Chapter 19 of Agenda 21 adopted at the U.N. Conference on Development and the Environment in Rio in 1992 (the Earth Summit) identified access to information on chemicals, including pesticides, as critical to capacity building for the sound management of chemicals, especially in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

MEAs, such as the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, require parties to exchange information among themselves and with the Secretariat. They also include requirements for information exchange and awareness raising at the national level.

In its “Priorities for Action Beyond 2000” (Bahia Declaration), the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS) noted the importance of eliminating barriers to information exchange to ensure the sound management of chemicals. The Internet is an important tool for strengthening the capacity of countries to access and manage information and to enhance communication among national, sub-regional, regional and international stakeholders.

CIEN was started to help meet the following needs:

Reliable information that is readily available to those who need it – national decision makers, workers, consumers, all who have a role to ensure chemicals are used safely and in a way that does not harm human health and the environment.

Appropriate information management tools to support national work, including meeting obligations under various international agreements.

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