Thursday 6 August, 2020

Managing pesticides under the microscope

Representatives from the Group of Pesticides Control Boards of the Caribbean (CGPC), will from tomorrow highlight advancements and identify priorities in the safe lifecycle management of pesticides and toxic chemicals in the Caribbean.

The three-day meeting will take place at Courtyard by Marriott, the Garrison Historic Area, Hastings, Christ Church, during the 22nd Annual Meeting of the CGPC.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security of Barbados and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations will be hosting and participating in the June 11th - 13th meeting that will attract not just member countries, but with facilitators and observers from industry, international agencies and academia. 

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Experts from FAO’s Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean will update participants on the achievements of its Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded project, 'Disposal of Obsolete Pesticides Including POPS, Promotion of Alternatives and Strengthening Pesticides Management in the Caribbean’. The four-year project is being implemented in collaboration with the CGPC.

That project was designed to safely dispose of obsolete pesticides stocks, apply research methodologies for the remediation of pesticide-contaminated sites, help develop systems for the management of empty pesticides containers, identify Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) being used in the region for phase-out, promote alternatives to toxic pesticides and help strengthen the regulatory framework for the life cycle management of pesticides in the Caribbean region. 

Mr. Guy Mathurin, Regional Project Coordinator at the FAO Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean, says by decreasing exposure to highly hazardous and obsolete pesticides, they have brought significant community and environmental health benefits to several Caribbean countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

At the meeting, during the working sessions, under the theme 'Sustainability, Future Developments and Directions', countries are expected to identify their priorities for the next 10 – 15 years in pesticides and toxic chemicals management, considering areas such as: alternatives to agricultural chemicals; reduction in the use of HHPs used in the food chain; strengthening regional collaboration and related legislation and the regulatory framework for the sound management of pesticides and chemicals.

The meeting will also be supported by the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat and the Global Environment Facility who will have facilitators participating in the consultations. 

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