support country-driven institutional strengthening at the national level, in the context of an integrated approach to address the sustainable financing of sound management of chemicals and wastes, taking into account:

  • National development strategies, plans and priorities of each country; and
  • Increase sustainable public institutional capacity for the sound management of chemicals and wastes throughout their life cycle.

Further information can be found in the terms of reference of the Special Programme.


Funding for the Special Programme is provided through voluntary contributions. The Trust Fund for the Special Programme  is open to receive voluntary contributions for seven years from the date it was established, in September 2015. Contributions are encouraged from all signatories and Parties to the Conventions. Governments in a position to do so, as well as the private sector and other stakeholders, are also encouraged to mobilize the financial resources for the effective establishment and implementation of the Special Programme.

Significant contributions have been pledged to the Special Programme from the European Union and the Governments of Sweden, the United States of America, Germany, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and Denmark.

Eligibility for support from the Special Programme

Support from the Special Programme is available for developing countries, taking into account the special needs of least developed countries and small island developing States, and for countries with economies in transition, with priority given to those with least capacity. Furthermore, the following criteria should also be met:

  • To avoid duplication and proliferation of funding mechanisms and associated administration, the Special Programme will fund activities that fall outside the mandate of the Global Environment Facility;
  • Applicants are eligible if they are Party to any one of the relevant conventions or have demonstrated that they are in the process of preparing for ratification of any one of the conventions;
  • Applications must include identification of the associated domestic measures to be taken to ensure that the national institutional capacity supported by the Special Programme is sustainable in the long term;
  • The Special Programme accepts applications directly from national Governments.

More information on how to submit an application to the Special Programme is available here.