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The journal of Pesticide Action Network UK An international perspective on the health and environmental effects of pesticides Quarterly

June 2010

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Pesticides News No 88 Editorial 2 PAN UK news 3

New Director takes the reins at PAN UK

International year of biodiversity 4

Pesticides reduce biodiversity

Integrated pest management 8

Bt-based IPM boosts cabbage production in North Korea

Latin America 9

Fishing livelihoods threatened by pesticide pollution in Uruguay

Grassroots action 15 Global spread of grassroots action against pesticides

Organic cotton 16 Improving organic cotton farmers’ access to neem in Benin

Developing countries 18 Community health monitoring in Tanzania

20 NGO lessons from Nigerian stockpiles programme

News 11 US bans endosulfan 11 Endosulfan and the Conventions 17 A ‘mockery of justice’ for victims of Bhopal

New PAN resources 22 PAN UK launches new website 22 New PAN Europe National Action Plan best practice manual

22 New PAN UK organic cotton briefing 23 Communities in Peril: global report on health impacts of pesticide use in agriculture

23 PAN UK’s definitive guide to cotton and eco-labelling relaunched

23 New leaflet on the work of PAN UK’s African partners

Pesticide Action Network UK Development House 56-64 Leonard Street London EC2A 4LT, UK Tel +44 (0)20 7065 0905 Fax +44 (0)20 7065 0907 Email admin@pan-uk.org

www.pan-uk.org www.pan-international.org links to all PAN Regional Centres

Jars of kimchi, a staple of the North Korea diet

Photo: M. Grossrieder, CABI E-CH


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Editorial

Pesticides News 88

Biodiversity is not just of sentimental concern. It is vital to the health of all people on the planet. We depend on the earth’s biodiversity for crop pollination, nutrient recycling, soil fertility and to absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. But over the past several decades there has been a dramatic reduction in biodiversity. Over the course of evolution, species losses of such magnitude have only been recorded in times preceding mass extinctions of life on earth. The factors responsible are at least partially understood with habitat loss and chemical pollution being two key culprits. In this year, the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity, we bring you an article reviewing current research on the impact of pesticides on biodiversity (pages 4-7). The results are clear. Pesticides are threatening birds, mammals, amphibians, invertebrates and plants, particularly those species which inhabit farmland. It is up to policy makers worldwide to lead the way, generating forwardthinking initiatives to not only halt, but to reverse this decline. An article from PAN Uruguay illustrates the dangers of endosulfan (pages 1214). Endosulfan pollution of a river running through sprayed agricultural land has resulted in mass fish kills. An investigation by local school children identified endosulfan as the culprit. The quality of the students’ investigation won them prizes in a national science competition and the Iberoamerica competition. The resultant media exposure drew attention to the problems caused by pesticide spraying faced by rural communities in Uruguay. The communities not only depend on the river as a source of food and for the livelihood of fisher people but also as a source of drinking water. But we are pleased to report good news about endosulfan. The United States have finally agreed to ban this harmful persistent pesticide. Although endosulfan is already banned in over 60 countries, the inaction of the US has been a stumbling block to endosulfan being listed under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollution and Rotterdam Convention on Trade in Dangerous Chemicals, a key step in ensuring an international ban. We also provide an update on the current status of endosulfan within these conventions (page 11). Online subscription

News from North Korea rarely hits the western Subscribers can now benefit from an online searchable press. But in this issue we report on an initiative version of Pesticides News of CABI’s. CABI have been working with North (September 1993 to the curKorean universities and research institutes for rent issue) with the followover a decade to develop an integrated pest ing username and password management (IPM) programme (pages 8-11). We (changed twice a year): Username: subscriber report on their work on cabbage IPM. Cabbage Password: alachlor is a staple for most of the North Korean population who preserve it as kimchi to be eaten throughout the year. The programme has significantly increased cabbage yields improving food security for the North Korean people.

Pesticide Action Network – Regional Centres AFRICA PAN Africa BP 15938, Dakar-FANN Senegal Tel: (221) 33 825 4914 Fax: (221) 33 825 1443 panafrica@pan-afrique.org www.pan-afrique.org

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ASIA/PACIFIC PAN Asia and the Pacific PO Box 1170 10850 Penang, Malaysia Tel: (60-4) 657 0271 Fax: (60-4) 658 3960 panap@panap.net www.panap.net

EUROPE PAN Europe is facilitated by PAN UK and PAN Germany www.pan-europe.info elliott@pan-europe.info PAN Germany Nernstweg 32 22765 Hamburg, Germany Tel: (49-40) 399 191022 Fax: (49-40) 390 7520 info@pan-germany.org www.pan-germany.org www.pan-international.org links to all PAN Regional Centres

LATIN AMERICA RAPAL (PAN Latin America) Coordinadora Regional Av. Providencia No365, depto. No41 Providencia, Santiago de Chile Tel/Fax: (56-2) 341 6742 rapal@rapal.cl www.rap-al.org NORTH AMERICA PAN North America 49 Powell St., 5th Floor San Francisco, CA 94102, US Tel: (1-415) 981 1771 Fax: (1-415) 981 1991 panna@panna.org www.panna.org

June 2010

Who’s who at Pesticide Action Network UK Dr Keith Tyrell Director Nick Mole Policy Officer Dr Roslyn McKendry Editor, Pesticides News Rachel Sutton PAN Europe Coordinator Eliza Anyangwe International Project Officer (Cotton) Eloise Touni International Project Officer (Disposal) Phil Monday Project Officer (Africa Liaison) Dr Stephanie Williamson International Project Officer (Food and Farming) Ruth Beckmann Project Information Officer Liz Kabiro Finance and Admin Manager Martin Cooke Information and Publishing Manager Geremew Tereda Accounts Articles published in Pesticides News promote health, safety, environmental commitment and alternatives to pesticides as well as debate. The authors’ views are not necessarily those of the Pesticide Action Network UK. Initials at the end of articles refer to staff contributions to Pesticides News. Abbreviations and acronyms used ACP Advisory Committee on Pesticides CRA Comparative Risk Assessment EA Environment Agency (UK) EC European Commission EPA Environmental Protection Agency (US) EU European Union FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations FFS Farmer Field School FSA Food Standards Agency HSE Health and Safety Executive ILO International Labour Organisation IPM Integrated pest management LD50 lethal dose for 50% of population µg/kg parts per billion MRLs Maximum Residue Limits mg/l parts per million NGO Non government organisation OECD Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development OP Organophosphate (pesticide) PAN Pesticide Action Network PIC Prior Informed Consent PN Pesticides News UNEP United Nations Environment Programme

© Pesticide Action Network UK Please credit Pesticide Action Network UK when quoting articles ISSN 0967-6597 Printed on recycled paper


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PAN UK news

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New Director takes the reins at PAN UK PAN UK welcomes a new Director, Keith Tyrell, who brings over 20 years’ experience to the role. Keith joins PAN UK from the Koru Foundation – a charity supporting community scale renewable energy in the developing world – where he was Director of Programmes and Research. He previously spent eight years working on environmental policy at the ENDS Report. He has extensive experience of working with grassroots organisations and ran the European arm of a threeyear international research and advocacy project for WWF. He holds a Doctorate in Development Studies, and MA in Environment Development and Policy – both of which involved research into pesticide use. Keith lays out his vision for the future of PAN UK. It is with great pleasure that I take over the helm at PAN UK. I first came across the organisation – then the Pesticides Trust – some 15 years ago while conducting research into integrated pest management in Asia. I was impressed then by the depth of knowledge, dedication and expertise in the organisation and I am pleased to see that PAN UK has retained these strengths. A lot has changed in the 24 years since PAN UK was established. There have been significant advances in pesticide regulation with many of the most harmful and persistent pesticides removed from sale in EU or their use severely constrained. There have been advances to encourage safer use of substances, and action has been taken to reduce pesticide residues in food on sale in Europe. These are major successes and PAN UK can rightly be proud of the role it has played in driving the pesticide agenda forward. But much remains to be done, and PAN UK faces significant challenges. Firstly the threat of climate change has led to a realignment of environmental policies and funding. There is a view in some circles – particularly in Europe – that pesticide abuse is yesterday’s problem. But pesticides continue to poison and biodiversity continues to be lost at a frightening rate. What is more, population growth, water scarcity and the need to find alternatives to fossil fuels all place pressures on agriculture and are likely to lead to increased pesticide use globally. But with threats come opportunities. Climate change has raised environmental awareness around the world. The environment is now at the top of policy-makers’ agendas and there is a growing recognition that our economic systems and livelihoods are closely tied to the health of our environmental systems. Greater demand for healthy eating in Europe has focused public attention on pesticide residues in foods and the organic movement has come of age with sales of

organic produce rocketing. All these factors present PAN UK with a unique opportunity to force a shift to a more sustainable agricultural system with much less reliance on pesticides in the UK, Europe and beyond. In the UK we will work to reduce pesticide use in the 95% of UK agriculture that is non-organic, and globally we will continue the fight to eliminate the most toxic and persistent pesticides. We will work to reduce the shockingly high numbers of pesticide poisonings that continue to occur every year and promote sustainable and equitable agricultural systems that allow the poorest farmers to meet their needs without destroying their environment and health. In Europe, the Pesticides Strategy and its associated Directives and Regulations will change the way pesticides are used for years to come. And new limits on pesticides residues will have an impact way beyond Europe’s borders. PAN UK will continue to push to see that the Sustainable Use Directive is implemented effectively and to ensure that the UK is a leader in reducing

dependence on pesticides. We will also be looking to the UK government to work with farmers to help them adjust to the new regime and limit any negative effects of the new legislation. PAN UK lobbied hard on the EU Regulation on the Placing of Plant Protection Products on the Market and we are now looking to the UK to take the lead in phasing out active ingredients ahead of the deadlines set out in the Regulation. Internationally, we will continue to work with our partners in Africa and other developing countries to end the use of the most harmful pesticides and we will work with retailers to encourage their suppliers to reduce the amounts of pesticides they use. We will help farmers adjust to the demands of European markets and meet new requirements on the pesticide residues in food. PAN UK has achieved much in the last quarter century, but problems remain and I am determined that we will continue the fight to end the use of harmful pesticides and deliver safer and more sustainable farming systems worldwide.

PAN UK welcomes new pesticides Minister, Lord Henley In May the UK people voted in a new government, a coalition between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. With the new government comes a new set of Ministers, including the Minister in charge of pesticide issues. PAN UK would like to welcome Lord Henley to his new position as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and to express our hope that he will take the issue of pesticides seriously and look to reduce the dependence on pesticides across all areas of use. In particular PAN UK hopes that the new Minister will take a strong lead in implementing the new EU Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides in the UK. This is a once in a generation opportunity to make the use of pesticides safer for people and the environment. PAN UK would like to see the new Minister backing measures that would stop the spraying of pesticides in areas such as parks, hospitals and schools in order to reduce exposure to pesticides of particularly vulnerable groups of people. PAN UK also hopes that the new Minister will take a strong line on developing and promoting innovative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies throughout the UK agriculture and amenity sectors.

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International year of biodiversity

Pesticides reduce biodiversity Pesticides are a major factor affecting biological diversity globally, along with habitat loss and climate change. They can be directly toxic to organisms, or cause changes in their habitat and the food chain. Richard Isenring reviews the science for PAN Europe. Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace were among the first to recognise the importance of biodiversity for ecosystems. They suggested that a diverse mixture of crop plants would be more productive than a monoculture, and though there are exceptions, recent studies confirm this idea1.

Biodiversity loss But the earth’s biodiversity is currently being lost at an alarming rate. Changes in habitat and biodiversity are being caused by the changing climate and people’s increasing use of plant and animal resources. This alarming trend is not in doubt and is widely documented by myriad studies. For example, the doubling of EU cereal yield resulted in the loss of half the plant species and one-third of carabid beetles and farmland bird species2. In farmland habitats in the UK, population declines have occurred in about half of plants, a third of insects and four-fifths of bird species3. In the EU, up to 80% of protected habitat types and 50% of species of conservation interest now have an unfavourable conservation status. A ‘business-as-usual’ scenario would mean that the current decline of biodiversity will continue and even accelerate, and by 2050 a further 11% of natural areas which existed in 2000 will be lost, while 40% of land currently under low-impact agriculture could be converted to intensive agricultural use4. In industrialised countries, farming practices have fundamentally changed. In the UK and many other places, mixed agriculture has been lost and farms have become increasingly spe-

cialised. Traditional crop rotation has been abandoned and in the British lowlands, field sizes have increased while field margins and hedgerows have shrunk. Over the same period populations of many species living on farmland have declined5. This loss of biodiversity is not just of sentimental concern. Human well-being depends on services delivered by intact ecosystems. People’s livelihoods ultimately depend on the biological resources provided by ecosystems.

Increased use of pesticides Of all the components of agricultural intensification, the use of pesticides, especially insecticides and fungicides, has had the most consistently negative effects on species diversity. The use of pesticides (particularly herbicides) and synthetic fertilisers has increased dramatically over the past 60 years. Between 1990 and 2006, the total area treated with pesticides increased by 30% in the UK, and the herbicide-treated area increased by 38%6. Additionally, the use of insecticides has reduced the potential for biological pest control7.

Impact on wildlife Many pesticides are toxic to beneficial insects, birds, mammals, amphibians, or fish. Insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides (for seed treatment) and the more toxic herbicides threaten exposed wildlife through their toxicity. Over the past 40 years, the use of highly toxic carbamates and organophosphates has increased dramatically. In the South,

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organochlorines such as endosulfan, which are highly persistent, are still used on a large scale. Pesticide poisoning can cause population declines which may threaten rare species. Pesticides accumulating in the food chain, particularly those which cause endocrine disruption, pose a long-term risk to mammals, birds, amphibians, and fish. But pesticides can also have indirect effects by reducing the abundance of weeds and insects which are important food sources for many species. Herbicides can change habitats by altering vegetation structure, ultimately leading to population decline. Fungicide use has also allowed farmers to stop growing ‘break crops’ like grass or roots. This has led to the decline of some arable weeds8. In Canada, losses among 62 imperilled species were closely related to rates of pesticide use. Species loss was highest in areas with intensive agriculture (aerial spraying)9.

