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PESTICIDE ACTION NETWORK ASIA AND THE PACIFIC Workshop on Development of Legal and Institutional Infrastructure Chemicals - (SAICM) Implementation, Bangkok,

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Presentation on theme: "PESTICIDE ACTION NETWORK ASIA AND THE PACIFIC Workshop on Development of Legal and Institutional Infrastructure Chemicals - (SAICM) Implementation, Bangkok,"— Presentation transcript:

1 PESTICIDE ACTION NETWORK ASIA AND THE PACIFIC Workshop on Development of Legal and Institutional Infrastructure Chemicals - (SAICM) Implementation, Bangkok, May, 2007

2 OUR VISION “Our vision is a society that is truly democratic, equal, just, culturally diverse, and based on food sovereignty, gender justice and environmental sustainability.”

3 Represented in 15 countries in Asia and the Pacific 110 network partners 300 participants PAN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC Regional Network

4 Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Pesticide Action Network founded in 1982 with over 600 network participants working towards the reduction and elimination of hazardous pesticides and the promotion of ecological agriculture and alternatives to pesticides. PAN International network is coordinated through five regional coordinating centres:  PAN Africa in Dakar, Senegal  PAN Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) in Penang, Malaysia  PAN Europe in London, UK  PAN Latin America (RAP-AL) in Palmira, Colombia  PAN North America in San Francisco, U.S.A

5 Pesticides are used in conditions of poverty Many susceptible workers: pregnant women, very young / old workers, unhealthy workers, low literacy rates Importance of PPE: Awareness? Availability? Affordability? Wearability? No washing facilities in field; limited household washing facilities Photo: Catherina Wesseling, Costa Rica Photo: Francois Meienberg, Pakistan

6 Typical conditions of use Poor (no) spray equipment; nozzles cleared by blowing Many pesticide users know that pesticides are hazardous (product stewardship) but no major breakthrough in changing behavior and practices Registration of pesticides in developing countries: shortage of regulators and inspectors; check data rather than carry out risk evaluation Product quality, repackaging, adulteration, sales strategies Pesticides are valuable: No lockable storage facilities; storage in house Poor product information: pesticides for one crop (e.g. cotton) used on others (e.g. cowpea) Self medication – Clinics and hospitals remote; first aid training limited

7 Mixing and Spraying of Pesticides

8 Picture from Sumatra, Indonesia

9 Repackaged pesticides

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12 Improper Disposal of Pesticide Containers

13 Community Monitoring PAN works to build stronger linkages with affected communities and people’s movements to strengthen their struggle CPAM - PAN’s community monitoring methodologies are pioneering a community documentation, action and organising. Tool for community support and action. Documenting and recording of poisoning incidents has increased Victim of Pesticide Poisoning that caused Huge Lump on the Throat

14 Community Monitoring to enhance:  Increase level of information and technical capacity on pesticides at local level  Trained women and local leaders  Information gathering  Collaboration – community & health groups, NGOs/CSOs and “scientists ” Monitoring and Collection of Data: Identification of pesticides problems  Assist in building awareness farmers, agricultural workers, rural women  Feed into local/national interventions - campaigns, policy, IPM/Sustainable agriculture National/International Level Action Community Empowerment Through Community Based Pesticide Monitoring

15 Community monitoring Ban of paraquat in Malaysia Ban of endosulfan in Kerala, India Kamukaan pressure on banana plantation and alternative livelihoods Eloor community near a DDT plant in Kerala Ongoing documentation of pesticide problems in 8 countries in Asia and more are being planned Barren Village of Kamukaan, Philippines Pesticide Sprayer With a Knapsack Equipment

16 Case study: Paraquat: Threats to health Paraquat is highly acutely toxic & enters the body mainly by swallowing, or through damaged skin, but may also be inhaled 1 teaspoon of concentrated paraquat can result in death Death is by respiratory failure & may occur within a few days after poisoning or as long as a month later There is no antidote! Paraquat damages the lungs, heart, kidneys, adrenal glands, central nervous system, liver, muscles & spleen, causing multi-organ failure Severe acute & long-term health problems include severe dermatitis, second degree burns, nosebleeds, rapid heart rate, kidney failure, & respiratory failure Some chronic effects identified include: developmental & reproductive effects; links to skin cancer & Parkinson’s disease

17 Women are the major workforce on plantations in Malaysia - around 30,000 women workers They routinely mix, handle & spray pesticides, & are poisoned by pesticides (mostly herbicides) they spray daily Women have suffered a myriad of serious acute & chronic health effects Problems in Malaysia Women Sprayers in the Estates Mixing the Pesticides with the Bare Hands

18 Community Based Pesticides Monitoring “Poisoned and Silenced” launched in 2001, identified paraquat as a main offender in palm oil plantations, & recommendations made for it to be banned along with all WHO Class 1 pesticides But since ban, Syngenta and MPOA has undertaken various activities to overturn the ban Malaysian Pesticides Board stands firm to ban. The industry approaches & appeals to the highest levels of political leadership Involvement of the Malaysian National Poisons Centre in the report, & activities by Tenaganita & PAN AP Malaysian Pesticide Board also concerned about the pesticide Paraquat banned in Malaysia in August PAN AP & Tenaganita (Women’s Force) work with women plantation workers on community based pesticides monitoring to assess health impacts

19 Malaysian Ban Under Threat April 15, Malaysian govt plan to reconsider paraquat ban Agriculture & Agro-Based Industries Ministry decides on review after “presentations” made by small- holders & “key” industry players April 20, PAN AP, Tenaganita & over 20 women plantation workers go to Malaysian Parliament to lobby MPs & Press Conference held "We will struggle and continue our fight to keep the ban on paraquat!” states Nagamah, women plantation workers leader Minister responds, decision on lifting ban left to Pesticides board PAN AP launches world-wide appeal to Malaysian Government to keep paraquat ban A further extension of paraquat’s use till 2007 is announced.

20 Case study: Endosulfan in Kerala In 1979, a farmer in Kasargod realised that endosulfan could have caused the deformed limbs and stunted growth of his 3 calves and alerted the village. The Plantation Corporation of Kerala (PCK) in the 1970s had started aerial spraying of pesticides particularly endosulfan to control tea mosquito bugs. In 1994 KSSP undertook a study that showed that disability rate of people in the area was 73% higher than overall disability rates for the entire state In 1997, a local medical doctor found large number of unusual diseases among his patients and wrote to the Indian Medical Association. As the health complaints mounted, a local agricultural assistant found her son was depressed and her daughter was suffering hormonal problems and together with others appealed before the local court for a stay on aerial spray. The court issued a stay order. Thanal and SEEK separately undertook two fact finding mission reported incidence of similar diseases in the villages. This was followed by a long-term monitoring of the area in Mentally and Physically Challenged Children of Kasargod Shruti was Born with Three Deformed Limbs

21 Kasargod: a long struggle for justice In 2000, the Government school also recorded in its internal report that most students coming from the areas around the plantation were observed to be mentally and physically deficient compared to students coming from other areas. In October 2000, a local court ordered the permanent prohibition of use of any insecticide by air in the Periya plantation area. CSE from New Delhi undertook laboratory analysis of blood, water and other samples and the analysis showed the presence of endosulfan. Studies and counter studies – PCK had a private lab to analyze samples but they did not find any elevated endosulfan levels The Kerala Agriculture University asked an expert committee to investigate and found that even though there were problems related to nervous system in some families that there is no evidence to show endosulfan as the cause Kerala than lifted the ban in 2002 A large-scale epidemiology study in the area started in 2001 by the National Institute of Medical Research found “high prevalence of nuero-behavioural disorders, congenital malformation in female children and abnormalities related to the male reproductive system had no other cause but the continuous aerial spraying of endosulfan.” 2003, endosulfan spraying was permanently stopped following the directions of the Kerala High Court, based on the precautionary principle. The Chief Minister of the state decided to uphold the ban on endosulfan in 2004 and in 2006 the Chief Minister of Kerala, Mr V S Achutanandan provided compensation to the survivors.

22 PAN’s Policy Work in the UN Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) on Certain Hazardous Chemicals in International Trade Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): International Code of Conduct on the distribution and Use of pesticides Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)

23 Alternatives Advancing Agroecological strategies of agricultural production, their success in reducing health and environmental harm while maintaining yields, and related economic benefits PAN focuses on: Rice and ecological agriculture Implementation of Farmer Field Schools IPM Agroecological promotion in other crops Commodity supply chains eg. Palm oil (RSPO) Alternatives to pesticide in homes

24 Sustainable (Ecological) Agriculture : successful and ensures food security Gita Pertiwi and Field outreach to 10,000 families in Indonesia 20,000 farmers practising LIESA and 50,000 farmers involved in “Save our Rice Campaign with Thanal in India Alternative Agriculture network in Thailand (AAN) SIBAT and SEARICE in the Philippines SHISUK’s rice-fish cultivation a model for poverty alleviation

25 Save Our Rice Campaign Five Pillars of Rice Wisdom - Food sovereignty -Safe Food -Culture -Biodiversity based Ecological Agriculture -Community Wisdom

26 Role of civil society Creating awareness Supporting local struggles Building capacity to participate and asserting rights of people through: -Strengthen local communities technical capacities -Providing technical support -Assisting documentation and highlighting the problems -Alerting public and relevant agencies and organisations -Providing recommendations -Watchdog role Providing alternatives where possible

27 BARRIERS to CSO participation: THE LACK OF: Democratic spaces -- mechanisms to ensure participation and consultation Political will to ensure participation Freedom of information Press Freedom Complex relationships with the industry including political support to chemical industry Accountability and Transparency (right to know)

28 Confrontation Criminalisation – In April, 1993, Hoechst slapped a law suit on Dr. Romy Quijano, a toxicologist and a pesticides and human rights activist, for criticising a Hoechst product, Thiodan (endosulfan). Legal suits – Madhumita Dutta,an environmental activist - received legal summons to appear before a court in Warangal, Andhra Pradesh for publishing an investigation on acute pesticide poisoning in the district. The case filed by the pesticide industry association, Crop Care Federation.

29 Systematic synergies/collaboration with other regional and international networks IPEN (International POPs Elimination Network) GAIA PCFS – People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty APC – Asian Peasants Coalition CAWI – Coalition of Agricultural Workers Committee of Women Workers (CAW)

30 THANK YOU


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