News Features

More than 40 side events scheduled for chemical conventions’ COPs
Browse the newly published list of planned side events, including two film screenings, for the forthcoming 2017 Triple COPs.

More than 40 side events scheduled for chemical conventions’ COPs

More than 40 side events scheduled for chemical conventions’ COPs
 
How does the Rotterdam Convention work to protect human health and environment?
Our latest interview, with FAO’s Aleksandar Mihajlovski, explains all.

How does the Rotterdam Convention work to protect human health and environment?

How does the Rotterdam Convention work to protect human health and environment?

 

Keep well informed with the BRS clearing house mechanism, now with new, user-friendly, web section
Discover the information, tools and communities that make the joint clearing house mechanism a reality to support the conventions.

Keep well informed with the BRS clearing house mechanism, now with new, user-friendly, web section

Keep well informed with the BRS clearing house mechanism, now with new, user-friendly, web section
 
Ten Gender Pioneers to be honoured at the 2017 Triple COPs
Nominations are sought for outstanding women and men who have pioneered the integration of gender into the sound management of chemicals and wastes

Ten Gender Pioneers to be honoured at the 2017 Triple COPs

Ten Gender Pioneers to be honoured at the 2017 Triple COPs

 

Investigating how to integrate gender into implementation of the chemicals conventions
Highlights from the scoping studies on integrating gender issues into the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions in Nigeria and Indonesia are now available

Investigating how to integrate gender into implementation of the chemicals conventions

Investigating how to integrate gender into implementation of the chemicals conventions

 

Feature article: Reducing risks from pesticides by empowering rural women
Women are vulnerable to the harmful effects of chemicals when working in agriculture: are they also the solution?

Feature article: Reducing risks from pesticides by empowering rural women

Feature article: Reducing risks from pesticides by empowering rural women

Pesticide Risk Reduction through Empowering rural women

Women are central to the development of rural areas and national economies. They make up at least 43 percent of the agricultural workforce worldwide, with that figure rising to more than 70 percent in some countries.

By improving rural women’s access to resources and opportunities, food security can be enhanced for current and future generations. This goal lies at the heart of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) mandate.  

Finding simple solutions to accelerate progress, however, is no easy matter. The prevalence of toxic chemicals and pesticides around the world is especially hazardous to women. What is worse, those most vulnerable are unaware of the dangers they face in using and handling these substances.

“The livelihoods of rural families are dependent on their crops and their harvests. They rely on these to feed their children, themselves and to sell at market. Often, this is their sole form of survival. So, when a farmer identifies a pest threatening their only source of food or money; their immediate reaction is that a “ready-to-use” solution like a pesticide is the exactly what they need,” said Elisabetta Tagliati, FAO Programme Officer for the Rotterdam Convention (RC).

Protecting vulnerable groups

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, is to achieve gender equality and to empower all women and girls. Addressing key challenges such as poverty, inequality, and discrimination against women is essential to change the course of the 21st century.

The target is to enhance the use of enabling technology, and in particular information and communications, to promote the empowerment of women.

Gender equality and rural women’s empowerment are central to UN efforts to reduce rural poverty and to achieve food security for all. By supporting national governments, several countries have now adopted national food and agriculture policies and action plans that fully integrate the need to spread knowledge about either cutting down on the use of or handing pesticides appropriately.

Ultimately, to increase incomes, it is essential to maximise women’s presence in rural institutions in addition to creating gender-parity by amending policies at local, national and international levels. Raising awareness of practices carrying low or high risks is key to advancing the economic empowerment of women working in agriculture. 

Safeguarding health

Building a safer planet involves spreading the word about the correct ways to handle pesticides, from their purchase and sale, through to transporting them, in addition to raising awareness about the precautions to take to store them safely. The risks to those spraying fields without adequate equipment are high and ensuring instructions can be understood by those coming in to contact with pesticides is essential. Labels intended to inform are often a barrier towards safe use because many of those utilising the chemicals are unable to read or understand the languages in which guidelines are produced. “Insecticides are designed to destroy insects and this means they are also likely to be toxic to humans. Herbicides are widely used, and over time, low doses of exposure, can increase the risks of Parkinson’s disease, cancers, diabetes, gluten intolerance, infertility, and reproduction disorders,” said Tagliati.  The RC has also noted that children commonly play in fields where pesticides are present and that women frequently wash contaminated clothes with their bare hands.

