Establishment of partnerships

Partnerships for sustainable development voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiatives aimed at implementing sustainable development were an important outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) has reaffirmed that such partnerships contribute to the implementation of intergovernmental commitments, recognizing that partnerships were a complement to, not a substitute for, intergovernmental commitments. The CSD has encouraged partnerships that are consistent with specific criteria and guidelines to register in the Partnerships for Sustainable Development register.

The UNEP Governing Council agreed to the development and implementation of partnerships as one approach to reducing the risks to human health and the environment from the release of mercury and its compounds to the environment and urges Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and the private sector to develop and implement such partnerships, in a clear, transparent and accountable manner. 

Issues covered on this page are:


As a first step in the process of successfully implementing such partnerships to address mercury pollution and in accordance with decision 23/9 IV, Governments, particularly of developing countries and countries with economies in transition, were invited to identify, in consultation with stakeholders, priority partnership areas as soon as possible, with the goal of identifying a set of pilot partnerships by 1 September 2005.  Responses were received from 18 countries and one NGO.  These responses and progress reports submitted by established partnerships can be accessed here.

The information provided by Governments and other stakeholders regarding partnerships has also been summarized in two UNEP status report on partnerships: 
     - SAICM/PREPCOM.3/INF/18;
     - SAICM/ICCM.1/INF/3.
For further information, see section on "reporting on progress" below. 


The Governing Council also recognized the importance of technical and financial resources to support successful implementation of these partnerships.  It encouraged Governments and stakeholders, especially in developed countries, and relevant international organizations within their respective mandates, to mobilize technical and financial resources to work towards successful partnerships, which assistance could include, among other things, identification of best practices and transfer of appropriate technology.  UNEP was asked to assist in the mobilizations of resources in support of the partnerships.  

In response to this request, UNEP Chemicals organized an informal meeting with donor countries and stakeholders in Vienna on 17 September 2005 (limited participation), to discuss and possibly identify technical and financial support mechanisms that could help ensure effective implementation of pilot partnerships.  Among the outcomes of this meeting was the suggestion that, as considerable progress can be obtained in many areas with relatively small resources, UNEP should consider establishing a "small grants" programme where countries and other stakeholders could obtain grants of up to USD 50,000 without too much paperwork  UNEP agreed to develop a short paper setting out possiblities for funding mercury-related activities, with suggestions on structure, criteria, etc.  The full report of the meeting is available here.

A formal letter was sent out on 31 March 2006 to Governments of donor countries, to follow-up formally on the Governing Council's request regarding mobilization of resources in support of the partnerships and on the meeting held in September 2005. In the letter, 31 donor countries were asked to inform UNEP of their interest in participating in a funding partnership and in providing financial support for the partnership activities, as called for in paragraphs 28 (b), 30 and 33.

Responses to this letter have been received as follows: Canada, the Netherlands, United States of America.

UNEP has, through its fund raising activities since the last Governing Council, raised some limited funding that is available to support partnership activities and implementation projects at national or regional level.  Further information can be found here.


Upon the request of the Governing Council, UNEP reported on the mercury partnership programme:

     1)  At the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the Development of a Strategic Approach
          to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) (1924 September 2005), through document
     2)  At the International Conference on Chemicals Management (4-6 February 2006), which 
          adopted the SAICM, through document

in order to ensure that the partnership activities relevant to mercury pollution are fully consistent with the goals and objectives agreed through the SAICM process.

Progress reports from governments and other stakeholders on partnership implementation

GC decision 23/9 IV also requests UNEP to report on progress of implementation of partnerships to the Governing Council at its twenty-fourth session. In order to prepare this report, UNEP is seeking input from Governments and other stakeholders involved in implementing partnerships established pursuant to the GC decision.  Governments and stakeholders involved in any partnership activities pursuant to GC decision 23/9 IV, were invited, through a letter sent out on 1 July 2006, to report back on progress of implementation, coordinating with other Governments and stakeholders who might also have been involved in the activities, by no later than 1 September 2006.

Individual reports submitted by Governments and stakeholders are posted below.  The reports will also form part of the background materials used by UNEP to prepare a report on progress in implementation of the pilot partnerships, in preparation for the further consideration by the Governing Council at its twenty-fourth session in 2007. 


Countries NGOs Sectors

Fate and transport:

Chlor alkali:


Coal combustion:

Small scale gold mining: