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ELENA MANVELYAN, AWHHE, ARMENIA IPEN General Assembly & Global Toxics-Free Future Forum Almaty, Kazakhstan 18th – 22nd October, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "ELENA MANVELYAN, AWHHE, ARMENIA IPEN General Assembly & Global Toxics-Free Future Forum Almaty, Kazakhstan 18th – 22nd October, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 ELENA MANVELYAN, AWHHE, ARMENIA IPEN General Assembly & Global Toxics-Free Future Forum Almaty, Kazakhstan 18th – 22nd October, 2010

2 Why OPs are the Global Concern  Great number of unsafe and obsolete pesticides (OPs) were accumulated across the world threatening human health and the environment  The total estimated volume of OPs in the Central and Eastern Europe ( new member states, the accession countries, EECCA) – more than 200,000 tons  Obsolete pesticides although banned since many years, are still presented in the environment and in agricultural products  OPs seriously risk undermining agricultural trade between the EU and non-EU countries from the former Soviet Union.  OPs could wash into floodwaters

3  Designed in late 70-ties  Created in 1982; clay lock 2,5 m  Contains more then 500 tones of pesticides  Persistent organochlorines toxic chemicals (POPs) compose more than 60% DDT, HCH etc.  Located on the top of the hill, 800 meters away from two villages  Location in the active landslide area  The landslide has been dislocated about 12,5m since 1982  Currently belongs to Yerevan district

4 View of the Obsolete Pesticides Burial Landslide Area Around the Burial

5 Condition of Burial Site in 2001 - 2004


7  Sharing Global day of action on POPs in Armenia, UNIDO through IPEP, 2004  Toxic Chemical risk assessment and POPs awareness, information sharing IPEN, Jenifer Altman and Mitchell Kapor Foundation; Tides Foundation. 2001, 2004, 2005)  Environmental security for residents of Ararat Oblast; a burial site of obsolete and banned pesticides in Armenia. IPEP, 2004-2005  Towards Toxic Free Future 4 steps, USAID, 2004-2007  Moving Towards Pesticide Reduction Usage. GGF, 2005  Empowering the Armenian public to take actions towards Environmentally sound waste management IPEN, 2006  SAICM- Global Commitment to Protect Health and the Environment IPEN. 12.08- 03.09  Scaling up Experience in Improvement of Chemical Safety to Contribute to Poverty Reduction in Rural Armenia. EU, 2010-2011. Joint project with ARNIKA

8 Sampling Results  Out of 150 samples of the soil, water, vegetations 35,3% contained DDT, DDE, HCCH in levels from 3 to 1000 times exceeding “permitted” levels  Out of 42 samples of breast milk 100% contained DDT, DDE, HCCH in levels from traces till 0,3 mg/l (for cow milk permitted level 0.05mg/l) (AWHHE, 2004)

9  Monitoring  Research  Advocacy campaign  Mass media campaign  Lobbing policy makers  Networking with national NGOs and IOs  Collaboration with the Government, Academy institutions and International missions in Armenia  Fundraising  Highlighting the crosscutting nature of the problem

10  Media coverage  Public hearing in Brussels 2003 and 2010  Governmental decision on ensuring of pesticides burial site safety April,2004  AWHHE membership in interagency commission and working groups  Lobbying with OSCE to include burial site in their agenda, providing expertise  Involvement of NGO network in the activities  Implementation of grant projects  Organization of the regional conference in 2007 with participation of IPEN experts

11 Partnership for Achieving Chemical Safety in Armenia Regional Conference 29-31, October, 2007

12  Research activities of AWHHE (sampling, publications, etc)  Public education campaigns brochure, booklets, posters, workshops  Experience and produced materials shared through IPEN and WECF networks  AWHHE technical and informational assistance to an international independent organization and experts (May, 2006; April, 2010) to carry out a preliminary assessment of the pesticides storage sites in Armenia  Participation in international events, supported by IPEN and WECF: new contacts, collaboration and followed up activities



15 Multilateral Cooperation Mini Public Hearing in Brussels, 2010

16 Temporary Covering of Burial Site is Accomplished

17 Taking the samples from stockpile

18 Film Presentation at UN Office 31.09.2010

19  Initiative to raise attention to OPs problem, get obsolete pesticides on the European agenda and aim at a permanent international cooperation instrument

20  There are available alternatives to waste incineration for destruction of POPs ◦ Gas Phase Chemical Reduction ◦ Sodium reduction ◦ Base Catalysed Dechlorination ◦ Solvated electron ◦ Electrochemical ◦ Copper Mediated Destruction ◦ Super-critical water oxidation ◦ Ball milling These alternative technologies were already used to clean up contaminated sites in Central and Eastern Europe  Some of them are expensive, but there are also available emerging cheaper technologies close to commercial scale operation  Use of these technologies to clean up more sites will make them even more accessible to developing countries and countries with economies in transition

21  Final solution to the burial site problem should be the responsibility of the Government through support by an international organization/company with proven experience in this field in countries with similar conditions as in Armenia.  The company should have internationally recognized permits for destruction of the pesticides waste.  The construction of a plant for treatment and destruction of obsolete pesticides in Armenia is not reasonable taking into account the high costs for construction.

22  Health and environmental risk assessment in the close located villages should be carried out  A specific monitoring program should be established and implemented accordingly  Public participation in decision making including public hearing is strongly recommended  The Nubarashen emergency burial site is not the only POPs/Pesticides burial site in Armenia: the problem of clean up and elimination of other OP stockpiles in Armenia should be solved together with burial site problem


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