Pesticides threaten bird species While average populations of all common and forest birds declined by about 10% in Europe between 1980 and 2006, populations of farmland birds have fallen by 48%10. Large declines in bird species are also found in the United States. A recent US survey found that one in three bird species is endangered, threatened, or of conservation concern11. In North America between 1980 and 1999, populations of grassland species declined more than species living in shrubland. In 78% of species there was an association between population trend and change in agricultural landuse12. In Europe, the population decline among farmland birds was far greater in countries with more intensive agriculture13. It has been predicted that introducing EU agricultural policy into EU accession countries will cause a major decline in key bird populations as occurred in the German state of SaxonyAnhalt14. Important Bird Areas (IBAs) include agricultural areas with important bird populations. But IBAs have no official protected status and agricultural expansion and intensification threaten half of IBAs in Africa and one-third in Europe. It is estimated that worldwide bird populations have declined by 20% to 25% since pre-agricultural times. Altogether, 1,211 bird species (12% of the total) are considered globally threatened, and 86% of these are threatened by habitat destruction or degradation. For 187 globally threatened bird species, the primary pressure is chemical pollution, including fertilisers, pesticides and heavy metals entering surface water and the terrestrial environment15.

Direct poisonings

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In the UK, the volume of seeds eaten by many bird species poses a potential risk if they are treated with toxic fungicides16. Organophosphate insecticides, including disulfoton, fenthion, and parathion are highly toxic to birds and have frequently poisoned raptors foraging in fields17. Field studies have


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International year of biodiversity

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led to the conclusion that ‘direct mortality of exposed birds is both inevitable and relatively frequent with a large number of insecticides currently registered’18. In the US, some 50 pesticides have killed songbirds, gamebirds, raptors, seabirds and shorebirds19. ln a small area of the Argentine pampas, monocrotophos, an organophosphate, killed 6,000 Swainson’s hawks. Worldwide, over 100,000 bird deaths caused by this chemical have been documented20. Besides lethal poisonings sublethal quantities of pesticides can affect the nervous system causing changes in behaviour. In an orchard, parent birds made fewer feeding trips after azinphos-methyl, an organophosphate, had been sprayed21.

Reduction in food sources Herbicides and avermectin residues (used to worm livestock) affect birds indirectly by reducing food abundance22. Lower availability of key invertebrates and seeds for farmland birds in northern Europe has been linked to insecticides and herbicides, intensification and specialisation of farmland, loss of field margins, and ploughing23. Spraying insecticides within 20 days of hatching led to smaller broods of yellowhammer chicks, lower mean weight of skylark chicks, and lower survival of corn bunting chicks24,25. More frequent spraying of insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides was linked to fewer food invertebrates. This resulted in lower breeding success of corn buntings and may have contributed to their decline26. In Sussex, herbicides were a major cause of the decline of grey partridge populations by removing weeds which are important insect hosts27. Increasing pesticide use has been linked to periods of rapid bird decline28. Those species at risk from indirect effects in the UK include grey partridge, corn bunting, yellowhammer, red-backed shrike, skylark, tree sparrow, and yellow wagtail29.

Risk to mammals Pesticides and other chemicals have caused declines in populations of Britain’s wild mammals, particularly the bats and rodents30. Certain pesticides can gradually accumulate in the food chain, a particular concern to top predators such as mammals or raptors. Anticoagulant rodenticides are highly toxic and some can bioaccumulate. Non-target predatory mammals (such as dogs and foxes) and raptors frequently suffer ‘secondary poisoning’ by eating rats or mice poisoned by rodenticides. In France, foxes were poisoned by residues of bromadiolone in prey tissue31. In the UK, following rat control with rodenticides, local wood mice, bank vole, and field vole populations declined significantly32. At least 25-35% of small mammal predators (polecats, stoats, and weasels) sampled had been exposed to rodenticides33. Herbicide use can affect mammals such as the common shrew, wood mouse and badger by removing plant food sources and changing the microclimate34. Hares prefer a more diverse habitat and likely prefer increased fallow land35. On organic farms, foraging activi-

ty by bats was significantly higher than on conventional farms, possibly due to a larger abundance of prey insects36.

Impacts on insects Broad-spectrum insecticides (such as carbamates, organophosphates and pyrethroids) can cause population declines of beneficial insects such as bees, spiders, or beetles. Many of these species play an important role in the food web or as natural enemies of pest insects. Since 1970, insect numbers in cereal fields in Sussex have dropped by half37. Numbers of bugs, spiders and beetles were considerably higher in untreated fields38. On British organic farms, numbers and species richness of butterflies was greater than on conventional farms39,40. The number of carabid beetles and spiders was usually higher on organic farms. Conventional management practice appeared to affect natural enemies far more than other insects or target pests41. Bees perform essential pollination functions. Honey bees are under pressure from parasitic mites, viral diseases, habitat loss and pesticides. Intensified agriculture, habitat loss, and agrochemicals are considered to be among the chief environmental threats to Europe’s honey and wild bees. On organic farms in the US, close to natural habitat, diverse native wild bee communities provided full pollination services, while diversity and numbers of native bees were greatly reduced on other farms42. The carbamate bendiocarb, and the three pyrethroids cypermethrin, deltamethrin and permethrin which are used in the UK, all poison bee colonies43. Synergistic effects between pyrethroids and EBI fungicides (imidazole or triazole fungicides) can increase the risk to honeybees44. Clothianidin, and to a lesser extent, imidacloprid are highly toxic to bumble bees and other wild bees45. These two neonicotinoid insecticides are used to treat corn and sunflower seeds. In 2008, clothianidin caused many bee poisonings and colony deaths in southern Germany46. The product has since been withdrawn. When imidacloprid-treated

seed is grown, the pesticide can enter the environment to poison bees47. Residues of imidacloprid in maize pollen grown from treated seed can be a high risk to bees48. Even at low doses of imidacloprid, bee foraging behaviour was negatively affected49 and long-term exposure led to reduced learning capacity among bees50. In alfalfa, imidacloprid affected the number and species diversity of arthropods (natural enemies such as spiders) more strongly than among target pest insects51. Untreated field margins had a positive effect on the number of moths and butterflies, bugs, and staphylinid beetles at the edges of arable fields52. In organic plots, average numbers of spiders and carabid or staphylinid beetles were almost twice as high as those in conventional plots53.

Effects on amphibians and aquatic species One-third of 6,000 amphibian species worldwide are threatened. Besides habitat loss, overexploitation or introduced species, amphibians are affected by the pollution of surface waters with fertilisers and pesticides54. In the US, hexazinone, a triazine herbicide, is thought to endanger the red-legged California frog and its habitat55. Atrazine is moderately toxic to some fish species and can indirectly affect aquatic ecosystems by damaging aquatic plants. Atrazine has been shown to affect the immune system of some amphibians56,57. In Europe, the authorisation for atrazine has been withdrawn due to health and environmental risks58. Urea herbicides such as isoproturon and diuron often contaminate rivers, lakes, and groundwater. Most breakdown products of diuron are more toxic to microorganisms than diuron itself59. Fungicides based on copper are highly toxic to aquatic organisms60. A major study investigating amphibian communities in the US found that, among other factors, agricultural fields near surface water and pesticides will harm amphibian species richness61. Chlorpyrifos and endosulfan have the potential to cause serious damage to amphib-

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International year of biodiversity ians at concentrations occurring in the environment under normal conditions of use62. In laboratory tests, the survival of juvenile Great Plains toads and New Mexico spadefoot toads was reduced after exposure to certain formulations of the herbicides glufosinate and glyphosate63. In a study of the risks of 261 pesticides to aquatic ecosystems in field ditches, about 95% of the predicted risk was caused by only seven pesticides64. More selective pesticides would clearly be preferred. Surface water is frequently contaminated with insecticides through normal use at levels above those known to affect fish and aquatic invertebrates.

Effects on plant communities In recent decades, the global use of herbicides has dramatically increased. Today, some noncrop plants (or ‘weeds’) are threatened with extinction in Britain65. Although the total volume of herbicides applied in the UK decreased slightly between 1990 and 2006, the herbicide-treated area increased by 38%66. Diversity of wild plants in agricultural fields and field margins is declining, especially in infertile grassland and hedge bottoms. A slight increase in plant diversity in arable fields in 1998 may have been due to the introduction of set-aside67. Field margins created within agri-environment schemes supported a higher number of plant species than crop areas, but plant cover and species richness are still relatively low when compared to other habitats (such as horticultural land) and setaside68. By providing an unsprayed field margin at least three metres wide, the diversity and number of arable plants and insects hosted by them increased substantially69. In lowland areas in England, species diversity and abundance of plants, birds, bats, invertebrates, and plants were typically higher on organic farms than conventional ones. Positive effects were strongest for plants. It was estimated that organic fields had up to twice as many plant species and, on average, a weed cover twice as large70. Some herbicides are highly toxic to plants at very low doses, such as sulfonylureas, sulfonamides and imidazolinones71,72. Sulfonylureas have replaced other herbicides which are more toxic to animals. Experts have warned that the wide-spread use of sulfonylureas ‘could have a devastating impact on the productivity of non-target crops and the make-up of natural plant communities and wildlife food chains’73. Hexazinone is a persistent triazine herbicide which leaches easily out of the soil74. In the US, at all application rates the EPA’s levels of concern for aquatic and terrestrial nontarget plants were exceeded. Aquatic ecosystems within or next to hexazinone-treated areas could be altered by the effects on aquatic plants75. Other triazines affect aquatic plants similarly, such as terbuthylazine and atrazine. In field tests, the herbicide glyphosate altered the composition of freshwater microbial communities76.

Impacts on soil fertility

6 Soil fertility is vital to promote growth of

plants. In South Africa, the feeding activity of soil organisms was higher in soil from organic vineyards than from conventionally treated sites77. The number of earthworms was up to three times higher in organic compared to conventional plots, and growth of symbiotic mycorrhizae was 40% higher in organic compared to conventional systems78. Composition and activity of bacterial communities can be significantly changed or reduced by pesticides.

Conserving biodiversity In the EU, national policies set targets for biodiversity conservation79. The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity provides national strategies and action plans for conserving species at national level. The UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) currently lists 1,150 species and 65 habitats with a priority for conservation. In 2002, of 78 farmland priority species, 39% were declining, 21% had unknown or unclear status, 18% were stable, 15% on the increase, and 7% had been lost. From the total one million hectares of nationally-important wildlife sites (‘Sites of Special Scientific Interest’) in the UK in 2003, about 380,000 hectares, or 38%, were in an unfavourable condition mainly due to agriculture. Only 47% of important wildlife sites on farmland were in a favourable condition80. One of the BAP’s targets is to reverse the decline in farmland birds in Britain by 2020. In winter, farmland bird density is much higher on stubble (rotational set-aside) than on cereal fields. However, EU policy recently changed and set-aside is no longer compulsory which could have negative impacts on farmland biodiversity across the EU81. Maintaining an appropriate population of weed species to support farmland wildlife is a challenge. It may be achieved by providing conservation headlands, by developing more selective herbicides, and through their selective use82. In England between 1978 and 1990, plant diversity on arable land declined. Between 1998 and 2007, plant diversity in main plots increased by 36% due to increased set-aside or fallow land, driven by agri-environment schemes83. On plots with reduced herbicide input, farmland birds used winter cereal stubble more often than on conventional plots84. Using more selective herbicides in winter cereals could benefit farmland bird species which feed their chicks weed seeds such as linnets or finches85. In the EU on arable or mixed farms which use integrated management practices, on average the use of herbicides was reduced by 43%, use of insecticides or molluscicides by 55%, and fungicide use was 50% lower when compared to conventional farms. On farms using IPM, the number of arthropods (such as beetles, spiders, springtails or sawflies), plants and earthworms increased significantly. Similar positive effects were observed for soil organisms, birds, and mammals such as wood mice86. The EU’s Sixth Environment Action Programme identified biodiversity conservation as a high priority87. Areas protected under

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the Birds and Habitats Directives are connected in the ‘Natura 2000’ network. The proposed strategy on sustainable pesticide use in the EU aims to minimise risks to health and the environment from pesticides. Member states must eliminate or reduce the use of pesticides as far as possible in Natura 2000 sites, and promote farming with low pesticide input, particularly integrated pest management (IPM), and establish the necessary conditions for implementing IPM techniques88. Agri-environment schemes in the EU pay farmers for taking measures to preserve the environment and countryside. But spending on these measures is marginal to date. Farmers who practise less intensive farming and who conserve nature need to be rewarded89. The number and quality of conservation targets varies considerably between countries90. Organic farms, together with agri-environment schemes, have positive effects on the diversity of plants and beetles in the EU, while bird species were not significantly more diverse. This may be due to widespread chemical pollution. So a shift towards farming with minimal pesticide use over large areas is urgently needed91. Corn, sugar cane and palm oil are increasingly being used to produce biofuels. These crop plants are linked to a high input of pesticide and fertiliser and their use is threatening biodiversity.

