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Future Policy Award 2021: Sri Lanka - Pesticides


Future Policy Award 2021: Sri Lanka - Pesticides

The Special Award Highly Hazardous Pesticides is one of the most ambitious and impactful solutions that minimizes the adverse effects of pesticides, which cause disproportionate harm to the environment and human health. Pesticides can cause severe environmental hazards, high acute, chronic toxicity and are also a very common suicide agent. Particularly, in Sri Lanka, two thirds of suicides were due to self-poisoning with pesticides. The Special Award Highly Hazardous Pesticides was awarded to Sri Lanka’s Control of Pesticides Act No. 33 (1980, amended in 1994, 2011, 2020) and National Policy and Action Plan on Prevention of Suicide (1997).

The World Future Council focuses on identifying, developing, highlighting and spreading effective, future-just solutions for current challenges humanity is facing and promote their implementation worldwide. The Future Policy Award 2021 highlights exemplary laws and policies that protect people and the environment from hazardous chemicals. The Future Policy Award is awarded in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), among others. For more information on the Future Policy Award 2021 click here.

Sri Lanka had one of the world’s highest suicide rates, and pesticide poisoning accounted for more than two thirds of all cases. The Pesticides Act ensures that only least hazardous pesticides are available. It has been used to ban a total of 36 HHPs. Sri Lanka’s pesticide regulations have contributed to one of the greatest decreases in suicide rates ever achieved in the world. The country’s suicide rate has been reduced by 70 percent, particularly in rural villages and among children and youth. The bans saved about 93,000 lives over 20 years at a direct government cost of less than USD 50 per life. Whilst at the same time, Sri Lanka has maintained its agricultural productivity. Internationally, the Sri Lankan experience recommends the banning of HHPs as one of the most cost-effective approaches for suicide prevention. For more information click here.

For more information about the Future Policy Award and this year’s winners read the brochure.