Integrated and Holistic Management of Chemicals in Malaysia: Opportunities for Effective Multi-stakeholder Collaboration
A network for research, for promoting good practices, and for discussion involving various aspects of management of chemicals and hazardous substances was officially established in Malaysia in 2005 by relevant stakeholders. This network is co-chaired by the Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI) of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and the Conservation and Environmental Management Division-Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia (CEMD-NRE). The main objective of this network, known as MyNICHE, is to provide a platform for discussion and deliberation, through multi-stakeholder, multi-sector, multi-discipline and multi-scale approaches, towards the establishment of a sound Chemical Management System (CMS) for Malaysia. This paper will review and discuss several past and current initiatives pertaining to the management of chemicals and hazardous substances in Malaysia in relation to global initiatives such as the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), and Registration, Evaluation and Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) by the European Union. The paper will also present perspectives from the government, business sector, NGOs, academia, researchers, and the public, and discuss the initiatives taken by these various stakeholders for the protection of the environment and human health, and for maintaining competitiveness in business and trade.