Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, November 12, 2018

Webinar and guidelines on Highly Hazardous Pesticides

12 November 2018. This webinar brought together representatives from the national pesticide regulatory authorities, the civil society and the private sector to speak on the challenges and the benefits of replacing highly hazardous pesticide in use in the agricultural sector. The speakers presentrf an overview of the main environmental and social issues associated with their use and recent country experiences in devising risk mitigation plans. Specific case studies on the phasing out of highly hazardous pesticides were presented. A private sector representative provided insights on market drivers and incentives for commodities produced without the use of highly hazardous pesticides.

The global pesticide use has grown continuously over the past 20 years. About 4 million tonnes of active ingredients where used in 2016. Highly Hazardous Pesticides, which are largely banned in industrialized countries for their potential to severely impact human health and the environment, are still readily available in many developing countries where the regulatory frameworks are inadequate to ensure proper use.

In these countries, agrochemical-dependent farming is often proposed as the inevitable path to economic development and welfare. The mismanagement of pesticides however can negatively impact on crop productivity, undermine the wellbeing of farm workers and rural communities, and jeopardize food safety and international food trade. The need to urgently address these impacts is well recognized by all global development and chemical agendas. In 2015, the fourth International Conference on Chemical Management declared highly hazardous pesticides as one of the emerging policy issues that need resolution in order to achieve the Agenda 2020. 

To this end, FAO and WHO have jointly published the “Guidelines on highly hazardous pesticides” and developed a strategy which calls for concerted action and wide stakeholder engagement.
  • Opening remarks: Remi Nono Womdim, Deputy Director, Plant Production and Protection Division, FAO
  • Highly hazardous pesticides - an emerging global issue in the sustainable development agenda: Francesca Mancini, FAO consultant
  • Strategies to address highly hazardous pesticides in the field: David Kapindula, Operations Manager, Zambia Environmental Management Agency
  • The health impacts of highly hazardous pesticides use: Michael Eddleston, Professor, Toxicology and Therapeutics Unit, University of Edinburgh
  • Replacing highly hazardous pesticides with ecological alternatives: Keith Tyrell, Director, Pesticide Action Network (PAN), UK

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