The need for a rescue plan A new quantitative rescue plan for biodiversity in Europe is needed for 2020, setting clear quantitative and qualitative targets, timetables and monitoring requirements. The success of a biodiversity rescue plan will also to a large extent depend on the EU’s implementation of the new ‘Regulation on the Placing of Plant Protection Products on the Market’, as well as on how seriously member states implement the new framework directive on the sustainable use of pesticides. Member States should use this new opportunity to set dependency/use pesticide reduction targets and clear timetables. A biodiversity rescue plan also needs to be accompanied by further reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), departing from the current model where farmers receive income support for up-keep of their land to a model where farmers receive funding to provide public benefits. This would see farmers paid to use sustainable agricultural practices that provide environmental and health services. In the International Year of Biodiversity 2010, we should fight together for reform of the CAP starting by encouraging more mixed agriculture, crop rotation, pastoral grassland and lower field size. We should encourage practices such as bigger field margins and the re-establishment of hedgerows. We should put prevention first, in a dynamic system, encouraging front-runners who are willing to make environmental improvements, and incorporate a policy of making agricultural production truly integrated. Such an approach would help reverse the decline of birds, bees, bats, arthropods and earthworms, which thrive best in


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International year of biodiversity association with organic farming. It is also the best way to re-establish communities of different animal and plant species which perform vital functions within ecosystems, bringing higher diversity which tends to be more stable, and as a result will also help ensure greater long-term food security. A longer version is available on PAN Europe’s website at http://www.pan-europe.info/Campaigns/ biodiversity.html References 1. Chapin FS et al., Consequences of changing biodiversity, Nature 405(6783): 234-242, 2000. 2. Geiger F et al, Persistent negative effects of pesticides on biodiversity and biological control potential on European farmland, Basic and Applied Ecology 11(2): 97-105, 2010. 3. Robinson RA and Sutherland WJ, Post-war changes in arable farming and biodiversity in Great Britain, Journal of Applied Ecology 39: 157-176, 2002. 4. TEEB: European Commission, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (interim report), 2008. 5. Boatman ND et al, Impacts of agricultural change on farmland biodiversity in the UK, In: Hester RE, and Harrison RM (eds), Biodiversity under threat, RSC Publishing, Cambridge, UK 2007, pp. 1-32. 6. Food and Environment Research Agency UK, Pesticide Usage Statistics: Tables (select year and chemical group), 2009. http://pusstats.csl.gov.uk/index.cfm 7. Op. cit. 2 8. Op. cit. 5 9. Gibbs KE et al, Human land use, agriculture, pesticides and losses of imperiled species, Diversity and Distributions 15(2): 242253, 2009. 10. European Bird Census Council (EBCC), European wild bird indicators, 2008 update. 11. North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI), et al., The state of the birds – United States of America 2009. www.stateofthebirds.org 12. Murphy MT, Avian population trends within the evolving agricultural landscape of Eastern and Central United States, The Auk 120(1): 20-34, 2003. 13. Donald PF et al, The Common Agricultural Policy, EU enlargement and the conservation of Europe’s farmland birds, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 89(3): 167-182, 2001. 14. Nicolai B et al, Species protection: Red Kite – The current situation in Germany (Sachsen-Anhalt) [article in German], Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung 41(3): 69-77, 2009. 15. BirdLife International (BLI), State of the world’s birds, 2004. www.birdlife.org/sowb/ 16. Prosser D and Hart AD, Assessing potential exposure of birds to pesticide-treated seeds, Ecotoxicology 14(7): 679-691, 2005, 17. Mineau P et al, Poisoning of raptors with organophosphorus and carbamate pesticides with emphasis on Canada, U.S. and UK, Journal of Raptor Research 33: 1–37, 1999. 18. Mineau P et al, Patterns of bird species abundance in relation to granular insecticide use in the Canadian prairies, Ecoscience 12(2): 267-278, 2005 19. Op. cit. 15 20. Hooper MJ, Swainson's hawks and monocrotophos, Texas 2002. www.tiehh.ttu.edu/mhooper/Swainson.htm 21. Bishop CA et al, Effects of pesticide spraying on chick growth, behavior, and parental care in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) nesting in an apple orchard in Ontario, Canada, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 19(9): 2286-2297, 2000. 22. Vickery JA et al, The management of lowland neutral grasslands in Britain: effects of agricultural practices on birds and their food resources, Journal of Applied Ecology 38(3): 647-664, 2001. 23. Wilson JD et al, A review of the abundance and diversity of invertebrate and plant foods of granivorous birds in northern Europe in relation to agricultural change, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 75(1-2),13-30, 1999. 24. Morris AJ et al, Indirect effects of pesticides on breeding yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella), Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 106(1): 1-16, 2005. 25. Boatman ND et al, Evidence for the indirect effects of pesticides on farmland birds, Ibis 146(2): 131-143, 2004. 26. Brickle NW et al, Effects of agricultural intensification on the breeding success of corn buntings Miliaria calandra, Journal of Applied Ecology 37(5): 742-755, 2000. 27. Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Sussex study: 34 years of change in farmland wildlife, 2004. 28. Campbell L and Cooke AS, The indirect effects of pesticides on birds, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough, UK 1997. 29. Central Science Laboratory, Game Conservancy Trust, RSPB,

and Department of Zoology of Oxford University, Assessing the indirect effects of pesticides on birds, Final report, 2005. 30. Harris S et al, A review of British mammals: Population estimates and conservation status of British mammals other than Cetaceans, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough, UK 1995. 31. Berny PJ et al, Field evidence of secondary poisoning of foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and buzzards (Buteo buteo) by bromadiolone, a 4-year survey, Chemosphere 35(8): 1817-1829, 1997. 32. Brakes CR and Smith RH, Exposure of non-target small mammals to rodenticides: short-term effects, recovery and implications for secondary poisoning, Journal of Applied Ecology 42(1): 118-128, 2005. 33. Shore et al, Exposure of non-target vertebrates to secondgeneration rodenticides in Britain, with particular reference to the polecat Mustela putorius, New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 23(2): 199–206, 1999. 34. Hole DG et al, Does organic farming benefit biodiversity? Biological Conservation 122, 113-130, 2005. 35. Smith RK et al, Conservation of European hares Lepus europaeus in Britain: is increasing habitat heterogeneity in farmland the answer? Journal of Applied Ecology 41(6): 1092-1102, 2004. 36. Wickramasinghe LP et al, Abundance and species richness of nocturnal insects on organic and conventional farms: Effects of agricultural intensification on bat foraging, Conservation Biology 18(5): 1283-1292, 2004. 37. Op. cit. 27 38. Moreby SJ and Southway SE, Influence of autumn applied herbicides on summer and autumn food available to birds in winter wheat fields in southern England, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 72(3): 285-297, 1999. 39. Feber RE et al, A comparison of butterfly populations on organically and conventionally managed farmland, Journal of Zoology 273(1): 30-39, 2007. 40. Op. cit. 36 41. Bengtsson J et al, The effects of organic agriculture on biodiversity and abundance: a meta-analysis, Journal of Applied Ecology 42(2), 2005 42. Kremen C et al, Crop pollination from native bees at risk from agricultural intensification, PNAS 99(26):16812-16816, 2002. 43. Pesticides Safety Directorate, and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Pesticide poisonings of animals: Annual reports 2001–2007, York, UK. 44. Pilling ED and Jepson PC, Synergism between EBI fungicides and a pyrethroid insecticide in the honeybee (Apis mellifera), Pesticide Science 39(4): 293-297, 2006. 45. Scott-Dupree CD, Conroy L and Harris CR, Impact of currently used or potentially useful insecticides for canola agroecosystems on Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae), Megachile rotundata (Hymentoptera: Megachilidae), and Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), Journal of Economic Entomology 102(1):177-182, 2009. 46. Spiegel Online, Bienensterben im Rheintal [Bee poisoning in the Rhine Valley], May16, 2008. http://www.spiegel.de/ wissenschaft/natur/0,1518,553814,00.html 47. Greatti et al. Risk of environmental contamination by the active ingredient imidacloprid used for corn seed dressing. In: Dept. of Agroenvironmental Sciences and Technologies, Bologna University: Proceedings 8th International Symposium of the ICPBR Bee Protection Group – Hazards of pesticides to bees, Bologna September 4-6, 2002. Bulletin of Insectology 56: 69-72, 2003. 48. Bonmatin JM et al, Quantification of imidacloprid uptake in maize crops. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 53: 5336-5341, 2005. In: UNAF: Pesticides. http://www.unafapiculture.info/ 49. Yang EC et al, Abnormal foraging behavior induced by sublethal dosage of imidacloprid in the honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae), Journal of Economic Entomology 101(6):1743-1748, 2008. 50. Decourtye A et al, Learning performances of honeybees (Apis mellifera L) are differentially affected by imidacloprid according to the season, Pest Management Science 59(3): 269-278, 2003. 51. Liu CZ, Wang G and Yan L, Effects of imidacloprid on arthropod community structure and its dynamics in alfalfa field, Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology, 18(10): 2379-2383, 2008. 52. Frampton GK et al, The effects on terrestrial invertebrates of reducing pesticide inputs in arable crop edges: a meta-analysis, Journal of Applied Ecology 44(2): 362-373, 2007. 53. Mäder P et al, Soil fertility and biodiversity in organic farming, Science 296(5573): 1694-1697, 2002 54. IUCN, The Asian amphibian crisis, 2009. 55. US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Risk of hexazinone use to federally threatened California Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora draytonii), Washington, D.C. 2008. 56. Forson DD and Storfer A, Atrazine increases Ranavirus susceptibility in the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), Ecological Applications 16(6): 2325-2332, 2006. 57. Rohr JR et al, Agrochemicals increase trematode infections in a declining amphibian species, Nature 455:1235-1239, 2008.

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58. European Commission (EC), Review report for the active substance atrazine, Brussels 2003. 59. Bonnet J.-L et al, Assessment of the potential toxicity of herbicides and their degradation products to nontarget cells using two microorganisms, the bacteria Vibrio fischeri and the ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis, Environmental Toxicology 22(1): 78-91, 2007. 60. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Conclusion regarding the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance Copper (I), copper (II) variants namely copper hydroxide, copper oxychloride, tribasic copper sulfate, copper (I) oxide, Bordeaux mixture, In: Summary of the EFSA Scientific Report 187, Parma, Italy 2008. 61. Beasly V et al, Envrionmental factors that affect amphibian community structure and health as indicators of ecosystems, US EPA, Washington D.C. 2002. 62. Sparling DW and Feller GM, Toxicity of two insecticides to California, USA, anurans and its relevance to declining amphibian populations, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 28(8): 1696–1703, 2009. 63. Dinehart SK et al, Toxicity of a glufosinate- and several glyphosate-based herbicides to juvenile amphibians from the Southern High Plains, USA, Science of the Total Environment 407(3): 1065-1071, 2009. 64. De Zwart, Ecological effects of pesticide use in the Netherlands: Modeled and observed effects in the field ditch, Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 1(2): 123-134, 2005. 65. Preston C et al, The changing distribution of the flora of the United Kingdom, CEH, Huntingdon 2003. 66. Op. cit. 6 67. Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Measuring the progress of the biodiversity strategy for England: baseline assessment, London 2003, amended in 2008. 68. Countryside Survey. England results from 2007. Chapter 3: Enclosed farmland, 2009. 69. De Snoo GR, Unsprayed field margins: effects on environment, biodiversity and agricultural practice, Landscape and Urban Planning 46(1-3): 151-160, 1999 70. Fuller RJ et al, Benefits of organic farming to biodiversity vary among taxa, Biology Letters 1(4): 431-434, 2005. 71. Nystrom B et al, Effects of sulfonylurea herbicides on nontarget aquatic micro-organisms – Growth inhibition of micro-algae and short-term inhibition of adenine and thymidine incorporation in periphyton communities, Aquatic Toxicology 47(1): 9-22, 1999. 72. Sabater C et al, Effects of bensulfuron-methyl and cinosulfuron on growth of four freshwater species of phytoplankton, Chemosphere 46(7): 953-960, 2002. 73. Fletcher J et al, Potential environmental risks associated with the new sulfonylurea herbicides, US EPA, Washington DC 1993. 74. Footprint, 2009 http://www.eu-footprint.org/ppdb.html 75. US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Reregistration Elibigibility Decision (RED) Hexazinone, Washington, DC 1994. 76. Pérez A et al, Effects of the herbicide Roundup on freshwater microbial communities: a mesocosm study, Ecological Applications 17(8): 2310-2322, 2007. 77. Reinecke AJ et al, The effects of organic and conventional management practices on feeding activity of soil organisms in vineyards, African Zoology 43(1): 66-74, 2008. 78. Op. cit. 53 79. European Commission (EC), Development of guidance for establishing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles, 2009. 80. Op. cit. 67 81. Gillings S et al, Implications of the loss of set-aside for farmland birds, Proceedings of the BOU’s 2009 Annual Spring Conference, Leicester, UK, 31 March – 2 April, 2009. 82. IACR and Marshall Agroecology Ltd, et al, The impact of herbicides on weed abundance and biodiversity (project PN0940), 2001. 83. Op. cit. 68 84. Bradbury RB et al, Wintering Cirl Buntings Emberiza cirlus in southwest England select cereal stubbles that follow a low-input herbicide regime, Bird Study 55(1): 23–31, 2008. 85. Op. cit. 38 86. English Nature, Integrated farming and biodiversity, Peterborough, UK 2005. R634 87. European Commission (EC), Sixth Environment Action Programme of the European Community 2002-2012. Brussels 2002. 88. European Commission (EC), Draft Guidance Document for establishing IPM principles (supplement), 2009. 89. Donald PF et al, The Common Agricultural Policy, EU enlargement and the conservation of Europe’s farmland birds, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 89(3): 167-182, 2002. 90. EPBRS 2009: Mindicate, and U&W, Targets for biodiversity beyond 2010 – Review and cases in a European context, Stockholm 2009. http://www.epbrs.org/ PDF/Background%20 report%20EPBRS.pdf 91. Op. cit. 2

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Bt-based IPM boosts cabbage production in North Korea Food production in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is severely encumbered by persistent agricultural pest problems. To overcome these difficulties, members of CABI have made frequent visits over the past decade to lead a number of IPM projects. Manfred Grossrieder reports on how CABI, with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), is collaborating with national stakeholders to facilitate the implementation of a general IPM strategy and elaborates on a particular Bt-based project. With only 15% of its land area available for agriculture in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and a relatively short growing season between severe winters, there is a limited capacity for agricultural production. Productivity is further hindered by poor access to soil-enriching materials and plant protection products, as well as a limited understanding of ecosystem functions. These factors are at least partially responsible for inhibiting the DPRK’s ability to provide sufficient food for its population. As a consequence, continuous international food aid is provided to the DPRK. In desperation, the DPRK has been relying even more heavily on the tactics that initially drove their agriculture into the ground: higher density crops and more intensive use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

