Local Groups Back Global Alliance to Phase-out Highly Hazardous Pesticides

interest groups threw their weight behind a proposal to establish a Global
Alliance to Phase-out Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) at the forthcoming
meeting of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4) in
Geneva, Switzerland on September 28 to October 2.
Through an appeal sent to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, 25 groups endorsed the letter by
the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and the International POPs Elimination
Network (IPEN) asking the Government of the Philippines to support the proposal
to set up the Global Alliance towards a progressive ban of HHPs and their
substitution with ecosystem-based alternatives
In December 2014, the entire African region at the Open-Ended Working Group of
the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) called for
a Global Alliance to Phase-out HHPs that was widely supported and resulted in
an agreement to develop a proposal for such an approach for ICCM4.
The Joint Meeting on Pesticide Management by the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) had earlier noted
that risk reduction from HHPs could include a progressive ban of these
According to the FAO website, “a considerable proportion of the pesticides
still being used in the world can be considered highly hazardous, because they
have a high acute toxicity, have known chronic toxic effects even at very low
exposure levels, or are very persistent in the environment or in organisms, for
FAO, WHO and the United Nations Environment Programme have set out some reasons
for taking action on HHPs, including the link between exposure to HHPs and the
rising incidence of cancer and developmental disorders and the adverse effects on
children who are especially vulnerable to pesticides during critical periods of
development. The UN agencies also cited the costs to society of these impacts
and noted that lack of capacity limits the ability of many developing countries
to adequately manage risks from pesticides.
Joining PAN and IPEN in pushing for the establishment of the Global Alliance at
ICCM4 were the Action for Nurturing Children and Environment, Arugaan, Alyansa
Tigil Mina, Bangon Kalikasan Movement, Cavite Green Coalition, Citizens
Organization Concerned with Advocating Philippine Environmental Sustainability,
Consumer Rights for Safe Food, Ecological Society of the Philippines, EcoWaste
Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives and Go Organic Davao
Also backing the initiative were the Green Convergence, Greenpeace Southeast
Asia, Interface Development Interventions, Kinaiyahan Foundation, Kongreso ng
Pagkakaisa ng mga Maralita ng Lungsod-Cebu, Ligdung Sumbanan Alang sa Kabataan
sa Sugbo, Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying, MESA, Miriam P.E.A.C.E., Mother
Earth Foundation, November 17 Movement, Philippines for Natural Farming, Inc.,
Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society, Inc., and the Zero Waste Philippines.
The Global Alliance to Phase-out HHPs could learn from the success of the
Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint established at ICCM2 in 2009 “to help
achieve international goals to prevent children’s exposure to lead paint and to
minimize occupational exposures to lead paint,” the groups said.
The proposed Global Alliance to Phase-out HHPs could have the following

(a)  To raise the awareness of
government authorities and regulators, farmers and rural communities, private
industry, consumers, workers, trade unions and health-care providers about the
harms of HHPs and the availability of safer alternatives;

(b) To catalyze the design and
implementation of appropriate prevention-based programs to phase-out HHPs,
replace them with non-chemical alternatives, agro-ecological and other ecosystem-based
approaches to sustainable food and fiber production, and public health vector
control, as a priority.

(c) To provide assistance to
farmers to enable them to phase out HHPs while maintaining their agricultural

(d)  To provide assistance to health
professionals on identifying and reporting pesticide poisonings to promote
efficient surveillance and identification of HHPs;

(e) To provide assistance to
government authorities with identifying appropriate alternatives, particularly
for public health vector control;

(f) To promote the establishment
of appropriate national regulatory frameworks to stop the manufacture, import,
sale and use of HHPs, as well as the sound disposal of HHPs; and

(g) To provide guidance and promote
assistance to identify, avoid and reduce exposure to HHPs including for
communities near areas of cultivation and urban areas.