“Greenwomen” Analytical Environmental Agency conducted a comprehensive awareness raising project on mercury pollution in Kazakhstan. Certain areas of Kazakhstan, such as the River Nura, the city of Temirtau and the Pavlodar chemical complex are heavily impacted by mercury contamination. As part of this activity numerous methods were employed to spread the message about mercury pollution among stakeholders including the public, NGOs, media and government.
Highly Hazardous Pesticides
The NGO Association du Reseau Mediterraneen Pour le Developpement Durable (AREMEDD) organized a series of SAICM-related awareness generating activities throughout Tunisia from February to October 2010. These activities, which included the active participation of local NGOs, involved educating students about the dangers of lead in paint and mercury in used batteries, farmers about the adapting alternatives to pesticides, and representatives from the iron and steel industries about the impact of heavy metals on biodiversity.
In order to promote the FAO Code of Conduct and elimination of hazardous pesticide use in favor of more sustainable agricultural practices, AWHHE surveyed farmers and citizens in 4 villages to determine their awareness levels about and use of pesticides. Thereafter they organized a series of discussion groups with residents, farmers, youth groups, and local government officials to discuss the results, as well as distribute Armenian-language educational materials they hd drafted.
A situational analysis of POPs in the Morogoro Hotspot Area was conducted by Tanzania Association of Public Occupational and Environmental Health Experts (TAPOHE) in 2011. Participatory survey methods including desk review, in-depth interviews with key informants, focused group discussions and participants’ observations were used to collect data. Additionally, soil and biota samples (plants) were collected for pesticide chemical analysis. Findings from the situational analysis confirmed that Morogoro is one of the most DDT (and other obsolete pesticides)- contaminated sites in the country.
A 3-day workshop was organized by Cameroon Pesticide Action Network to raise awareness about the FAO Code of conduct on the production, distribution and use of pesticides. Topics included a general background on pesticides, dangers of pesticide use on humans and the environment, pesticides registration in Cameroon, alternatives, the IPM concept and its implementation in Cameroon, etc. Civil society, Farmers' Associations, pesticides importers and distributors and government representatives attended.
In 2010, the NGO groundWork (Friends of the Earth South Africa) convened over 65 farmers from around the country who expressed a desire to educate themselves about the safe handling and proper use of pesticides. Over the course of two days, participants took part in educational sessions that included guided tours of farms practicing permaculture and organic practices. Other interactive discussion sessions featured conversations about basic workplace safety.
A workshop was conducted by OSHE to assess the current uses, hazards, policies, and regulatory frameworks regarding the use of pesticides within the Bangladeshi agricultural community. Workshop participants were given information about alternatives to pesticide use, including the implementation of IPM practices. The meeting activities resulted in formal recommendations about how targeted stakeholders could minimize or phase-out the use of hazardous pesticides.
Continuing their research on highly toxic pesticide use in North Sumatra and Central Java, Gita Pertiwi conducted an overall assessment of the current pesticide situation. This assessment used survey, interview, and observation methods to document the types of pesticides currently in use, how they are used, and the health effects on those using them. In addition, Gita Pertiwi also conducted market research exploring the advertising and selling practices of distributors and local vendors of pesticides.
Institut za ruralni razvoj i ekologiju (IRRE) held a public seminar and produced an 8-page booklet to help Croatia’s agricultural stakeholders move towards complying with a recent national law mandating the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Through this seminar and accompanying booklet, farmers and other relevant stakeholders were educated about the tenets of IPM including fertilization and plant stress, crop rotation, soil health, and pesticide waste management.
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.