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Mapping the global landscape of HHP risk reduction work

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 Mapping the global landscape of HHP risk reduction work, which took place on 15 July 2020.

Presenter: Ivy Saunyama (FAO)

Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) are responsible for significant environmental, economic and human health problems including acute and chronic poisoning. Consequently, calls to address HHPs have been on the global development agenda for many years. The 131st UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Council in 2006 recommended priority activities for FAO within the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) to include risk reduction and a progressive ban on HHPs. Consequently, in 2008 the FAO and World Health Organization (WHO) Joint Meeting on Pesticide Management (JMPM) formulated criteria that define HHPs. The FAO/WHO International Code of Conduct revised in 2014 led to a definition of HHPs and articles with specific references to HHPs. Also notable are the resolutions made at both the third International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM3) in 2012 and fourth ICCM (ICCM4) in 2015 for concerted global efforts to address HHPs.

Many strategic 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. However, there has been no stock-take of the HHP risk reduction activities, and as such, there is neither coherence nor formal coordination of implementation at various levels. Considering these challenges, this discussion sought to map the global landscape of HHP risk reduction initiatives from various stakeholder group/sector perspectives by engaging around three questions.