Problem Statement

The Problem Statement is the second part of the baseline review document. A Problem Statement is done on a country-wide or a site-specific basis.

The goals of the Problem Statement are to:

  • Detail the main conclusions of the situation analysis, and relate them to the broader chemicals management context;
  • Establish the causes of the problem in hierarchical order;
  • Develop the problem statement, i.e. the main reasons for risk reduction measures (magnitude of severity; persistence; reversibility; current or potential etc.);
  • Characterize associated main environmental and human health risks;
  • Specify particularly vulnerable target groups or stages in the chemical’s life-cycle.

Example Questions

Specific questions to answer in the Problem Statement include:

Why is action required?

  • Particular problem is already occurring?
  • There is evidence that a problem may occur in the near or more distant future?

What is the exact nature of the problem?

  • How and for what purposes is the chemical substance being used or disposed?
  • What ethnic or socio-economic groups or geographic areas are affected?
  • What is the magnitude of the problem?
  • Is urgent action needed?
  • In which stage of the chemical life cycle does the risk exist? (Production, import, storage and transport, handling and use, or disposal, etc.)?
  • What are future implications if action is not taken?
  • Are there any areas of uncertainty that may need to be addressed through a more detailed risk characterization?
  • Recommendations for further action?

Example Problem Statements

Agricultural products and equipment warehouse, Kompong Chhnang, Cambodia
Source: Hatfield Consultants
Hatfield Consultants The World Bank funded by the Canadian POPs Trust Fund through the      
Canadian International Development Agency
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