Viernes 04 de noviembre de 2016
COUNTRIES AFFECTED BY OBSOLETE PESTICIDES
The countries most affected by obsolete pesticides request financing for management and elimination programs
• The International HCH and Pesticides Association (IHPA) has gathered top-level representatives from different territories who have shared the experience of their countries with regard to this global problem
• This meeting was held in the framework of the 13th International HCH and Pesticides Forum, with more than 150 experts from 35 different countries
• The aim is to seek solutions to the serious health and environmental problem of obsolete pesticides, 75% of them stored in territories of eastern Europe, el Caucasus and central Asia (EECCA)
Zaragoza, 2 November 2015. Starting today, with the aim of exchanging experiences and finding effective solutions regarding the management of obsolete pesticides, the 13th International HCH [hexachlorocyclohexane] & Pesticides Forum is bringing together in Saragossa, for three days, more than 150 experts from 35 different countries to debate the subject from different angles: environmental, health, agrarian, educational and legal, among others.
The International HCH and Pesticides Association (IHPA), a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to promote international cooperation to definitively resolve the management of elimination of obsolete pesticides, has specifically gathered top-level representatives from different territories who have shared their lines of action and projects.
The Vice Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus, Mr. Kachanovsky, began this debate on the experiences of each country, and explained the proposal his government is carrying out in the region of Gomel, on the border of Ukraine and Russia, with a technological complex where they re-utilize, with a safe method, not only the obsolete pesticides of Belarus, the collection of most of which they have already achieved, but those of all the countries of the Soviet Union – a case of success in this area and which the Vice Minister has shared as an initiative for other countries.
The Vice Minister of the Environment of Moldavia, Andrian Delinschi, spoke about his country, making known the enormous historical load of pesticides suffered by the republic. “Moldavia has accumulated more than 3,000 tons of pesticides. These data caused our government to react, creating its own strategy in 2002 to fight the problem, transforming us into an example to be followed for other countries, as we have been capable of raising awareness and applying solutions”, indicated the representative of the Moldavian government.
Moreover, Zhanybek Derbishaliev, Director of the Department of Chemicalization and Plant Protection of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan underscored the handicap his region has with the treatment of these accumulated pesticides and the need for external agents and international institutions to provide financial aid for the projects they are trying to apply.
From Kazakhstan, Kerey Bekbergen, Director of the Department of Green Technologies and representative of the Ministry of Energy of the Republic, emphasized that this is a global situation for all countries. In fact, Kazakhstan proposes the creation of a council for the countries of the region of Central Asia, which will make it possible to join forces. In addition, the government representative reminded the attendees that his Republic will host the 14th edition of the International HCH and Pesticides Forum.
In addition, the representative of Tajikistan, Abdusalim Juraev, appealed to the international institutions to become aware of the serious problem his region is undergoing. “Tajikistan has many deficiencies, so our only solution is to obtain international financing to create and develop projects. Since 2007, we have adapted the legislation of our country and we have rebuilt the zones that are most contaminated by pesticides. But without additional financing, we cannot apply more global projects; therefore, we appeal to the European Parliament and other international institutions in order to be able to carry all this out”, emphasized the representative of the Environmental Protection Committee of Tajikistan and Director of the office of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) of Stockholm.
“Up until a few years ago, in the government of Vietnam we were not aware of this problem, but international organizations have helped us to see it and to seek solutions. Thanks to this, we have become aware that it is a serious situation and we are fighting to improve it in Vietnam”, stated the representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Director of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Project of Vietnam, Hoang Thanh Vinh. Moreover, he emphasized that in his country they started from zero in methodology and that it has been achieved a total focus on this problem, proposing specific measures.
This enriching encounter also included the participation of a representative of the FAO. The Project Coordinator of this institution emphasized the role that FAO has carried out since 2009 to solve the problem with obsolete pesticides. “The role of the FAO is to create capacities to manage the elimination of obsolete pesticides, as well as all the harmful substances that they produce. We use mechanisms such as the Rotterdam Convention and more occasionally we also work with the WHO. We look at each of the parts so that countries will know how to use technology and be able to eliminate these pesticides. Part of this work is to create a road map for institutions, both public and private, and we consider this to be the most important step to address the situation with a view to the future”, according to Richard Thompson.
The Chief specialist in Environment, Chemical Substances and waste in the GEF program, Lulwa Ali, shared the experiences of his program, with which they have obtained co-financing of 569 million dollars to implement projects aimed at eliminating obsolete pesticides. “the focus that we use is a plan of action that always evaluates very critically previous achievements and defines the roles and functions of each of the interested parties, whether private or public institutions. In fact, we believe that there are many opportunities in the GEF program and we have the political support, the appropriate technologies and the experience that we have implemented, as well as a desire for development. Therefore, we think that the outlook is promising”, indicated Lulwa Ali.
Lastly, Miguel Martinez, representative of the European Parliament, spoke more specifically about the problem of Lindane. “When this case came to light again, after a strange lethargy, little more than a year ago, we went to the European Parliament and the European Commission did not know what to tell us. Then we realized that Europe is not living up to its commitments acquired in the Stockholm Convention. Our conclusion is that we need to persuade the European Union that we have identified a problem and that it is necessary to allocate funds for it and program it. A permanent financial line must be created for this in the general budget of the European Union”.