Farming in the DPRK The DPRK cooperative farm system is highly structured with a clear definition of

duties. A cooperative farm is essentially a village, consisting of 1000-2000 people who live and work together over an area of approximately 500 ha (in the case of vegetable production). The farm workers are divided into work teams, each of which specialises in the cultivation of a certain crop. The governmental production plan defines the crops that must be grown and stipulates that, depending on the crop, between 90 and 100% of the yield has to be fed into the public distribution system. In return, the government is responsible for providing the necessary inputs for production, including pesticides. However, access to chemical pesticides is limited for many parts of the DPRK and those products that are available pose many problems. Two of the most commonly used insecticides in DPRK are deltamethrin and monocrotophos, both of which are toxic to birds, fish and beneficial insects, and which are hazardous to humans (WHO Class II and WHO Class 1b, respectively). For many years, deltamethrin has been provid-

Yield measurements, Changchon Cooperative Farm Photo: M. Grossrieder, CABI E-CH

ed to the DPRK with the intention of controlling rice pests; however, due to the poor availability of alternative pesticides, deltamethrin has also been used extensively in numerous other crops. To make matters worse, when pesticide products such as these are available, they tend to be used heavily and preventively, with little regard for necessity (that is, without careful attention to field-specific pest pressure). As with dozens of other struggling countries worldwide, the DPRK has been the recipient of humanitarian aid for a number of years. Since 2002, CABI has been working with the agriculture sector in the DPRK in a development cooperation approach to generate sustainable solutions to poor crop performance, with an emphasis on pest control. This work grew out of a previous FAO consultancy in 1998 to assess the status of biological control in the DPRK. During that early involvement, the national Plant Protection Institute of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences raised concerns about ongoing pest problems in cabbage and a first project proposal was jointly drafted. The overall objective of this first, and all subsequent, projects has been to embed the principles of integrated pest management (IPM) into the DPRK’s agricultural philosophy, thereby enhancing the longevity and productivity of the precious limited farmland, while protecting producers and consumers alike through reducing the use of toxic pesticides.

IPM in cabbage

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Cooperative Farm in the Miru Hills

Photo: M. Grossrieder, CABI E-CH

Cabbage crops are of very high importance in the traditional diet and local economy of the DPRK. Although the main staples are rice and maize, cabbage plays a significant nutritional role and is produced on approximately 34,000 ha of the arable land. The annual distribution of cabbage to citizens varies between counties, ranging from 60 to 400 kg per family. Cabbage is a central food source and is processed into ‘kimchi’ – a long-lasting pickle and perhaps the most famous national dish. Particularly in winter,


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Kimchi is a significant source of nutrition Photo: Feng Zhang, CABI SEA-PRC

Cabbage white butterfly larvae cause significant damage Photo: SI Kang, PPI Pyongyang;

Cabbage damage, Changchon Cooperative Farm Photo: M. Grossrieder, CABI E-CH

shortages of cabbage-based meals can lead to extreme hardship. Surveys of cabbage fields in DPRK showed extensive yield reductions caused by insect pests, particularly the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, and the small white butterfly, Pieris rapae. In some areas, total crop losses due to insect pests were observed and finding more than 50 diamondback moth larvae on a single cabbage plant was quite common. Although chemical insecticides, particularly deltamethrin, were applied, they had limited impact, suggesting that the insect pests, especially the diamondback moth, had developed resistance. Once insecticide resistance is prominent in a pest population, the chemical plant protection products do more harm than good, severely reducing populations of natural enemy and pollinator species. Moreover, farmers become caught in a ‘pesticide trap’, applying ever-increasing chemical inputs but receiving dwindling benefits. In consideration of the socio-economic conditions in the DPRK (for example,

cooperative farming system, planned economy, resource limitations), CABI supported the Ministry of Agriculture and other local agriculture authorities in developing a needs-based IPM strategy to increase cabbage yields while minimising pesticide use and the associated negative effects. This work, funded by the SDC, involved several stages of applied research, capacity building and knowledge transfer conducted over several years in close collaboration with all levels of the agriculture sector. Very importantly, the designing and implementation of an IPM approach involved the workers, managers and executives of the cooperative farms. This provided many of the resources needed for testing and validating pest management approaches. Due to the urgency of the pest situation in the DPRK, the initial IPM strategy developed in 2002 and 2003 focussed primarily on direct (intervention) control measures. During 2004 and 2005, more preventive measures were promoted and included in this strategy. The components of the current IPM strategy are:

Prevention:

Participatory training at Hwasong Cooperative Farm

Photo: M. Grossrieder, CABI E-CH

transplanting clean seedlings to delay insect pest population build-up; ● implementing crop rotation to disrupt pest cycles and improve soil health; ● planting flower strips to attract natural enemies; ● using intercropping to either attract natural enemies or confuse pest species; ● growing and ploughing green manure to provide habitat for natural enemies and to enhance soil health; ●

Intervention: releasing natural enemies (using the parasitic wasp Diadegma semiclausum to control the diamondback moth); ● replacing chemical pesticides with biopesticides (using a Bt-product to control diamondback moth and small white butterfly); ● following the recommendations of a monitoring and damage threshold model for pesticide applications. ●

Kimchi The high nutritional value is not the result of a high caloric level but rather of the content of vitamins and trace elements. Cabbage is a critical source of vitamins C and B, as well as iron. Processing cabbage into ‘kimchi’ by lactic acid bacterial fermentation is very effective in preserving vitamin C and increasing levels of vitamin B. In DPRK, regular kimchi consumption is indispensable for a balanced diet. Therefore the demand for kimchi raw material, mainly crops from the cabbage family, is consistently high. Particularly in urban centres of DPRK, this represents a real challenge for the vegetable farms. One consequence is that large areas in close proximity to cities are used for continuous cabbage cultivation. This leads to the increasing severity of agricultural problems, such as decreasing soil fertility, the build-up of soil borne diseases, insect pest outbreaks and a general negative impact on bio-diversity in the agroecosystem.

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Bt pilot production facility Photo: M. Grossrieder, CABI E-CH

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In a bid to overcome pesticide resistance problems while also providing an intervention method for pest suppression in cabbage, CABI began facilitating the implementation of a biopesticide production system and application technique in 2004. The Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) biopesticide used is classified by the WHO as ‘unlikely to present a hazard (to humans) in normal use’ and has the added advantage of being highly specific to certain insect groups. Thus, the use of a Bt product in crops is far less likely than conventional pesticides to have a negative effect on the faunal integrity of an agroecosystem. A pilot facility for the production of a Bt biopesticide was established in 2005 at the national Plant Protection Institute in the DPRK. Researchers and support staff at the institute were trained in the necessary skills for handling and studying living, microscopic biological control agents. A Chinese Bt production system served as a starting model to be adapted to suit the local conditions of the cooperative farm. The aim was to manufacture a high quality biopesticide without the typical sophisticated technical equipment that requires intensive maintenance. Moreover, the local design had to be highly energy-efficient due to the unreliability of electricity. The resulting locallyadapted, energy-saving production system uses a semi-solid medium and was successful in generating a high-quality biopesticide. Quality control measures were introduced to ensure an effective product and to identify any weaknesses in the production process. Between April and October in 2008, the facility personnel improved the quality of their Bt product by roughly 100% and then by a further 50% over the next year, reaching the maximum expected output with semi-solid media. Similarly production efficiency has been increasing steadily with accumulating experience, showing clear signs of commitment to the work and ownership over the process. Early on in the project, field trials were run to compare the efficacy of Bt-based biopesticides with that of the commonly

Inoculating a semi-solid substrate for Bt production Photo: Feng Zhang, CABI SEA-PRC

used insecticides. At the end of the test period, the average cabbage yield from the Bttreated fields was 40% higher than yields from crops treated with the conventional pesticides. In early cabbage varieties, for example, a mean yield of 32 tonnes per ha was obtained with the biopesticide compared to 22 tonnes per ha in conventionally treated fields. Although the costs for the biopesticide are currently higher than those of conventional products, the benefits of using Bt exceed the costs. Conventional pesticide treatments cost approximately 15,000 Won (national currency in 2006) per ha while the cost for using Bt was twice as high. An additional 10 tonnes of yield per ha from the Bt-treated field, as indicated above, increased the income per ha by 70,000 Won. This more than compensated for the 15,000 Won of additional cost using the biopesticide. The net increase in income (55,000 Won per ha of cabbage) is equal to 11 months’ salary (5,000 Won/month) of a cooperative farm worker. This means that a cooperative farm using Bt over its 160 ha of cabbage fields can earn the equivalent of an additional 150 farm worker annual salaries. This, no doubt, would significantly increase the farm’s net income, while leading to more sustainable agricultural practice. In 2009, the cooperative farms began using the in-house Bt product on approximately 230 ha of cabbage fields. Over the course of the field season, three-four appli-

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cations of the biopesticide were made in response to increasing populations of diamondback moth and small white butterfly. Feedback from the cooperative farms about the Bt control effect was positive, indicating that up to 80% of pest larvae were killed by the biopesticide. The 40% increase in cabbage yield resulting from the implementation of a single new IPM tool (a biopesticide against lepidopteran pests), would translate to a significant boost to food production. Given that cabbage is produced on 34,000 ha of land in the DPRK, 8 tonnes (conservative estimate) of extra yield could lead to the production of an additional 272,000 tonnes of healthy cabbage per year. Assuming that an average of 250kg of cabbage is distributed to each family each year, this additional yield equals the annual cabbage consumption of more than 1 million DPRK families. Currently, one pilot Bt production facility is in operation in the DPRK. However, the ongoing project is working to scale up the local production capacity to ensure that this effective and environmentally-friendly alternative to synthetic pesticides becomes more widely available to the cooperative farms. Based on repeated successes in introducing IPM concepts and effective, low-tech pest control tools, the DPRK government has shown strong support for the nationwide dissemination of the IPM approach in its agriculture sector.

Anchoring IPM principles As demonstrated by the example of deltamethrin misuse in the DPRK, sharing knowledge on how to use pesticides and their alternatives is at least as important as actually providing the products. Therefore, through the Bt project described here and other related initiatives, CABI is supporting the DPRK to integrate IPM methods into its agricultural philosophy. For instance, researchers at the national Plant Protection Institute are being trained in aspects such as the development of monitoring and damage threshold models, as well as experimental design and analysis of IPM-related field studies. In another example, CABI began taking an education system approach in 2007 to ensure that IPM principles are well-understood by individuals before they enter the

University IPM Curriculum When CABI delivered the IPM lecture series to the Pyongyang Agricultural University, approximately 20 lecturers and post-graduate students took part in a ‘training of trainers’ event. The first IPM course commenced in April 2009 and included roughly 40 students in the departments of agronomy and vegetable production. The second run of the course, which started in April 2010, is being offered for students not only in the previously-mentioned subjects, but also in biotechnology, breeding, fruit production and possibly agro-informatics. The training in these related disciplines will be enhanced by the content of the IPM curriculum, which covers the broad topics of population dynamics and pest monitoring, cultural and biological pest control, pesticide use, and IPM planning and knowledge transfer. Below is a breakdown of one of the training topics, biological control, as an example of the curriculum. ● organisms in biological control ● augmentation biological control ● natural biological control ● impact assessment of natural enemies ● conservation biological control ● interference methods (such as, semiochemicals) ● classical biological control ● risk assessments


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News workforce. An IPM curriculum was provided for the Pyongyang Agricultural University in 2008 and early 2009. CABI developed 14 series of powerpoint slides (1400 slides in total), each series providing sufficient material for 3-4 hours of lectures. The university professors then tailored and increased the content of the lecture slides by incorporating DPRK-specific issues in pest management. At the same time, several practical exercises were developed to complement the lectures with hands-on learning activities. Although the joint development of practical exercises is ongoing, the IPM curriculum was already approved by Pyongyang Agricultural University officials. Moreover, the importance of IPM training has been recognised by the DPRK Ministry of Education, which has made the IPM curriculum a mandatory component of agricultural training at national-, provincial- and county-level colleges and universities. Besides providing technical advice and knowledge, CABI is fostering the growth of IPM awareness in the DPRK through the reinforcement of information flow within the agriculture sector. Knowledge transfer activities have been and continue to be conducted for relevant agricultural staff at national-, provincial-, county- and farmlevel organisations. The capacity building approach used involves the pyramidal ‘training of trainers’: CABI initially prepares a small group of master trainers (scientists), who transfer the IPM knowledge and training skills to a larger group of trainers (extension specialists), who then broadly disseminate the information to the farmers. It is critical that county- and farm-level extension officers receive training not only on technical aspects of IPM but also on participatory methods for effective knowledge transfer to farmers. The participatory training approach, which engages the farmers in discovery learning and facilitates exchange between them, is especially important for capacity building in such a complex matter as IPM. Several field-based participatory training events have been held for cooperative farm workers, focussing on recognising cabbage pests and their natural enemies, and on cultural, biological and chemical control practices in an IPM framework. These combined activities are creating IPM specialists out of students, local scientists, extension officers and farmers, and will anchor the principles of IPM in the DPRK to enhance the local development of pest management solutions for a healthy farm environment.

This article was jointly prepared by Manfred Grossrieder, Wade Jenner, Emma Hunt and Ulrich Kuhlmann, all of whom belong to CABI Europe-Switzerland. CABI is a not-forprofit, science-based development and information organisation. The work presented here was funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, East Asia Division.

