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Caribbean Pesticide Management News Project Update March 2020 PROJECT OBJECTIVES/ COMPONENTS Safe disposal of POPs and other obsolete pesticides and PCBs Technology transfer of methodologies for identification and remediation of contaminated sites Development of systems to manage empty pesticides containers Strengthening regulatory framework and institutional capacity for sound management of pesticides Promotion of alternatives to chemical pesticides

In our second edition of Caribbean Pesticide Management News, we will feature some updates and exciting news in the world of pesticides management in the region. Our aim is to keep you informed about project developments quarterly and to provide valuable “info-bits”! Here is some information about happenings from September 2019 to March 2020.

The project “Disposal of Obsolete Pesticides including POPs, Promotion of Alternatives and Strengthening Pesticides Management in the Caribbean” is presently being implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Coordinating Group of Pesticides Control Boards of the Caribbean (CGPC) in 11 countries of the Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

Empty Container Management Possible locations for container management pilots and container collection identified in Dominica Through a series of engagements in Dominica with Regional Project Coordinator, Guy Mathurin, empty pesticide container management stakeholders consisting of Extension officers, farmers, the solid waste management authority, and pesticide importers and pest control operators came to an agreement to form a committee that would attempt to establish an empty pesticide container management pilot. In addition, this visit allowed for the assessment of potential sites for situating bins to collect containers in the North West region of Dominica that included areas in St. Joseph such as the farming district around Salisbury, Layou and Mero. Possible places for starting container management pilots were also examined on the East Coast in the area of Castle Bruce, which is close to Kalinago/Carib Territory. Positive example of recycling empty pesticide containers in Guadeloupe can lead to improved processes in the region

Potential site for locating bin for collection of empty pesticide containers in Salisbury, Dominica

Worker installing plastic trays made from recycled pesticides container granules Source: https://agrivalor-gp.fr/

Consultation on the proper management of empty pesticide containers hosted in St. Kitts and Nevis

During a visit to AGRIVALOR Guadeloupe in November 2019, the Regional Project Coordinator gained insight on how this spin-off company from ADIVALOR France was able to successfully collect and recycle empty pesticide containers. Most farmers are members of commodity cooperatives, for example sugarcane, banana and melon. Â The process is as follows: 1. Farmers are requested to bring in their triple-rinsed empty pesticide containers at certain times of the year over a 2-3 day period. 2. Containers are collected from farmers, weighed and put into a skip then taken to a recycling plant owned by ECODEC, a waste recycling company where the containers are shred into granules. 3. The container granules are then mixed with granules from old vehicle tires to make exterior ground tiles which are used as soil stabilizers, especially in parking lots. Other agricultural materials collected from farmers included fertilizer bags and banana bunch sleeve plastics. This particular visit thus allowed for knowledge to be gained on positive recycling practices of empty pesticide containers that can inform improved processes within the CGPC countries and by extension, other countries.

Preliminary Field Testing results in Jamaica show BioPesticides as proven alternative to toxic chemicals For the past few years, The University of the West Indies Mona Campus, Department of Life Science in Jamaica has been field-testing bio-pesticides from the national registered pesticide list, against insect pests in leafy vegetable crops such as callaloo (Amaranthus sp.), pak choi and cabbage. As part of the project, the Regional Project Coordinator, participated in September’s field days. Hosted at Douglas Castle in St. Ann and Sydney Pagon STEM Academy in Elim, St. Elizabeth, the Farmer Field Days were seen as a success by facilitators and participants. Farmers and students benefited immensely from the sharing of results from the field testing which demonstrated that similar levels of control could be achieved with bio-pesticides as with conventional pesticides; thus avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals by the user, non-target organisms and the environment.

Partnerships for improved pesticide management A Letter of agreement (LOA) was established with the Pesticides Action Network (PAN)-UK to assist in developing a Pesticides Risk Reduction Plan for the region. Similarly, a mechanism is being explored with AGRIVALORGuadeloupe to visit countries in the region to assess present management of empty pesticide containers and agricultural waste. After the assessment, recommendations for and options on safe recycling and disposal in the region will be presented. A LOA was set up with the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA), which serves as the Technical Secretariat of the CGPC. The purpose of the LOA was to establish a pilot regional Technical Working Group (TWG), which will use the FAO Pesticide Registration Toolkit to evaluate pesticides product dossiers submitted to support applications for their registration. The results and recommendations of the evaluations by the TWG will be made available to national pesticides Registrars.

Top photo: farmers in Douglas Castle, St. Ann. Bottom Photos: students at Sydney Pagon Stem Academy and school farm during Farmer Field Day Activities in Jamaica . Photo Credit: Guy Mathurin

Another LOA with the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus’ Faculty of Agriculture has been extended as work continues on the technology transfer for the remediation of pesticide contaminated sites in the region.

