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Highly Hazardous Pesticides

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About Highly Hazardous Pesticides

Pesticides are inherently hazardous, and among them, a relatively small number of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) cause disproportionate harm to the environment and human health including severe environmental hazards, high acute and chronic toxicity.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) code of conduct (FAO and WHO in 2013) and the Guidelines on Highly Hazardous Pesticides (FAO and WHO 2016) adopted the following definition:

“Highly Hazardous Pesticides means pesticides that are acknowledged to present particularly high levels of acute or chronic hazards to health or environment according to internationally accepted classification systems such as WHO or Global Harmonized System (GHS) or their listing in relevant binding international agreements or conventions. In addition, pesticides that appear to cause severe or irreversible harm to health or the environment under conditions of use in a country may be considered to be and treated as highly hazardous”.

Many stakeholders have called for action, guidance and support to address HHPs. These stakeholder groups include regulatory authorities, agricultural extension and public health advisory services, health services and poison control centres, farmers and farmer associations, trade unions and agricultural workers’ organizations, private sector, civil society. Since then, there have been some initiatives to address HHPs by various stakeholder groups including Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), academia, the private sector and Governments, which in some cases have collaborated regionally through their respective Regional Economic Communities (RECs). The common goal of all these efforts is to eliminate the short and long-term health and environment impacts of HHPs.In 2015, SAICM Fourth International Conference of Chemicals Management (ICCM4) adopted a resolution that recognizes HHPs as an issue of international concern and calls for concerted action to address HHPs.

 

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International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management
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International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management

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  • Policy document
    International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management

    Policy document

    International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management

    The International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management  is the framework on pesticide management for all public and private entities engaged in, or associated with, production, regulation...

  • Factsheets and brochures
    The Potential Key Role of SAICM Focal Points in Reducing Harm from HHPs

    Factsheets and brochures

    The Potential Key Role of SAICM Focal Points in Reducing Harm from HHPs

    The factsheet entitled "The potential key role of SAICM Focal Points in reducing harm from Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs)" was produced by stakeholders from the University of Cape Town, the...

  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    The role and importance of national and regional Highly Hazardous Pesticides strategies

    Community of practice summary of discussions

    The role and importance of national and regional Highly Hazardous Pesticides strategies

    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 and importance of national and regional Highly Hazardous Pesticides strategies, which took place on 18 May 2022.

  • Article
    Pesticide Overuse Locked into European Agriculture, Says Paper on Pollution

    Article

    Pesticide Overuse Locked into European Agriculture, Says Paper on Pollution

    Excessive pesticide use is leading to severe water quality problems in Europe, with aquatic ecosystems negatively affected by the hazardous effects of past and present chemical pollution, according to a paper in Environmental Science and Policy journal. A transformation away from the lock-in of pesticide overuse and towards a sustainable chemical policy in agriculture is needed. Infrastructural and technological, institutional, and behavioral lock-ins all require “tremendous resources, time, or extraordinary windows of opportunity” to overcome, the authors explain. 

  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Community of Practice on Highly Hazardous Pesticides - 2021 Digest Compliation

    Community of practice summary of discussions

    Community of Practice on Highly Hazardous Pesticides - 2021 Digest Compliation

    The Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) have established a Community of Practice (CoP) on Highly Hazardous...

  • Article
    Pesticide, Plastic Stabilizer among Chemicals Advanced for Stockholm Review

    Article

    Pesticide, Plastic Stabilizer among Chemicals Advanced for Stockholm Review

    The POPRC agreed to recommend that the COP decide to list the pesticide methoxychlor under Convention Annex A, without exemptions, which would effectively eliminate its production and use. POPRC-17 also reviewed three chemicals that were nominated due to their persistence, bioaccumulation, long-range environmental transport, and adverse effects. For UV-328 and Dechlorane Plus, the POPRC followed a precautionary approach, agreed global action is warranted, and moved the chemicals to the final review stage.

  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Alternatives to HHPs – What are elements of success?

    Community of practice summary of discussions

    Alternatives to HHPs – What are elements of success?

    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 Alternatives to HHPs – What are elements of success?, which took place on 20 October 2020.

  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Alternatives in Phasing Out HHPs: Industry innovations and the Substitution process

    Community of practice summary of discussions

    Alternatives in Phasing Out HHPs: Industry innovations and the Substitution process

    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 Alternatives in Phasing Out HHPs: Industry innovations and the Substitution process, which took place on 15 September 2020.

  • Article
    OECD Releases Guidance on Selecting Safer Chemical Alternatives

    Article

    OECD Releases Guidance on Selecting Safer Chemical Alternatives

    The guidance seeks to help industry, NGOs, and the public sector select appropriate methods and tools in order to respond to the growing interest in substituting harmful chemicals. The document focuses on minimum assessment criteria and recommended assessment practices for determining whether alternatives are safer. The guidance complements ongoing efforts on sustainable chemistry within the EU and other OECD countries.

  • Case studies
    Future Policy Award 2021: Sri Lanka - Pesticides

    Case studies

    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...

  • Article
    Study Examines Prospects for Collaboration among Biodiversity, Chemicals and Waste Conventions

    Article

    Study Examines Prospects for Collaboration among Biodiversity, Chemicals and Waste Conventions

    The study seeks to enable the four chemicals and waste conventions to contribute to discussions on and implementation of the post-2020 biodiversity framework and future work of biodiversity-related instruments. Mercury, POPs, pesticides, and hazardous and other wastes are negatively impacting soil biodiversity, which can affect food security. Collaboration on plastics, e-waste, pesticides and pollinators, illegal trade, the sharing of monitoring data and scientific research, and shared communications and messaging could benefit both the biodiversity and chemicals and waste worlds.

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