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US bans endosulfan On 9 June Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) and partners around the world celebrated the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of the end of endosulfan, an antiquated, highly toxic insecticide linked to autism, birth defects, and delayed puberty in humans. PANNA and allies have campaigned for a ban on endosulfan for years, collecting tens of thousands of signatures on petitions to EPA, filing legal petitions, submitting detailed comment letters, and challenging in federal court the agency’s 2002 decision to reregister endosulfan. Citing concerns over human health and environmental degradation, EPA is negotiating an agreement from its manufacturer, Makhteshim Agan North America, to voluntarily remove endosulfan from the market. Today’s announcement is expected to have reverberations outside the US as well. Already banned in more than 60 countries around the world, including Thailand, Sri Lanka, several African countries and all 27 members of European Union, a global ban on endosulfan is currently being pursued

under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, a UN treaty. ‘The US EPA is taking the lead in the right direction with its decision to phase out endosulfan,’ says Sarojeni V Rengam of Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific. ‘We hope this decision will increase momentum towards a worldwide ban.’ The Stockholm Convention outlaws toxic chemicals that persist in the environment. India and China have been the most vocal opponents to adding endosulfan to the treaty, pointing to its continued use in the US as evidence that it must not be harmful. According to Karl Tupper of PANNA, who participates in the Convention’s negotiations, ‘Today’s announcement takes away one the most powerful talking points of those few countries that are determined to stop a global ban.’ Jayakumar Chelaton, Director of the Indian NGO Thanal, said, ‘We expect that India will be encouraged to act after hearing the decisions of the US EPA to protect health and the environment. ’ http://www.panna.org/newsroom/20100609

Endosulfan and the Conventions Rotterdam Convention At its sixth Meeting in March 2010, the Rotterdam Convention’s Chemical Review Committee (CRC) agreed that the joint notification from seven West African countries meets the criteria of the Convention. These seven countries have banned endosulfan though their membership of the Sahelian Pesticides Committee. Notifications of final regulatory action from two UN regions are needed before a pesticide or other chemical can be listed: the CRC had previously agreed that the EU notification meets the criteria. The CRC then voted to recommend to the next Conference of the Parties (COP) to list endosulfan under the Convention. The next Conference of the Parties, in June 2011, will now consider listing endosulfan. At the last COP (COP 5 in 2008) India and a small handful of countries blocked endosulfan’s listing, on the grounds that Thailand’s notification was not valid because it was based on misuse of endosulfan. The COP asked UNEP to provide the CRC with a legal definition of ‘misuse’. Now UNEP’s legal advisors have told the CRC that any use of a pesticide as a pesticide should not be considered to constitute misuse, and misuse is understood to mean use ‘not as a pesticide’. India refused to accept this legal definition and blocked a move by the Committee to send the Thai notification back to the COP for reconsideration. The CRC meeting was notable for the obstructionist behaviour of the delegate from the Government of India. The Government of India itself manufactures endosulfan, and Committee members were quick to question

the delegate’s motives in obstructing consensus. India’s actions prompted a joint letter by PAN International and others, expressing concern about India’s ‘disregard for international law and its agreed obligations under the Rotterdam Convention’.

Stockholm Convention Endosulfan is in the last stage of the Committee process under the Stockholm Convention. The POPs Review Committee (POPRC) agreed in October 2009 that ‘endosulfan is likely, as a result of its long-range environmental transport, to lead to significant adverse human health and environmental effects such that global action is warranted’. The agreement was again by vote, with India voting against. The final stage is to prepare a Risk Management Evaluation (RME), considering socio-economic issues and the availability of alternatives, together with a recommendation to the next Conference of the Parties (May 2011) for listing under the Convention. The first and second drafts of the RME have recommended that endosulfan be listed under Annex A of the convention for global elimination with no exemptions. However, Brazil and Australia are claiming they must have endosulfan to manage certain pest/crop complexes and may well press for exemptions for continued use. Exemptions may also be sought by India, China, and possibly even Canada. The RME will be finalised at the next POPRC meeting in October 2010 and, if it is agreed by the Committee, it will go forward to the 2010 POPs COP for final listing of endosulfan under the Convention.

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Fishing livelihoods threatened by pesticide pollution in Uruguay The dominant agriculture model in Uruguay is affecting freshwater fishing communities, as a result of the massive use of agrochemicals in large-scale, high input farming, including soya, rice and wheat. This comes as no surprise as the pesticides used on Uruguayan farms are renowned worldwide for their toxicity to aquatic fauna and, in particular, fish. Maria Isabel Cárcamo describes findings from PAN Uruguay’s new report. As a result of Uruguay's 2002 economic crisis, freshwater fishing has become an important alternative source of food and livelihood for many poor rural families. But over the same period small-scale, inland and coastal lagoon fisheries have been badly affected by incidents of water contamination and mass fish kills in different parts of the country. These incidents are linked to use of pesticides hazardous to aquatic life, and most often occur when rainfall shortly after spraying causes pesticide to run off fields into watercourses. A new report from PAN Uruguay1 (RAPALUY) is based on information collected from research studies by different national institutions, along with press reports and testimonial information from people affected at local level.

Increases in pesticide use Uruguay has seen an increase in land use under afforestation and genetically modi-

fied soya in recent years [PN75, pp15-17]. This increase has mainly taken place in areas that were formerly used for cattle grazing and has been accompanied by a huge increase in the use of pesticides, many of which are extremely environmentally damaging. Ponds, streams and rivers are some of the natural resources most affected by current levels of pesticide use. Pesticide impacts on aquatic systems are not only due to acute or direct toxicity. The fact that fish do not always die from pesticide contamination of water does not mean that there is no problem. Research shows that when pesticide-loaded soil or field run-off reaches watercourses, the pesticide may accumulate in the organs and tissues of the fish, which are then eaten by fisher families and other consumers, with consequent risks for health, and for fisheating wildlife. Pesticide contamination of watercourses not only impacts fish and other aquatic wildlife but also degrades water quality for humans and livestock who

rely on surface waters for drinking water. Unfortunately, reports of water contamination and concerns for fish and aquatic ecosystems are not new. Since the 1990s the River Uruguay Administrative Commission, made up of official bodies on both the Argentine and Uruguayan sides of this river border, has expressed grave concern about water quality and pollution in the river and negative impacts on community fisheries2. In Uruguay the majority of freshwater fishing is carried out by small-scale fisherfolk. In total, local fisheries caught between 2,000-4,000 tonnes during 1994 to 2003. On the River Uruguay, the annual fish catch is over 1,300 tonnes. Another important river, the Rio Negro, contributes around 200 tonnes while the Merin Lake coastal lagoons and the River Plate contribute over 500 tonnes together. An estimated 600 fishing boats make up the small-scale fishing fleet on these rivers directly providing a livelihood for around 1,500 fisherfolk. An interesting case is the fishing conducted by small communities living along the brackish coastal lagoons in the eastern part of Uruguay. Their fishing boats are small and hand-made, using fibreglass or other materials. Over time the materials used have changed. Large, plastic containers formerly used to store chemicals, possibly pesticides, have even been used in their construction. A key concern over the use of such containers for lagoon fishing boats is the presence of chemical residues which become adsorbed to the internal surface and which can then contaminate the water, the fish and those consuming them. Small-scale fishing in fresh and brackish shallow waters shares an ecosystem with an abundance of wildlife and flora. Over 200 fishing families make their living in these areas, including a considerable number of women.

Water contamination data

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Large fish kill on Río Yí/Durazno February 2010

Photo: Carlos Castro

The River Plate on Uruguay’s south coast is affected by activities in industrialised urban zones in its large catchment area on both sides of the border, as well as agricultural land use. High levels of residues of PCBs,


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Table 1. Fish kills linked to pesticide contamination Date

Location/ Department

Incident

Feb 2010

Río Yí/Durazno

Large fish kill. Authorities warn the public to avoid eating local fish until residue results are known.

Sep 2009

Guaviyú/Paysandú (same incident as below)

Fish kills observed in streams. Locals report farm tractors extracting water with the same hoses as used for pesticide spraying.

Aug 2009

Guaviyú/Paysandú

Dead fish reported, mainly sabalo (Prochilodus lin eatus), tararira (Hoplias malabaricus) and boga (Leporinus obtusidens), close to thermal waters tourist spot.

Apr 2009

Playa Agraciada/ Soriano

Coastal fishermen blame herbicide use in upstream soya plantations for appearance of unhealthy fish, 50% of which are unfit for human consumption.

Apr 2009

Guichón/ Paysandú

Hundreds of fish killed in accidental endosulfan spill from crop spraying plane [see PN85, p15].

Jun 2008

Río Negro/ Tacuarembó

Fish kills along river banks possibly linked to hypothermia.

Sep 2007

Coastal zone/ Colonia

Dead fish and birds found on beaches. Mortality cause unknown although lab analysis rules out microbial causes.

Mar 2007

Puntas de Burucayupí/ Paysandú

Fish kills linked to stream contamination by endosul fan identified following testing.

Jan 2007

Río Negro/Cerro Largo and Rivera

Mass fish kills in tributaries may be linked to low oxygen levels.

Jan 2006

Río San José/ San José

Thousands of dead fish near the city, mainly cat fish, shad, carp, pejerreyes (Atherinidae), of all ages and sizes. Authorities warn the public not to fish or bathe in the river water.

Apr 2004

Guaviyú/Paysandú

Huge fish kills in February 2004 linked to stream contamination by endosulfan and cypermethrin, identified following testing.

Apr 2004

Guaviyú/Paysandú

Farmer responsible for February 2004 fish kill fined for irresponsible use of insecticides. Residue levels in fish tissue exceed permitted levels tenfold.

organochlorine pesticides, dioxins and furans have been reported in the tissues of some bottom feeding fish of high fat content and this poses a serious risk for the health of those consuming this kind of fish. In Uruguay's southern coastal zone, sabalo (Prochilodus lineatus, shad) are the most contaminated fish group, along with carp, and these show residues of relatively recent ‘fresh’ PCB use. In Argentina the Subsecretary for Fisheries in Buenos Aires province prohibited both large and smallscale commercial fishing of sabalo in 2000, including its marketing and processing in any form throughout that province because of the high level of residues of PCBs and organochlorine pesticides reported in fatty tissues of sabalo fish (Prochilodus lineatus). Testing of water and suspended material in Uruguayan rivers, and particularly the River Plate, has shown isomers of hexachlorohexane, heptachlor, aldrin, dieldrin, DDT and its breakdown product DDE. It is possible to find residues of DDT, DDE, chlordane and various chlorophenyls in aquatic organisms. At La Coronilla beach

important discharges of particulate matter with unquantified levels of fertiliser and pesticide residues from upstream use in rice cultivation have drastically affected the habitat and the local benthic fauna. Water testing has shown continued problems of contamination by organic matter, zinc, fertilisers and fungicides from neighbouring farmland. RAPALUY compiled data from national and regional press during 2004-2010, as well as reports from federal and provincial agencies, on water pollution incidents and visible fish kills or other effects on aquatic organisms. Table 1 summarises some of the key information collected.

Effects on fish thermoregulation Following the January 2006 fish kills in San José, the National Direction for Aquatic Resources (DINARA) and local municipalities undertook studies to see if the mortality was due to pollution or natural causes. One initial hypothesis was that recent drastic increases in temperature recorded in the

June 2010

zone could have affected fish, linked to changes in oxygen content of the water. Another was pollution due to some industrial source close by. Following analysis of water and fish samples, the oxygen level hypothesis gained credence, especially as sudden fish deaths had been reported from other parts of the country at the same time. Almost all fish species were affected, except eels and viejas del agua (Paraloricaria vetula). However, RAPALUY has looked at the peer-reviewed literature and discovered recent research from Australia exploring links between exposure to certain environmental pollutants and fish thermoregulation capacity, that is their ability to withstand sudden changes in temperature3. This research looked at the effect of contaminants such as chlorpyrifos and endosulfan on freshwater fish. Their findings confirmed earlier suggestions that exposure to non-lethal concentrations of these active ingredients affected the fishes’ ability to tolerate large changes in water temperature.

Food chain implications High levels of pesticide residues in Uruguayan fish pose a serious risk to consumer health and particularly for fishing families. In the 2004 Guaviyú incident, over a tonne of contaminated fish had to be removed from the affected stream and then buried. Two weeks after the fish kills were reported, illegal levels of endosulfan and cypermethrin could still be found in fish, in lake sediment and even in the leaves of sarandies trees some distance from the polluted water. Fish residue levels were ten times above permitted levels. Fish consumption by fisher families is much higher than the average Uruguayan diet, therefore eating contaminated fish makes the fishing community more vulnerable to health risks. Local ranchers were warned to prevent their cattle from drinking river water, to prevent residues entering milk and the food chain. Residues above permitted levels in fish or temporary prohibitions on fishing due to contamination risk can also affect jobs, income and the economy in local, regional and international food trade, as has happened with high organophosphate residues in Uruguayan cheese preventing export in the past.