Strengthening Regulatory Framework and Institutional Capacity Technical working group formed to consider applications for the registration of pesticides The LOA between FAO and CAHFSA has managed to successfully form a pilot technical working group, providing the opportunity to evaluate applications for the registration of pesticides using the FAO Registration Toolkit. In accordance with the LOA, CAHFSA will host three technical working group meetings over the next 7-8 months to consider at each meeting at least 3 pesticide products that have been submitted for registration in one of the project or CGPC countries. Efficiency of residue analysis to be improved with first accredited lab in the Region Over the past few months, the project has shown great interest in the work that the Guyana Pesticides and Toxic Chemical Control Board Laboratory is doing to achieve ISO accreditation.   The capability to conduct fertilizer and pesticides residue analysis on fertilizer, soil and plant samples in the region will be a huge boost to the available analytical capacity in the region.  Presently soil samples must be shipped out of the region for analysis. This can be costly and time-consuming, thus an accredited laboratory would significantly help to improve the speed, efficiency and effectiveness of pesticide management within the Caribbean Region. The laboratory in Guyana, once accredited, would be able to conduct pesticides residue analyses of soil, food products and agriculture produce. The Registrar of the PTCCB Mrs. Trecia David-Garnath indicated to the Regional Project Coordinator that the medium to longterm objective is to develop the laboratory as a Centre of Excellence within the region.

DID YOU KNOW? Improper handling and use of pesticides potentially expands women’s already highly unequal burden of care and unpaid care work for members of the family who will be affected in the short, medium and long-term.

Guyana Pesticides and Toxic Chemical Control Board Laboratory Source: https://www.ptccb.org.gy/

Source: www.fao.org

Regional pesticides inspectors to benefit from Caribbean Manual To assist in the standardization of operating procedures for pesticide inspectors and ensure consistency in operations within the region, a Consultant was contracted to help design a Regional Pesticide Inspector’s Manual. Pesticide Inspectors play a vital role in the protection of human and environmental health. This manual will offer substantial guidance for inspectors who work with regulatory authorities and by extension, assist with the execution, monitoring, enforcement and awareness of inspection related activities. As the manual is developed using a previous version developed by FAO for the countries of the West African region, it contains the principles involved in pesticides regulatory work in subject areas including legislation, preparation for inspections, safety during sampling, documentation, responses to violations, information and awareness, and cooperation and coordination. The draft manual has been shared with all 11-project countries. Pesticide inspectors in each country will be introduced and trained in the use of the manual and expected to provide   feedback to assist in the finalization of the document ensuring that it fully addresses the Caribbean context before being distributed  regionally. Thus far, trainings have successfully taken place in 5 project countries: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica.

Pesticide Instructor Manual Training in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Finalization of model pesticides legislation underway A legal consultant reviewed pesticides-related legislation within the Caribbean and prepared a draft report that identified several gaps while also revealing that such legislation within the Caribbean lacked consistency. The report was recently submitted to the Legal Unit at FAO Headquarters in Rome and at the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean located in Chile and will be shared after its review and completion. Using the information in the draft report, , the legal consultant developed   a draft pesticides bill that is more aligned to the FAO International Code of Conduct on Pesticides Management (which covers  all areas of pesticide life-cycle management). Once accepted and enacted by countries, this legislation would lend itself towards the harmonization of pesticide regulatory management in the region.

Visibility New home for CGPC Secretariat

Sign outside CAHFSA Office in Suriname Source: https://www.cahfsa.org/

The CGPC has begun the move of its Technical Secretariat to CAHFSA. This decision was announced in June 2019 during the 23rd Meeting of the CGPC in Suriname. The CGPC extended tremendous gratitude to the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), which had previously hosted the Technical Secretariat from the inception of the CGPC in 1987. Member countries felt that CAHFSA, (which has the mandate for regional plant and animal health, and food safety), was well positioned to include the additional mandate of pesticide management at the regional level. The CGPC is now in the process of preparing a MOU with CAHFSA. The Government of Suriname has graciously provided administrative and technical support to the CGPC, now hosted within the CAHFSA facilities. Promoting the “Triple Rinse Technique” at Agro Fest During “Agrofest”, an annual national agriculture exhibition in Barbados, leaflets and posters on the Triple Rinse Technique were shared with students, teachers, farmers and the public. The event, which spans 3 days, is one of the largest exhibitions in Barbados and attracts thousands of persons from all walks of life, including school children. Students listened attentively as the project’s Communications Consultant, Firhaana Bulbulia, detailed the Triple Rinse Technique. Some students indicated that they did not use pesticides; whilst a few others shared that their parents who farmed land used pesticides. One student who was very familiar with the use of pesticides indicated that his mother applies pesticides to the crops and he helps with the disposal of the bottles and waste on their farm. He was eager to learn about the technique and indicated that he would share the pamphlet with his mother, as they presently did not employ the triple rinse technique.

Visitors interested in the Triple Rinse Technique at Agro-Fest Photo Credit: Firhaana Bulbulia

Two elderly women who visited the booth shared that they did not use pesticides in their kitchen gardens and rather enjoyed researching to find safer techniques to keep away pests.

