PAN UK project: Reducing pesticide risks in the former Soviet Union E-mail
PAN UK, along with the Secretariat to the Rotterdam Convention and the Armenian Women for Health and a Healthy Environment (AWHHE), hosted a workshop in Yerevan, Armenia (14-16 April 2015) bringing together key people from six former Soviet Republics to share the findings of surveys of hazardous pesticide practices in each country, with particular focus on social groups vulnerable to pesticide poisoning, including women, children and seasonal workers.

The purpose of the workshop was to reflect on lessons learned and to develop recommendations and next steps. The workshop was the culmination of a year’s work with partner organisations in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Ukraine, who have conducted baseline studies to capture data concerning high risk pesticide practices and exposure scenarios. The data is being used to better characterise vulnerable groups; to understand how and when they are exposed to pesticides; and to gather information on their experience of pesticide poisoning.

Additionally, the data is underpinning work to raise awareness among rural populations of pesticide risks, and to promote alternatives to hazardous chemical pesticides.

Armenian Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Garnik Petrosyan, made an opening address to the workshop and welcomed delegates to Armenia (Photo: Paul Lievens, PAN-UK)

Gayane Nasoyan of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in Armenia. (Photo: Paul Lievens, PAN-UK)

Around 40 delegates from Government and NGOs in the six countries, plus representatives from Kazakhstan, attended the three day workshop. (Photo: Paul Lievens, PAN-UK)

The workshop featured a number of lively discussion groups which considered survey findings, and mapped out action now needed to tackle pesticide risks in the six countries. (Photo: Paul Lievens, PAN-UK)

(Photo: Paul Lievens, PAN-UK)

(Photo: Paul Lievens, PAN-UK)

Christine Fuell (Rotterdam Convention), Knarik Grigoryan (AWHHE) and Dr Keith Tyrell (PAN UK) meet the Armenian media to explain the achievements of the project. Reports appeared on two Armenian TV channels as well as Armenian newspapers. (Photo: Paul Lievens, PAN-UK)

PAN UK has produced a range of well-received materials, including leaflets, posters and videos, in the languages of each country. These are designed to raise awareness of pesticide risks. (Photo: Paul Lievens, PAN-UK)

Some of the delegates to the workshop. (Photo: Paul Lievens, PAN-UK)

24 April 2015 marks the 100th Aniversary of the Armenian genocide in which 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives. AWHHE arranged a trip to the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan for delegates. (Photo: Paul Lievens, PAN-UK)

The project - ‘Improving capacities to eliminate and prevent recurrence of obsolete pesticides as a model for tackling unused hazardous chemicals in the former Soviet Union’ -  is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with partners, including PAN UK and the Secretariat to the Rotterdam Convention.
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