Pesticide use and policy Over 1,000 pesticide products are registered in Uruguay, containing 300 different active ingredients; all of these, to some extent, can end up in the country's water resources. Some of the most problematic are organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides and triazine herbicides. The use of hazardous pesticides has grown in Uruguay in parallel with the large increase in areas under genetically-modified soya and wheat, tree plantations, as well as traditional crops. Herbicides are used in the largest volume, followed by fungicides and insecticides. The impacts of these pesti-

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cides on fish have been documented and many formal complaints made. Paysandú Department’s Director of Municipal Health commented after the 2004 fish kills in Guaviyú that basic controls on pesticide use were absent and with persistent actives like endosulfan, residues could remain in the environment for long periods, as demonstrated by analysis of river bed sediment. The perpetrators had ignored all the health and safety instructions on the pesticide container labels, by dumping containers in contact with water sources and washing spray equipment in the river, even when the label specifically prohibits such practices. He also highlighted how contamination risk had increased in areas with continuous soya cultivation, leading to more regular pesticide applications. This study demonstrates the difficulties of co-existence between high-input agricultural systems using hazardous pesticides and freshwater fisheries. Small-scale fishing is a very important livelihood in many rural communities, particularly for people on low incomes. Freshwater fishing is more vulnerable than sea fishing to the impacts of pesticide water contamination, due to the closer proximity to farmland run-off. Records of fish mortality incidents have increased considerably in recent years but unfortunately without regular residue monitoring not enough information is available to judge which local freshwater fish remain safe for human consumption. Of course, there are many other factors which affect small-scale fishing in Uruguay: prohibited seasons declared by the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries; physical barriers blocking fish migration caused by hydro-electric generation schemes; the impact of invasive exotic species such as the golden snail; as well as water contamination by a wide range of organic and synthetic contaminants. The situation is unlikely to change while the country continues to approve the use of pesticides highly toxic to aquatic life. With more than eight different national and provincial agencies directly or indirectly involved in controlling water use, aquatic resources and fisheries and without adequate coherence between their work, it is not surprising that Uruguay has reached this current crisis in water contamination, reflected in the death of thousands of fish on an annual basis and unknown chronic effects. DINARA has never responded to RAPALUY’s formal request for Uruguayan studies to explore the possible link between sub-lethal pesticide exposure and fish thermoregulation reported by Australian researchers. RAPALUY concludes that regulations to prevent water contamination are woefully inadequate, particularly as there is almost no monitoring or implementation of those regulations that do exist. However, even if the legislation was put into practice, it mainly aims to mitigate the effects of pesticide use and not to eliminate their use. RAPALUY believes it is important to dis-

Pesticides News 88

June 2010

The children of Puntas de Buricayupí In October 2007, during a national science fair, Uruguayans of all ages were rewarded for ingenuity and creativity. Prizes were awarded in a number of categories and in one category, first prize went to ‘the little fishes’ science club formed by third and fourth year students of School Number 34. ‘The little fishes’ had carried out an investigation into fish mortality in the river Students from ‘the little fishes’ receive their Buricayupí (Paysandú) which runs past prize at the National Fair in October 2007 their school. On 13 March 2007 numerous dead fish were observed prompting the students to conduct an investigation. They contacted various people and institutions with questions about the incident, including the Minister for Livestock and the Mayor’s office, and agronomists that carried out a study of on the incident. The students concluded that the fish deaths were caused by the insecticide endosulfan which is used for aerial spraying of soya plantations in the region.

Authorities informed of the fish kills of Puntas de Buricayupí

After their success the students went one stage further. On 31 October 2007, the children of School Number 34 handed their results to the deputy (Members of Parliament) of the department of Paysandú, Mr David Doti Genta who then passed them to the representative of the lower chamber of the Uruguayan parliament. On 15 November 2007, students from School 34 of Buricayupí were joined by students from another school in travelleing to Montevideo to present their work to the interim president Rodolfo Nin Novoa. The president was impressed by the investigative rigour and results from both groups.

The impact of ‘the little fishes’

The students’ work demonstrated their keen observational skills, a key element of learning, understanding and conservation. Importantly, their work also identified endosulfan as the cause of the fish mortality. Endosulfan is recognised worldwide for its toxicity to aquatic life and for other adverse impacts on the environment and human health. The population of Puntas de Buricayupí drinks and uses this water and eats the fish. They have no alternative source of drinking water. The investigation has drawn attention to the extensive use of agrochemicals by agroindustry in the Uruguayan countryside and to the effect this has on the lives of many rural communities. In this particular region the main crops are wheat and GM soya, the latter belonging to the company ‘El Tejar’. These crops are planted in neighbouring areas and so it is possible that similar things are happening elsewhere. The success of ‘the little fishes’ gave the opportunity to participate in 2008 in the Second Iberoamerican competition on good practices in relation to health in the school environment, set up by the World and Pan-American Health Organisations alongside other organisations including the Central Advisory Directive (CODICEN). The project was supported by the government, NGOs, and surprisingly by ‘El Tejar’ . On 9 December 2009, the students were awarded the Iberoamerican prize in Montevideo in the CODICEN building. The student investigation has been widely publicised, beginning with the Minister of Education and Culture, Jorge Brovetto, who awarded the first prize; the House of Representatives, informed via the Member of Parliament of the department of Paysandú; the interim president Nin Novoa, who received the project from the school; and when it was publicised during the Iberoamerican Award ceremony. Rodolfo Nin Novoa personally received the children from the science clubs who won awards. In spite of this the community of Puntas de Buricayupí still has no clean drinking water and agrochemicals are still sprayed in the area. http://www.rapaluruguay.org/agrotoxicos/Uruguay/hunden_pesca_artesanal.pdf

seminate this information on pesticide impacts on freshwater fish and their environmental and human health implications, in order to influence decision-makers to take action. References 1. Agrotoxics sink community freshwater fisheries [in Spanish]. RAPALUY (PAN Uruguay), Montevideo, 2010. http://www.rapal.org/index.php?seccion=3&f=publicaciones.php 2. II Seminario de calidad de aguas y control de la

contaminación del Rio Uruguay, Colón 11-12 noviembre 1993. Comisión Administradora de Río Uruguay (CARU). http://caru.org.uy/publicaciones 3. The effects of three organic chemicals on the upper thermal tolerances of four freshwater fishes. Chapman, Lim and Gehrke. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (2007) 26 (7) 14541459.

María Isabel Cárcamo is Coordinator of RAPALUY; coord@rapaluruguay.org; http://www.rapaluruguay.org


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Grassroots action

Pesticides News 88

June 2010

Global spread of grassroots action against pesticides The Week for Pesticide Alternatives provides an annual focus for events highlighting the need to develop and use alternatives to pesticides. Initiated in France in 2006 it now has events in 12 countries with around 35,000 people participating. Its rapid spread is evidence of the strength of grassroots discontent with global use of synthetic pesticides. Malissa Phitthayaphone reports. Four hundred thousand tonnes of pesticides are used in Europe each year with unquantifiable effects on our health and environment. However, for each situation in which they are used there are alternative, less harmful products or techniques. The Week for Pesticide Alternatives exists to publicise and encourage the development and spread of these alternatives. The ‘week’ was initiated by a network of organisations interested in reducing exposure to pesticides, ACAP (Action Citoyenne pour les Alternatives aux Pesticides, or Citizen Action for Pesticide Alternatives). The driving force behind ACAP’s set-up in 2004 was MDRGF (Mouvement pour les droits et le respect des generations future or Movement for the rights and respect of the future generations) which is France’s main non-governmental organisation (NGO) focusing on pesticide issues. Since its establishment in 2006 the Week for Pesticides Alternatives (Semaine Sans Pesticides) has become a focus for events that maintain pressure on decisionmakers and demonstrate that we can and must live without pesticides. Although initiated in France the Week for Pesticide Alternatives is an international campaign which aims to sensitize people to the risks of chemical pesticides and promote sustainable alternatives. For ten days, NGOs, local authorities, and businesses organize a range of events including con-

ferences, debates, performances, movie screenings, open days at organic farms and eco-gardens and organic meals. Many of the 2010 events had a significant impact. For example, local groups in Brittany organised a symbolic demonstration to say ‘No to Pesticides’ which attracted 500 participants. The demonstration was reported in both local and regional press and provided a great opportunity for local groups to express their anger. Gardeners organised many workshops and some garden centres participated in training amateur gardeners on sustainable alternatives for pest control. At the European level, MDRGF, Adalia (a Belgian NGO) and PAN Europe organised a seminar on Integrated Production during the European Economic and Social committee in Brussels. This is a very influential committee of recognised experts at European level. The seminar was the first time that PAN Europe and colleagues had been able to champion Integrated Production at his level. In Belgium, around 100 events were coordinated by ADALIA. The Week for Pesticides Alternatives is gradually spreading to other European countries where organisations are starting to organise events. In Africa, the Week for Pesticides Alternatives is also becoming popular. This year a number of conferences and debates

were organised in Tunisia and Togo. The keen interest showed by African countries in the Week for Pesticide Alternatives encouraged ACAP to develop a campaign especially for this continent. In the five years since its inception the Week for Pesticides Alternatives has spread dramatically. There were more than eight times as many events in 2010 compared to 2006 and 35,000 participants in 2010 (a 75% increase compared to 2007). The size of the campaign has helped ensure extensive media coverage with about a hundred printed articles and good coverage through radio and television interviews. In France, 210 associations were involved in the Week for Pesticide Alternatives in 2010, including the wellknown WWF-France, Ligue pour les Oiseaux (Birdlife), PAN Europe and HEAL (Health and Environment Alliance).

Malissa Phitthayaphone, Chargée de mission ‘semaine pour les alternatives aux pesticides’ MDRGF, semainesanspesticide@ free.fr; www.semaine-sans-pesticides.fr Anyone interest in organising an event for the 2011 Week for Pesticide Alternatives should contact Malissa at the address above.

Table 1. Growth of Week for Pesticide Alternatives Year

Countries participating

Number of events

2006

France

1

2007

France

217

2008

France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands

408

2009

France, Belgium, UK, Germany, Brazil, Mauritania, Cameroon, Macedonia, Quebec, Slovakia, Sweden

600

2010

France, Belgium, Germany, Armenia, Macedonia, Spain, Luxemburg, Algeria, Tunisia, Togo, Cameroon, Mauritania

650 An event in Brittany decries the danger of pesticides Photo: MDRGF

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Organic cotton

Pesticides News 88

June 2010

Improving organic cotton farmers’ access to neem in Benin Switching to organic cotton production can significantly improve the health and economic situation of smallholder cotton farmers. However, poor access to organic pest management inputs has deterred many cotton farmers from ‘going organic’. The Organisation Béninoise pour la Promotion de l’Agriculture Biologique is installing mills for grinding neem seed which can then be used to make a biopesticide effective against the cotton bollworm. Davo Simplice Vodouhê reports. Since 1995 the Organisation Béninoise pour la Promotion de l’Agriculture Biologique (OBEPAB) has promoted organic agriculture in Benin. One of its successes has been the establishment of an organic cotton supply chain. Technologies to manage soil fertility, pests and weeds have been developed in partnership with farmers and there are now over 1,000 organic cotton farmers in five districts. In the last growing season, 481 tonnes of seed cotton was harvested.

Neem used to manage pests One of the barriers to adopting organic cotton is access to pest management inputs. One such input is derived from seeds of the neem tree, originally from India but introduced into Benin and many other African countries for use in pest management. The trees grow easily in the climate with little or no management and are readily available around cotton growers’ villages. A bio-pesticide made from neem seeds protects the

cotton plant from one of its most damaging pests, the bollworm. Both the Red and American bollworm attack the plants by feeding on the developing cotton bolls destroying them and preventing the cotton fibres from developing. Yield losses can be as high as 40%. Neem works mainly through its antifeeding properties which means that once applied to the cotton plants it discourages pests from feeding on them. High quality seeds are ground into powder to prepare the bio-pesticide. But grinding the seed is a difficult and time consuming job. It is typically carried out by women using a traditional mortar. By contrast conventional cotton farmers use ready-made synthetic pesticides which require no extra labour for individual farmers. Farmers see the organic alternative as harder.

Mills to grind neem seed A project initiated in 2009 by PAN UK and OBEPAB and funded by the organic cloth-

Cotton bales in Cotonou ready for export Photo: OBEPAB

ing company Frugi (see box) aims to improve access to pest management products, especially for women farmers, through the installation of grinding mills. The women farmers will manage the mills which will not only be used to grind neem seeds but also to grind cereals for other villagers and help to generate extra income. The extra income will contribute to the cost of running and maintaining the mills, helping them to be self-sustaining financially. The mills will also speed up the process of grinding neem seed so the women will have more time for other farm activities such as weeding. This extra time, together with the greater availability of neem, should increase the cotton farmers’ productivity: many were unable to spray neem before as it was unavailable when needed.

Steps towards implementation Within pilot villages, groups of women farmers will collect the neem seeds and operate and manage the mill. Land is required on which to install the mill and sheds must be constructed to protect them from weather and theft. Farmers must also be equipped to manage the mills.

Identifying pilot villages Pilot villages were identified based on a number of key criteria: ● number of women in the village engaged in organic cotton production ● initiatives already undertaken by these farmers and role already played by the village in the promotion of organic cotton ● the quantity of organic cotton produced ● the existence of farmers organizations closely involved in decision making. The villages chosen were Aklamkpa village in the district of Glazoue, Magassa village in the district of Djidja (the first village in the area to adopt organic cotton farming) and Sinwongourou and Gobede villages in the district of Kandi.

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Unpacking the mill in Kandi

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Organic cotton ... about frugi Frugi is more than a 100% organic cotton clothing brand. Ethics and sustainability is at the heart of its business model. The Cornwall-based children wear company, formerlly known as Cut4Cloth, has won a multitude of awards in the past few years, recognizing the innovative approach of its business model, while producing fabulous clothes. ‘The way we do things is really important to us here on Planet Frugi’ says company director Lucy Jewson, ‘we believe that you can run a successful business without compromising your ethics. And that's what Frugi's all about’. As a member of 1% for the Planet, Frugi donates 1% of its turnover (that's turnover, not profit) to audited grass-roots environmental charities. For the past two years, Frugi has helped PAN UK carry out productivity research in Benin with local farmers. Discover Frugi’s spring/summer collection at www.welovefrugi.com

Setting up women farmers groups Each village has a farmers’ organization with women members which form a group contributing to the organization. OBEPAB Field Agents have discussed with the farmers the establishment of the mill, its management and the farmers’ physical and financial contribution. Women farmers groups and a management committee have been established in each of the four villages. Each group will be helped by the organic farmers’ organization and by field agents.

