The Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED), through its secretariat Arab Office for Youth and Environment (AOYE), conducted a regional workshop for 40 participants representing NGOs, media, scientific experts, and government officials from eight countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon) to enhance the international efforts towards reducing mercury usage and pave the way towards complete elimination.
Awareness-raising and Education
In collaboration with medical officials, Center for Environmental Justice (CEJ) organized medical clinics to pre-screen agricultural workers at risk for kidney disease resulting from exposure to arsenic in pesticides. In several of these clinics (as well as outside of the clinics), CEJ conducted small discussion groups at which farmers were given brochures highlighting the dangers of illegal and highly dangerous pesticides and notifying them of their rights.
Youth Round Table Society (YRT) organized a multi-pronged campaign to raise awareness about mercury uses in health care and promote alternative uses in the Uttar Pradesh province of India.
Responding to the lack of regulation on E-waste in Thailand, Ecological Alert and Recovery, Thailand (EARTH) researched the the amount of used cell phone batteries in Thailand and how they have been managed by surveying and interviewing cell phone sellers in selected markets (as well as mobile phone distributors, battery distributors, network service providers, and companies specializing in recycling). Following this, EARTH compiled a report outlining their findings, which was used to raise awareness about the problem among national and local authorities as well as general consumers.
In an effort to promote sustainable waste management, Taller Ecologista produced two videos dealing with issues of waste management. While one of the videos focusses on the city of Rosario and its Zero Waste ordinance, the other is a more general orientation targeted to organizations and citizen groups that seek to promote zero waste garbage plans. The objective of the videos was to promote awareness and influence changes in waste managment that are oriented toward the Zero Waste concept.
In an effort to improve participation and collaboration among organizations and individuals concerning the SAICM Global Plan of Action, Associação de Proteção ao Meio Ambiente de Cianorte (APROMAC) pushed an explicit chemical implementation agenda at three consecutive meetings of Brazil's National Committee on Chemical Safety (CONSAQ). Additionally, they created a special webpage on their website focused solely on SAICM, which also provides monthly bulletins on SAICM issues.
Red Latinoamericana de Nanotecnología y Sociedad (ReLANS) produced a booklet on the societal and environmental implications of nanotechnology development in Latin America. Apart from a detailed discussion on the path of investment and development in the region, the booklet highlights the importance that nanotechnology development be guided by transparency, precautionary approaches, and the overall health of the worker and environment. This booklet is now available in Spanish, Portuguese and English.
In an effort to promote alternative methods to the use of highly toxic pesticides, Ecological Restorations collaborated with officials from the Ghanan Environmental Protection Agency to develop a summarized and illustrated version of the Pesticides Control Management Act.
Volgograd-Ecopress hosted a workshop on the use of non-combustion technologies for the elimination of obsolete pesticide stockpiles responsible for widespread environmental and human health impacts in Russia. With the participation of local authorities, academia, NGOs, and managers of industrial facilities, modern waste management technologies were presented and regional plans of action were discussed. A special case study of a successful pesticide elimination project using a non-combustion technology of biodegradation based on bioglauconite use was presented.
Recognizing the lack of legislation or policy related to waste management in Lebanon, AMWAJ led an on-the-ground and media campaign to create awareness and engage the general public, local and national government officials, and the tourism industry about the environmental and human health issues stemming from uncontrolled dumping. Using the Saida Waste Dump as a focal point for their continuous campaigning, AMWAJ brokered a meeting with local and national government officials to discuss how to eliminate the dump and replace it with a community garden.