Click here to download printable versions of the Triple Rinse Pamphlets and Posters

Emerging issues with pesticide management addressed during virtual meetings FAO hosted the 11th and 12th Virtual Meetings of the CPGC via Webex 23 October and 18 December 2019, respectively. During the 11th meeting, Crop Life Latin America presented on current trends with pesticide use in the Caribbean and how EU policies on residues can sometimes affect pesticides sales within the region. The session provided an opportunity for participants to engage extensively with Crop Life LA, bringing key issues to the fore including concern about the stewardship of pesticide products after they have been sold to farmers particularly as it relates to safety during and after use and disposal of empty containers. The key presentation at the 12th meeting focused on gender mainstreaming in pesticides management. As an emerging area of interest in pesticide management, awareness of the relationship between gender and pesticides remains limited within the region. To sensitize the CGPC, FAO’s Gender Team at the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Chile, offered an overview of this area and suggested potential key gender mainstreaming opportunities within the project.

DID YOU KNOW? Insecure land tenure weakens women’s control over pesticide use and their ability to afford and direct transformative change in agricultural practice.

Source: www.fao.org

Gender and Pesticides

Within the Caribbean, understanding the gendered dimensions of pesticide exposure will ensure proper planning in pesticide management and mitigate long-term risks of exposure across women, men and children.

How does exposure to harmful pesticides impact women, men and children Differently? Women, men and children are exposed to differing levels of harmful pesticides causing varied health reactions. Women may have different susceptibility to the impacts of pesticide exposure, e.g. due to differences in physiology and in connection with their reproductive cycles. With generally a higher proportion of body fat, women are also more likely to store more environmental pollutants in their tissues. At particular stages of their lives, such as pregnancy, lactation, and menopause, women’s bodies undergo rapid physiological changes that also may change their vulnerability to health damage from pesticides. In addition, a substantial portion of a woman’s chemical burden can be passed on to the unborn child through the placenta, as well as during breastfeeding. For maternal and infant health protection, exposure of girls and women prior to and during childbearing years to pesticides poses risks to the future generations and thus must be minimized to the extent possible.

Studies suggest that women’s exposure to pesticides can cause miscarriages, premature births, birth defects, and low birth weight (WHO 2004)

Men also have unique vulnerabilities based on their physiology that are prone to interference by chemical substances such as harmful pesticides. Trends showing a worldwide increase in incidents of testicular cancer and a conspicuously high prevalence of this disease and other reproductive disorders in men in more industrialized countries are currently not fully explained. Children are generally at greater risk of health damage from pesticides exposure because their rapid development and dynamic periods of growth (with which chemical exposure can interfere) increases their physiological sensitivity. Fetal exposure at critical times may have harmful effects that do not become evident until in school, at puberty or adulthood. Small children may absorb chemicals more efficiently and excrete them more slowly, resulting in greater body burdens of toxic contaminants. Moreover, children’s intake of proportionally greater amounts of these environmental contaminants via water, air and food (relative to body size) further magnifies the risks.

Do women, men and children face the same risk of exposure to harmful pesticides? The level and type of pesticide exposure often differs by gender because women and men generally perform different tasks. Depending on social circumstances in particular communities, women may be expected to carry out specific tasks that put them at specific risk of exposure such as participating in the application of pesticides or cleaning of protective equipment. In the Caribbean region, based on the structure of the agricultural sector, particularly smallholder agriculture, the production of crops like vegetables, root crops and fruits tend to have the active participation of women, particularly in kitchen gardens. Agrochemicals and pesticides tend to be used to boost production and reduce the impact of both pests and the losses from praedial larceny. Â As pesticide containers are often recycled for other uses in the household and women and girls usually assume responsibility for cleaning and household management, this poses a specific risk when empty pesticide containers are reused to store water, food or other supplies. Jamaican Farmer, Shernette Brown. Photo Credit: Guy Mathurin

What is gender mainstreaming and why is it important in pesticide management? Gender mainstreaming is when we: Systematically examine and address women’s as well as men’s needs, priorities and experiences as part of the development of policies, normative standards, programmes, projects and knowledge building activities, so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. In cases where the gender gap is so large that women have no access to available opportunities, carry out programmes and projects that specifically target women (FAO, 2013). Approaching pesticide management through a gender lens helps stakeholders to better understand the gendered impacts of pesticides on human health, as well as the varied ways women, men and children can be exposed to pesticides. This offers significant implications on how interventions are planned, the reach of key messages and the uptake of new techniques and strategies by recipients. Harmful pesticides affect everyone, however, to protect everyone gender mainstreaming is key, as it truly ensures no one is left behind.

CONTACT US: Caribbean Pesticide Management Project FAO Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean 2nd Floor, United Nations House Hastings Christ Church Barbados 1(246)426-7110 guy.mathurin@fao.org hartley.springer@fao.org firhaana.bulbulia@fao.org

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Caribbean Pesticides Management Project Newsletter- March 2020  

In our second edition of Caribbean Pesticide Management News, we will feature some updates and exciting news in the world of pesticides mana...

Caribbean Pesticides Management Project Newsletter- March 2020  

In our second edition of Caribbean Pesticide Management News, we will feature some updates and exciting news in the world of pesticides mana...