Centro de Diagnostico y Alternativas para Afectados por Tóxicos (CEDAAT) conducted research and public awareness activities to help communities in their demands against pollution coming from the ECOLTEC plant (a waste facility that produced fuel for cement kilns) in Mexico. ECOLTEC declared in an Environmental Impact Assessment that they would produce Volatile Organic Compounds, and the standard for cement kilns includes a series of dangerous heavy metals.
Awareness-raising and Education
Ecological Restorations organized several activities to promote awareness about existing sources of mercury pollution and advocate for policy changes to protect human and environmental health. Policy makers, artisanal gold miners, journalists, researchers and members of the community all were targeted with various types of educational media. Additionally, Ecological Restorations held a workshop in which officials from the Ghananian EPA were invited to discuss future policy changes.
The large majority of plantation owners in the Philippines continue to aerial spray their crops with highly toxic pesticides and insecticides, compromising worker safety and the health of the surrounding communities. With the goal of completely banning the spraying of pesticides, banning or restricting highly hazardous pesticides, and promoting chemical-free ecological agriculture, Citizens Alliance Unified for Sectoral Empowerment Davao del Sur (CAUSE-DS) and Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Philippines organizers began this project by staging a forum in the most affected village.
Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Philippines, in collaboration with Community Based Health Services (CBHS) Mindanao, conducted several capacity-building activities with peasant groups, farmers and residents of Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur, agricultural areas heavily impacted by the use of hazardous pesticides. These included focus groups, key informant interviews, and information dissemination about the dangers of pesticides and alternatives to pesticide use (such as IPM) available to them.
To achieve the objectives of preventing health and environmental pollution related to chemicals found in products, promote safer alternatives, and generate a collaborative effort, Fronteras Comunes followed up the successful “Toxic Chemicals at Home” booklet with a second installation: “Toxic Chemicals at Home 2". The booklet is now being used in community workshops as a tool to promote awareness about heavy metals in products, hazardous pesticides, electronic waste, and other POPs.
The EDEN Center conducted a ground-breaking assessment of the area around an abandoned battery plant to test for lead contamination. After a series of stakeholder meetings and workshops, residents of Uznova (Municipality of Berat) agreed to answer questions about lead exposure and give blood samples for testing. Air, soil, and water were also tested. A report with the findings of the assessment (and recommendations) was delivered to government agencies, shared with the community, and distributed through the media.
In order to promote SAICM’s provisions of green growth and sustainable development, the Kazakh NGO Greenwomen (in colloboration with Eco-Accord) organized several sessions, made key presentations, and actively participated and led discussion group forums at the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific (MCED-6). Specifically, their presentations centered on describing their experiences on what actions NGOs should be practicing to address the SAICM provisions.
The districts located in the Syrdaryinskaya oblast contain numerous obsolete pesticide burial sites. Although officials maintain the safety of these burial sites, ARMON's independent assessment showed that these sites are leaking pesticides into the air and ground water, are not properly safeguarded against the theft of pesticides, and appear to be a major cause of adverse health impacts in the surrounding communities. In addition, ARMON identified several burial sites not accounted for by official government records, also leaking pesticides.
Associação de Combate aos Poluentes (ACPO) organized a meeting of eight representatives of chemical safety and environmental health NGOS from six Brazilian states in order to provide updates on the Stockholm Convention, SAICM and the Mercury Treaty process, as well as to increase the awareness of toxic chemicals in Brazil. During this meeting, a national network, REBLIT, was created to provide a central focus on the chemical agenda, to raise public awareness and to share experiences and information.
Zelena akcija / FoE Croatia followed up on the success of a previous project by actively participating in several community activities related to waste management in Vrbovec, Croatia. The first was to present the findings of their novel pilot waste management program (also supported by ISIP) at a local scientific symposium geared towards waste management policy.