To tackle these trends, the RC holds international and national workshops to train and advise individuals.  

Promoting the sound management of toxic substances

“Globally we are looking at about 500,000 chemicals that are used in industrial processes. Some 5000 chemicals are added to that list every year. Most of them are extremely beneficial. Among them are medicines for saving lives. They are also necessary for industrial processes, to produce equipment for use, and, they are required to sustain a certain level of agricultural production such as fertilisers and plant protection products. About 200 million farmers apply these substances around the world,” said Gerold Wyrwal, FAO Agricultural Officer for the Rotterdam RC.

Many of these farmers are women and these women are often the victims of disturbing experiences.

Scientists report that global reproductive health is being affected and the research shows that pesticides are at least partly to blame. Moreover, pesticides have been linked to miscarriages, premature births and reduced fertility in both men and women.  

The evidence indicates that exposure; even to small doses can be lethal. The pesticide problem calls for renewed and ongoing action.

Text by Sarah Barden
Communications and Advocacy Officer
FAO Rotterdam Convention Secretariat

Technology Fair to showcase solutions at 2017 Triple COPs
Parties and observers, including from the private sector are invited to exhibit solutions at the BRS Technology Fair, which will be held on the margins of the COPs from 27 to 29 April 2017.

Technology Fair to showcase solutions at 2017 Triple COPs

Technology Fair to showcase solutions at 2017 Triple COPs
 
New joint information profiles now online for 193 countries
The BRS Clearing House Mechanism takes another step forward with joint country profiles now bringing all national information on chemicals governance into one place.

New joint information profiles now online for 193 countries

New joint information profiles now online for 193 countries

The BRS Clearing House Mechanism takes another step forward with joint country profiles now bringing all national information on chemicals governance into one place.

New online tool assists Rotterdam Convention Parties’ decision-making on hazardous chemicals
The newly available, interactive tool on Final Regulatory Actions helps Parties, especially developing countries, take scientifically-sound decisions

New online tool assists Rotterdam Convention Parties’ decision-making on hazardous chemicals

New online tool assists Rotterdam Convention Parties’ decision-making on hazardous chemicals

The newly available, interactive tool on Final Regulatory Actions helps Parties, especially developing countries, take scientifically-sound decisions

Watch the new BRS video on children and pesticides
Using empty pesticide bottles to take drinking water to school is just one of the ways children are exposed to toxic chemicals, says FAO’s Elisabetta Tagliati in the latest in the BRS video series.

Watch the new BRS video on children and pesticides

Watch the new BRS video on children and pesticides
 
What role for the private sector in implementing the chemicals conventions?
Maria-Cristina Cardenas is the second in our “Countdown to the COPs” series as UNEP’s expert-of-the-day.

What role for the private sector in implementing the chemicals conventions?

What role for the private sector in implementing the chemicals conventions?
 
Malta accedes to the Rotterdam Convention, becoming the 157th Party
Malta has acceded to the Rotterdam Convention, depositing instruments to become a Party to both the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions on 17 January 2017, entering into force on 17 April 2017.

Malta accedes to the Rotterdam Convention, becoming the 157th Party

Malta accedes to the Rotterdam Convention, becoming the 157th Party
 
Regional BRS Preparatory Meetings scheduled to ensure efficient COPs
With financial support from Switzerland, parties will consult regionally at preparatory meetings organised in March in Bangkok, Dakar, Riga and Sao Paolo.

Regional BRS Preparatory Meetings scheduled to ensure efficient COPs

Regional BRS Preparatory Meetings scheduled to ensure efficient COPs
 
New Deputy Executive Secretary for the BRS Secretariat
The BRS Secretariat welcomes Carlos Martin-Novella as Deputy Executive Secretary. Mr Martin-Novella, previously at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), replaces Kerstin Stendahl, who joins IPCC, as of 1 January 2017.

New Deputy Executive Secretary for the BRS Secretariat

New Deputy Executive Secretary for the BRS Secretariat
 
Now online: pre-session documents, including budget documents for consideration by the COPs
Pre-session documents for the three COPs, including the proposed programmes of work and budgets for the conventions for 2018-2019, are now available.

Now online: pre-session documents, including budget documents for consideration by the COPs

Now online: pre-session documents, including budget documents for consideration by the COPs
 
Page 1 of 8First   Previous   [1]  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  Next   Last