Establishing the mills The women farmers groups have been granted land in each of the four villages by the village elders. In each case a document has been signed guaranteeing their right to use the land for the mill. Construction of sheds for the mills

Pesticides News 88

June 2010

A ‘mockery of justice’ for victims of Bhopal Nearly twenty-six years after a Union Carbide pesticides factory in Bhopal, India released a gas cloud that has killed over 20,000 people, eight Indian officials of the company have been convicted of criminal negligence. Union Carbide India Limited, the Indian subsidiary of Union Carbide, was also found guilty of the same charge. An international outcry has ensued over the sentences handed out. Seven of the officials were sentenced to just two years in prison and fined 100,000 Indian Rupees (£1,467). The eighth official has since died. Activists are incensed that none of Union Carbide’s US executives were in the dock. Since 1992, Warren Anderson, Union Carbide’s then CEO and Chairman, and Union Carbide itself have been proclaimed fugitive from the courts, but India has failed to properly pursue their appearance. A 2003 extradition request for Mr Anderson was rejected by the US State and Justice departments. The delay in securing the convictions has focused attention on the glacial pace of the Indian justice system and also the complicity of the Indian judiciary and the governments of the US and India in sheltering the foreign accused, who face more serious charges of ‘culpable homicide, not amounting to murder’. ‘Twenty-five years is a long time to wait for justice, and two years is a derisory sentence when over 20,000 people died,’ said Dr Keith Tyrell, Director of PAN UK.

In 1989, Union Carbide paid £470 million in compensation to settle civil claims resulting from the gas disaster. Since then, a massive contamination problem has come to light at the abandoned factory in Bhopal, leading to separate civil actions in India and the US. Little has been done to clean up the site and chemicals continue to leach into soil and groundwater in and around the factory. The Bhopal Medical Appeal estimates that a further 30,000 people have been affected by chronic exposure to a potentially lethal cocktail of chemicals including mercury, carbon tetrachloride and 1,2,3-trichlorobenzene. ‘Many of those who survived that night have received a life sentence of illness and suffering because of the negligence that led to the leak that night,’ said Dr Tyrell. ‘Tens of thousands more still live with the toxic legacy today because of the refusal of Union Carbide to abide by the internationally applicable ‘polluter pays principle’ and the failure of the Madhya Pradesh government to provide adequate supplies of clean water to affected communities. Contamination of the water supplies by leaching chemicals has been linked to an epidemic of cancers, kidney disease and birth defects.’ The seven UCIL officials are expected to appeal. The Dow Chemical Company, which bought Union Carbide in 2001, set aside $2.2 billion to cover US based asbestos claims against Carbide in 2002 but refuses to accept liability for the Bhopal disaster.

started in February this year and should be complete by June ready for the coming cotton growing season. Bringing the mills to the villages was an important event. The farmers invited others in the village to participate and on each occasion more than 40 people attended.

Conclusion The mills have already been purchased and delivered to farmers. The first neem seeds are being collected to be ground for this year’s cotton growing season. The ready availability of ground neem seed will remove previous constraints on organic cotton production improving yield and removing barriers to adoption of organic growing.

‘We are very happy. The mill will reduce our pain and difficulties’ ‘The mill will help farmers to spray at the right time as neem powder will be available’ – comments from farmers Davo Simplice Vodouhê, Organisation Béninoise pour la Promotion de l’Agriculture Biologique (OBEPAB), Cotonou, Benin, dsvodouhe@yahoo.com A woman farmer in Kandi is presented with mill parts by OBEPAB field staff

Photo: OBEPAB

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Community health monitoring in Tanzania The Lake Eyasi Basin in Tanzania has a history of intensive pesticide use. Vegetables are grown throughout the year and pesticides are widely used. A project to reduce pesticide poisoning is having promising results. A Tanzanian organisation, TAPOHE, is training local communities to ‘self-monitor’ the impacts of pesticide use in their area. Dr Vera Ngowi reports. Hazardous pesticide management practices are commonplace in rural communities in Africa and lead to health and environmental problems. Smallholder farmers from these communities lack vital training and have limited financial resources. Strategies which increase their capacity to recognise and respond to problems arising from pesticide use can improve the health of the local community and environment. The Lake Eyasi Basin is in the rift valley, about 70 kilometres from Karatu town in Tanzania. The area has a history of intensive pesticide use with vegetables being grown throughout the year. The Tanzania Association of Public, Occupational and Environment Experts (TAPOHE) is an association of experts. Its members are contributing to reducing the risks from hazardous pesticide use in the Lake Eyasi Basin by community-based monitoring of health impacts on the rural community. They are training them to make decisions that reduce the risks to themselves and their environment.

A participatory approach

18

in the Lake Eyasi Basin were interviewed (Table 1). Two village were in Barray ward (Mbuga Nyekundu and Qangdeng) and two from Mang’ola Barazani ward (Maleckchand and Mang’ola Barazani). All four villages use pesticides intensively. In addition, interviews and focus group discussions were held in Endamaghan village (Mang’ola Barazani ward). Farmers in Endamaghan use much lower quantities of pesticides and so served as a useful comparison. Participatory appraisal methods were used including discussions and in-depth interviews with key informants, focus group discussions, participants’ direct observations and questionnaire interviews. This provided key baseline information on local farmers’ knowledge about pesticides and impacts on the health of the local community and environment.

Baseline survey findings Pesticide storage The small-scale farmers interviewed had little or no stocks of pesticides. Among those that did have pesticides, these were in small quantities and were stored in the home. A small number of farmers stored pesticides underground in the field or in the stores where they keep their harvest. No obsolete pesticides were identified within farmers’ homesteads in any of the four villages.

Local government officials agreed to assist TAPOHE in getting local farmers involved. The District Agricultural and Livestock Development Officer (DALDO) assigned District Field Extension Officers to identify suitable villages and farmers and to help with the logistics of data collection. Involvement of Village Executive Officers made it easier to get farmers involved and there was good cooperation from the farmers during interviews. Small-scale farmers from four villages

The team observed empty pesticide containers indiscriminately thrown in the

Pesticides are sometimes mixed in public places Photo: TAPOHE

Women learning to read pesticide labels during their training Photo: TAPOHE

Disposal of pesticide containers

Educational materials developed in Kiswahili

fields. This was a major problem as these containers can end up in water sources and are sometimes re-used for domestic purposes such as storage of cooking oil, kerosene and drinking water.

Farmers’ awareness of the risks During the interviews the majority of respondents showed little awareness of the risks associated with pesticides.

Pesticide poisoning In all four villages farmers reported incidences of pesticide poisoning. This was either through pesticide exposure or in some cases intentional poisoning where individuals attempted suicide by drinking pesticides because of stress or frustrations.

Pesticide use practices Almost all respondents reported mixing different pesticides in the same spray containers. In addition, most farmers were applying higher dose rates than recommended. Moreover, it was common for farmers to apply pesticides registered for use on animals (such as chlorfenvinphos in Steladone®) on plants such as onions and other vegetables. They were also using formulations for ultra low volume sprayers in

Participants learning to recognise symptoms of pesticide poisoning Photo: TAPOHE


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Table 1. Villages included in Lake Eyasi Basin study District

Ward

Village

Karutu

Barray

Mbuga Nyekundu

35

Quang’dend

40

Maleckchand

28

Mang’ola Barazani

33

Endamaghan North

15

Endamaghan South

Focus Group

Mang’ola Barazani

high volume sprayers resulting in higher application rates. Many farmers were mixing more than two formulations of the same active ingredient but with different trade names and they were not aware of the difference. They were also not reporting poisoning incidents because they thought that it was normal to feel sick when handling pesticides.

Increasing capacity Along with establishing baseline information TAPOHE aimed to increase awareness of pesticide issues among farmers, teachers and students to enable them to identify pesticide hazards, to encourage them to use hazardous pesticides less frequently (WHO class I, Ib, and II) and to seek non-chemical alternatives. They have established a programme to increase the capacity of the local community to ‘self-monitor’ the health and environmental impacts of pesticides in their local community and area by regularly completing ‘self-monitoring’ forms. This programme was carried out in the four villages in the Lake Eyasi Basin area.

Management teams established A team of people to manage the community monitoring process was established in each village. These teams included farmers with IPM training, community social workers, staff members from local nongovernmental organisations, secondary school teachers, women’s organizations and community health volunteers.

Materials developed A training manual in the local language, Kiswahili, was developed based on an earlier manual produced by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation1. Each Management Team leader received a copy as did the teachers in participating schools. Self-surveillance forms were printed from the manual for each self-reporting farmer. A poster explaining the health and environmental impact of pesticides was developed and a copy posted in village offices. Relevant books from Work and Health in Southern Africa: Action on Pesticides (WAHSA) were also given to the schools and some farmers.

Questionnaires administered

Body mapping exercise during training Photo: TAPOHE

These materials provide key information to help the community to carry out ‘self-surveillance’ to monitor the hazards associated with use, handling, storage and disposal of pesticides developed in their local area.

Follow-up by phone indicates that the forms are being completed. The forms are then gathered each week and summarised monthly by the Management team and TAPOHE.

Training

Conclusions

Farmers and Management teams (including school children) from each of the four villages were trained. Two day seminars took place in each village. The training took into consideration preliminary findings from the baseline data. Farmers were introduced to the relationship between health and environment, existing pesticide legislation as well as direct and indirect costs of pesticides. They learned to recognise the signs and symptoms of pesticides poisoning using body maps (see photo and image on previous page) and how to read pesticide labels to identify trade and common names. They also learned how to complete the ‘self-monitoring’ forms. A total of 162 people were trained of whom 25 (15%) were Management team members and 137 (85%) were self-reporting farmers.

Application of pesticides in the study areas is high and poses health risks to the farmers that use them, consumers of products and to the environment. At the start of this study most of the farmers were unaware of the risks. During this study farmers were highly cooperative and willing to participate. It is reasonable to conclude that the planned educational intervention strategies will increase awareness of the hazards and encourage farmers to move to less hazardous practices. 1. A Farmer Self-Surveillance System of Pesticide Poisoning, Helen Murphy, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Community Integrated Pest Management in Asia (revised) June 2002

A school from each village sent a teacher and two students to participate in the training exercise. They were trained along with the farmers so they could go back and share their knowledge and skills with members of science clubs in their schools.

This exercise was made possible through financial assistance of PAN UK/DFID. Training materials from the WAHSA and ASP projects are acknowledged. We extend our thanks to the District, ward and village leaders for their assistance, as well as farmers, school pupils and teachers who agreed to participate in the study. We are also grateful to the extension staff for their efforts in organizing the farmers.

Weekly self-reporting forms

Dr Vera Ngowi, Executive Director TAPOHE, tapohe@gmail.com

School Environment Clubs

Each of the 137 trained farmers is expected to fill in a self-reporting form each week.

Table 2. Numbers trained in the Lake Eyasi Basin Dates of seminar

Village

Trained individuals* Male Female

1

20 – 21/04/2010

Mbuga Nyekundu

32

8

40

2

22 – 23/04/2010

Quang’dend

19

22

41

3

24 – 25/04/2010

Maleckchand

28

14

42

4

26 – 27/04/2010

Mang’ola Barazani

28

11

39

*Self reporting farmers and community management teams

Totals

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NGO lessons from Nigerian stockpiles programme Africa Stockpiles Programme projects begin with an accurate inventory of obsolete pesticide stocks, carried out by government staff. At the beginning of the ASP, Nigeria estimated there were around 22 tonnes of obsolete pesticides, which has been increased significantly to 1,664 tonnes following the nationwide inventory. Leslie Adogame from SRADev Nigeria reports on the innovative role of non-governmental organisations in this process in Nigeria. The Africa Stockpiles Programme (ASP) aims to quantify stocks of obsolete pesticides in Africa, to organise their safe destruction and to prevent future accumulation. Nigeria is one of seven countries participating in the first phase of the programme. However, before any of the stocks can be destroyed an inventory of the stockpiles must be created, assessing the risk of individual stockpiles to prioritise cleanup actions, and identifying any repackaging requirements (including laboratory analysis to identify unlabelled chemicals). In cases where pesticides are found to be leaking they may need to be repackaged and contained immediately.

NGO involvement The ASP NGO Network (NASPIN) was established in 2005 to coordinate the input of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) into the ASP programme in Nigeria. They have supported the government Project Management Unit (PMU) responsible for the ASP project, particularly in activities such as awareness, inventory, advocacy, training and workshops. In each ASP country a steering committee is also established to guide the project and coordinate inputs by all stakeholders, including industry, civil society and other government departments. The ASP NGO Network has been appointed a member of Nigeria-ASP Steering Committee. In Nigeria, Task Teams were established to carry out different elements of the ASP project (such as inventory, communications, prevention and disposal), and members of the NGO network were fully represented in these task teams.

Inventory training

20

A pilot preparatory/stakeholder analysis of the stockpiles in six states was conducted by the PMU and Task Team Leaders representing relevant institutions and the NGO network. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) trained 28

participants selected from the six pilot states, on key skills required to complete an accurate inventory safely. Participants included representatives of Federal Ministries, agencies, farmers associations, Crop Life Nigeria and two NGO representatives, and were drawn from the six states (Oyo, Benue, Cross River, Anambra, Adamawa, Kano). They learned to identify and quantify obsolete pesticides including unserviceable or contaminated spraying equipment, contaminated soils and disused containers. Field visits to a number of different stores provided practical experience. The participants were tested allowing the facilitators to identify 15 competent inventory officials (including the two NGO participants) out of the 28 participants. These 15 trainees were divided into four teams and each issued an FAO certificate of competence.

