The Role of Alternatives in Phasing out HHPs
The SAICM Secretariat, in partnership with the University of Cape Town, established a community of practice on Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) to foster discussions, exchange of best practices, and recommendations to address HHPs amongst relevant stakeholders. This is a summary of the discussion on The Role of Alternatives in Phasing out HHPs, which took place on 19 May 2021.
Presenters: Francesca Mancini (FAO), Mark Davis (CPSP), Alex Stuart (PAN UK), Sheila Willis (PAN UK)
There may often be a perception that HHPs need to remain available because there are no good alternatives. This can prove to be a misconception that may persist because of user habits or advice based on limited knowledge or by persons with financial interest in the products concerned. In most cases, there are alternatives that pose less risk. These may include suitable biopesticides or non-chemical pest management approaches, less hazardous chemicals, or different formulations that pose less risk. Pest and vector management based on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Vector Management (IVM), for which pesticides are only used as a last resort, would be preferred. The same applies to other agroecologically based production systems that reduce dependence on pesticides.
Finding viable alternatives to highly hazardous pesticides can either be relatively fast or require several months or years, depending on factors such as the extent to which the pesticides are in use, the complexity of the pest problem(s) and, more importantly, the resources and technical capacity available in the country acting.