17 Oct 2019 Story Chemicals & waste

Iran ignites major cleaner oil production project

The Islamic Republic of Iran, as one of the OPEC's major oil producer, holds 10 per cent of the world's oil reserves in the world. Iran’s economy is fairly diversified and the oil sector is an important part of the economy.

Despite its economic benefits, oil production consumes a large amount of chemicals and generates considerable waste, posing a significant risk to human health and the environment.

To tackle these environmental challenges, Iran, as a party to chemicals and waste instruments such as the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions and the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and an active member of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, attaches great importance to the sound management of chemicals and waste.

The Cleaner Production approach that will be implemented through this project aims to prevent pollution from occurring and manages environmental impacts of the whole production process, not just the impacts of its output. The approach can improve implementation of international agreements by helping address both environmental and economic problems, encouraging changes towards sustainable production and consumption patterns.

The Chemicals and Waste Management Programme is supporting Iran on an ambitious 18-month project to strengthen the country’s institutional capacity for the sustainable management of chemicals and waste through a cleaner production approach within the oil industry.

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Experience with cleaner production programmes has shown that many industries still view environmental management as a financial drain. To change this view in the long-term, government workers, non-profit groups and the private sector will be engaged in a series of inception workshops and meetings to increase awareness and allow various sectors to obtain further insight into the sustainable use of chemicals and waste management through training on cleaner production methods, including risk and impact assessment.

Furthermore, gender mainstreaming will be integrated into the project by ensuring a balanced participation of women and men will be an important focus throughout the whole project cycle, from design to monitoring and evaluation stages. This will ensure there are equal opportunities for women to contribute to, and benefit from, the project outcomes in the design and implementation stages. The project will also ensure that gender issues and the interests of vulnerable populations are fully taken into account with a long-term perspective in health assessments, training and awareness programmes.

This project will also undergo a rigorous monitoring and evaluation process to develop an insightful understanding of the progress in the implementation phase, while also granting policymakers the possibility to evaluate long-term changes produced by the strategy on relevant issues at the national level. This will ensure that the project not only fulfills its essential goals and objectives, but also lays the groundwork for more effective and sustainable chemicals and waste management long into the future.

For further information please contact the Special Programme Secretariat at [email protected]