Field inventory exercise Based on experience from the pilot, the national inventory was scheduled and carried out between 19 July 2009 and 31 October 2009. Beforehand personnel underwent compulsory cholinesterase testing and again mid-way and at completion of the inventory work (11 August 2009 and 2 December 2009 respectively). The inventory teams with the NGO members covered eight South Western states (Delta, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Osun, Ogun, Lagos) out of the 36 states plus the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja). The NGO Coordinator involved local NGOs in each state to allow these organisations to gain some experience for the future, and to provide some external monitoring of the inventory process. Local NGOs in Edo (SWAPHEP), Ondo (CEEWED), Oyo (NEST), Kwara (NEST), Lagos (SRADev and FOTE) were included in all the days of the exercise, which typically took a week in each state. In each of the eight states visited the four person inventory teams identified and sought to include representatives of key

Pilot states (Oyo, Benue, Cross River, Anambra, Adamawa, Kano) are shaded on the map

local stakeholders (Ministries of Agriculture, Environment and Health (NAFDAC)). The first day was normally used to visit and consult with the identified stakeholders to solicit their cooperation, and to prepare them for the work ahead. When arrangements were in place, the team was ready to carry out the actual inventory during the remainder of the week. This included collecting and recording information about the site, such as the store owner, location, its size and condition, contents of the store, pesticide names, suppliers, manufacturers, active ingredients, dates of manufacture and expiry.

Benefits of stakeholder involvement Engaging local stakeholders in the process helped to generate a comprehensive inventory and proved more effective than other approaches that were tried prior to the field work, such as sending questionnaires by post and giving holders of obsolete stocks incentives or financial compensation to encourage them to declare and surrender stocks during the inventory of privatelyheld stocks. Stakeholders especially government ministries, agencies and parastatals supported the inventorying of public stocks, giving individuals direct experience which will help the inventory of stocks in the future.

Condition of stockpiles Size of stockpiles Before conducting the inventory the Nigerian government stated that Nigeria had 22 tonnes of obsolete pesticides. The inventory work revealed significantly larger stocks and the governments official estimate is now 1,664 tonnes (including 65 tonnes obsolete stocks, 28 tonnes stocks requiring testing, 15 tonnes contaminated equipments, 66 tonnes contaminated soil, 1,211 tonnes contaminated material, 205 tonnes contaminated building, 70 tonnes usable stocks).

Condition of stores They also found that most of the stores are in poor condition (see photos) and in most


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Some pesticide stores are in poor condtion threatening local communities

cases storage conditions do not meet internationally recommended standards. In addition, most store keepers are untrained, personal protective equipment (PPE) was rarely available, and, where available, never used.

Unsafe practices In Ondo state, the team witnessed occupational exposure of women employed in a government store to sieve and bag pesticide-treated seeds each day without PPE. Unsafe practices were also found among farmers and other users/handlers, including ● the domestic pest control practice of using dichlorvos (DDVP) mixed with paraffin (diesel, kerosene etc) plus aluminium sulphate on stored beans, ● the control of rodents on farms by mixing carbofurans (furadan) or nematicides with human urine to attract the rodent. The rodents are poisoned but their meat is still used to make a local delicacy, ‘pepper soup’, ● shop keepers not using gloves while handling pesticides and in some cases women feeding their children inside the stores, ● mixing of grains and animal feeds with obsolete pesticides in some stores. The Nigerian NGOs were effective participants in the inventory teams, who were able to provide local information and knowledge independently from government officials. While the ASP project intended to establish state-level committees to help access this kind of local knowledge, these were only functioning in four of the 36 states. In all eight of the states with some NGO participation, state committees were not established, so the mobilization of state agents was more difficult and was significantly helped by the presence of the local NGO. However, funds were not provided for local NGO participation, so the time and expenses of these individuals were effectively an in-kind contribution to the ASP

project. In future, the involvement of nongovernment stakeholders should be recommended and incorporated into the planning. Comprehensive pre-inventory awareness was not effectively carried out before the actual inventory as this was limited to the six pilot states only.

Lessons learned The inventory process showed an urgent need to train store keepers in Nigeria. One of the NGOs, SRADev Nigeria, has designed an ongoing project to train local government and community store keepers on pesticides stock management (sponsored by PAN/DFID NGO fund). It is clear that involving NGOs will contribute to the successful implementation of the national inventory programme, to provide essential grassroots mobilization and a concerted monitoring component. The presence of local NGO members on the team made it easier to get difficult local stakeholders on board since the local NGO was already known to them. Their presence also encouraged local government officials to disclose the location of stores/sites of obsolete pesticides in the area, and also enhanced ownership of the project beyond government stakeholders and into the wider community of farmers and civil society. NGO participation in the south western part of the country is also very significant in view of the fact that this region represents the entry route (legally or illegally) of pesticides into the country as well as being one of regions that uses pesticides heavily. Improved awareness of unsafe practices within local communities has formed the basis of an NGO campaign tool within its grassroots communication strategy.

June 2010

Photo: Leslie Adogame

there is a need for a central coordination of projects at State level like the Nigeria ASP Steering Committee at federal level, including through high level advocacy and to urge State Governors to inaugurate Nigeria-ASP State Committees, ● all financial management and disbursement requirements should be met to avoid delay in the implementation of ASP, ● sustained awareness is needed to elicit the co-operation and support of all stakeholders and the general public, ● immediate action by government is needed to improve pesticide quality control mechanisms, ● there is a need to mainstream an effective communication strategy into Nigeria-ASP in particular and Government programmes in general, ● NGOs should be involved in the implementation of the project especially awareness raising at all levels, and provision of consultancy/advisory/technical services, ● local NGOs should be empowered to make them more responsive and build their capacity to carry out their roles. ●

Conclusion The involvement of NGOs through the network made an important contribution to the successful completion of the Nigeria ASP inventory and highlights the importance of involving NGOs in the programme.

Leslie Adogame, Project Manager at SRADev Nigeria; ane_adogame@hotmail. com In Nigeria, the ASP is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Nigerian Government with the World Bank as the financial adviser.

Recommendations Based on the experience of the NGO participants, the important recommendations for future projects are:

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New PAN resources

June 2010

PAN UK launches new website

African partner leaflets

PAN UK has launched a new and improved web site at http://www.panuk.org The updated site features a new ‘registered users area’, where users can download leaflets, tips and reports, have access to our new pesticides alternative forum, keep up to date with all the up and coming green events with our new interactive events calendar and sign up to our monthly e-newsletters and organic gardening tips. There is an improved ‘Pesticides News’ section, where subscribers can search and download old articles. There is also a new frequently asked questions (FAQs) section and an ‘explore the issues’ section – explaining all the problems with pesticides, ranging from health to the environment. There is the Pesticide Library, PAN UK’s YouTube video channel, factsheets, polls, questionnaires and pesticide waste disposal and organic cotton directories. Plus a roundup of all the latest news and issues with regards to pesticides from around the world, and much much more! In addition to the site’s many new technical features, the design and interface are much improved, making the site’s navigation easier, more intuitive and user-friendly. There is also is an improved search facility. We welcome any feedback. Please fill in the poll or email us.

Available now for the Beninese Organisation for the Promotion of Organic Agriculture (OBEPAB) and Enda Pronat and the Yakaar Niani Wulli Organic Farmers Federation in Senegal. Leaflets give a summary of the history and objectives of each organisation; their work on organic cotton and food crops; their training and information services for farmers; processing and marketing support; field research undertaken on organic production methods, staff capacity and international collaboration. Download copies from www.panuk.org/foodAfrica/index.html

PAN Europe best practice manual on implementing a National Action Plan This is a new PAN Europe manual to assist and support Member States of the European Union to produce their National Action Plans (NAP) to reduce pesticide dependency, as required under the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD). Directive 2009/128/EC of 21 October 2009 states in Article 4 that: ‘Member states shall adopt National Action Plans to set up their quantitative objectives, targets, measures and timetables to reduce risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment and to encourage the development and introduction of integrated pest management and of alternative approaches and techniques in order to reduce dependency on the use of pesticides. These targets may cover different areas of concern, for example worker protection, protection of the environment, residues, use of specific techniques or use in specific crops.’ All NAPs should be developed as part of an overall strategy, comprising a range of complimentary measures which bring positive results, primarily based on prevention, promoting alternatives, respecting the precautionary principle and enabling and rewarding pioneering farmers practicing these approaches. The NAP also needs adequate financial backing to be successfully implemented. The first step towards success will depend on establishing a truly inclusive stakeholder forum. Co-operation will be needed between regional and national governments and farmers, research institutes, civil society and NGOs, including environment and health groups, and this should be reflected in the representatives involved in the stakeholder forum. The manual provides examples of inspirational ‘best practice’ and examples of what action some Member States are already taking, such as in establishing buffer zones (Denmark), adjusting spraying equipment (Netherlands) and pesticide-free public parks (Belgium). There is also a list of contact information for people who can provide further information on practices which are already being applied in some countries. The manual will be a useful reference document for those involved in stakeholder dialogues in creating their NAP during the coming year. Keep up to date by regularly checking the PAN Europe’s website page on the NAP!

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http://www.pan-europe.info/Campaigns/NAPs.html Contact Rachel Sutton Rachel at rachel@paneurope.info for more info.


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New PAN resources

Pesticides News 88

June 2010

Communities in Peril: Global report on health impacts of pesticide use in agriculture This report presents the results of a wide-ranging survey of how pesticides are used in the field by communities around the world. It shows that hazardous pesticides are routinely used in unsafe situations, and supports the call by international agencies for more assertive action on pesticide hazards. The report illustrates the urgent need for significant investment and policy support for agroecological approaches to food, feed and fibre production. Pesticide Action Network (PAN) groups in African, Asia and Latin America carried out surveys in 21 areas of 13 countries, based on community monitoring strategies. PAN groups in the United States monitored air for the presence of pesticides. The material presented from Africa, Asia and Latin America is based on interviews with 2,200 women and men from farming communities, agricultural workers and rural communities affected by spray drift. Since its founding in 1982, PAN has worked to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologially sound and socially just alternatives. An important basis and tool of PAN’s work has been monitoring the distribution, use and disposal of pesticides. The newest result of PAN monitoring initiatives is this report. It documents that pesticides still cause wide-ranging hazards, risks and poisoning in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Contact your regional PAN office for a copy. Contact details are inside the front cover of Pesticides News.

Organic cotton systems reduce poverty and food insecurity for African farm families This 12 page briefing describes the proven benefits of organic cotton systems in terms of health, wealth, education and environment, and explains crop husbandry and rotation in the diverse organic farming systems used in Africa. It explores options for organic farmers to add value to their food crops grown as part of the cotton rotation, in local and export markets, with experiences from Senegal and Benin. The importance of ensuring that local food security comes first is highlighted, before making preliminary conclusions on whether export markets can truly respect ethical and sustainable development. Download a copy from www.panuk.org/foodAfrica/index.html

PAN UK’s definitive guide to cotton and ecolabelling relaunched In April PAN UK’s wearorganic project published a new and improved version of its consumer guide to organic cotton and eco-label. My Sustainable T-shirt: a guide to understanding cotton production and what eco-labels mean for people and planet is written for anyone who is interested in finding out how cotton is produced and how it works its way up the supply chain from fibre to final garment. If you want to know where to buy organic cotton towels or hemp T-shirts; want to know your Tencel from recycled polyester or the difference between the Better Cotton Initiative and the Ethical Trading Initiative, then download your copy of My Sustainable T-shirt from the PAN UK website at www.wearorganic.org now.

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Pesticide Action Network UK PAN UK – Making a difference Pesticide Action Network UK works to eliminate the dangers of toxic pesticides, our exposure to them, and their presence in the environment where we live and work. Nationally and globally we promote safer alternatives, the production of healthy food and sustainable farming. Pesticide Action Network UK is an independent, non-profit organisation. We work around the world with like-minded groups and individuals concerned with health, environment and development to: Eliminate the hazards of pesticides Reduce dependence on pesticides and prevent unnecessary expansion of use ● Increase the sustainable and ecological alternatives to chemical pest control ● ●

Please send me the Pesticide Action Network UK Annual Review 2008. Please send a full publications list. You can subscribe to Pesticides News, donate to PAN UK and buy our publications at www.pan-uk.org

Pesticides News 88

June 2010

Recent publications Organic cotton systems reduce poverty and food insecurity for African farm families, 2010, available at www.pan-uk.org/ foodAfrica /index.html African partner leaflets 2010, about PAN’s partners in Africa, OBEPAB, Enda Pronat and the Yakaar Niani Wulli Organic Farmers Federation. available at www.pan-uk.org/ foodAfrica /index.html My Sustainable T-shirt, 2010, an updated version of PAN UK’s definitive guide to organic cotton and ecolabelling, available at www.wearorganic.org Hibiscus, cashew and cotton - what’s the

common thread? 2009, describes crops grown by African organic cotton farmers and how to support farmers’ livelihoods, available at www.pan-uk.org/ foodAfrica/index.html Moral Fibre, 2009, a guide to sustainable fashion for fashion students, available at www.WearOrganic.org List of Lists, 2009 our popular briefing collating hazard lists for pesticides, available at www.pan-uk.org/ Publications/publist/ listoflists2009.pdf PEX Information Sheets, for those affected by pesticide exposure, available at www.pan-uk.org/Projects/ Exposure/

Periodicals Pesticides News – the most comprehensive quarterly source of information on pesticide problems and alternative developments. Extensive articles, resources, book reviews and news on UK, European and global issues. Current Research Monitor – an invaluable resource for researchers. This lists up-todate scientific and specialist research covering the impact of pesticides on health and the environment. Includes abstracts, research lists and conference details. PEX Newsletter – quarterly information and news sheet for people whose health has been affected by pesticides or who are concerned about the health effects of pesticides.

Subscription details £160 – Full corporate subscribers (commercial organisations and government departments) can receive up to four copies of Pesticides News and Current Research Monitor. Other benefits include all new PAN UK publications and books free of charge. £90 – Basic corporate subscribers receive one copy of Pesticides News and Current Research Monitor. £50 – Non-commercial subscribers (non-governmental/nonprofit/academic organisations) are entitled to Pesticides News, Current Research Monitor, and the PEX Newsletter. £25 – Individual subscribers are entitled to Pesticides News, Current Research Monitor, and the PEX Newsletter. Signed

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PAN UK - Pesticide News - Issue 88  

June 2010

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