2014 Year of Action for EU FAO Partnership Project
2014 is set to be the busiest year yet for the EU and FAO partnership project “Improved pesticides and chemicals management in the Former Soviet Union”, of which Milieukontakt is one of the implementing partner organisations.
The plans are now in place. The targets have been identified and the partners at national and regional level have a clear picture as to where we want to be by the end of the year. We have already been joined by Belarus who signed the project agreement with FAO in early February. We hope the remaining countries make similar commitments in the first quarter of the year.
Please read the Project Newsletter, focusing on the following issues:
1. Actions for dealing with (obsolete) pesticides problems from the past
2. Actions for achieving a sustainable future
3. Actions to further improve communication, capacity assessment and education as the key to pesticide risk reductionfull article |
Project partners come together in Kiev for the second Steering Committee Meeting of the Project
On 11 and 12 November 2013 the second Steering Committee Meeting of the project Improved pesticides and chemicals management in the former Soviet Union was organised in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. This EC/FAO partnership project is implemented in cooperation with Blacksmith Institute, Green Cross Belarus, Green Cross Switzerland, the International HCH and Pesticides Association (IHPA), and Milieukontakt International.
International HCH and Pesticides Forum on elimination of Obsolete Pesticides
The 12th International HCH and Pesticides Forum met in Kiev from 6-8 November 2013. The Forum took note of the overall slow progress of elimination of obsolete pesticides, their negative impact on the socio-economic performance of many countries, the severe adverse effects on health and quality of life, as well as its far-reaching consequences to neighbours with shared water resources.
Regional Workshop on Pesticide lifecycle assessment
Representatives from ten Eastern European, Caucasus and Central Asian countries (EECCA) met at the Medved Institute in Kiev, Ukraine, for an FAO facilitated workshop to develop action plans based on results of regional studies completed in 2013.
Please download the full newsletter :
English version : EU-FAO PROJECT Newsletter 040EC NOV 13
Russian version : EU-FAO Newsletter GCPRER040EC_RUSfull article |
Environmental Management Plan International Training under the EU and FAO partnership project “Improved pesticides and chemicals management in the Former Soviet Union”
From 17 to 20 September, FAO will hold a training on development of environmental management plans for environmentally sound management of obsolete pesticides in Tbilisi, Georgia. The training will be immediately followed by a meeting of the Programme Technical Committee (PTC) to assess progress in implementation and to start preparations for the second annual Steering Committee meeting to be held in Kiev November 11 and 12. The training and PTC meeting will be attended by representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Ukraine as well as representatives of programme partners including Milieukontakt International, Green Cross, and IHPA. The participation of representatives from Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will be supported by the UNEP project “Demonstrating and Scaling-up of Sustainable Alternatives to DDT in Vector Management Global Programme”. Both projects aim to reduce the risk from obsolete pesticides on public health and the environment in the former Soviet Union.
For the full press release, please see Press_release Georgia 040 EC
full article |
Stocks of obsolete pesticides pose a threat to public health and the environmental in Kyrgyzstan. Exposure to the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), that many of these stocks contain, can lead to serious health effects including cancer, birth defects, dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems and diminished intelligence. Unusable stocks piled up in Soviet-time Kyrgyzstan due to over- ambitious planning and mismanagement of pesticides.
Suzak A. – a hotspot that needs direct intervention
As a signatory to the Stockholm Convention, Kyrgyzstan aims to eliminate the obsolete stocks and reduce the release of POPs into the environment. Large international projects will be needed to organise and finance the final disposal of the stocks and it will take time to find enough support to develop and really implement these projects. Today, however, the health and environmental risks remain urgent and something needs to be done.
Suzak A. burial site in Jalalabad province for instance is one of the Kyrgyz hot-spots that need direct intervention. The fencing material that once isolated the site from its surrounding has been taken away by locals and illegal “waste miners” come to the burial site and dig out the pesticides, in order to sell these on the local market as Dust (DDT). They spill the pesticides and pollution of the soil has been observed as a consequence of these activities.
After the consumption of poisoned meat 98 people fell ill and 35 were hospitalised
Another problem is local herds of sheep and cattle passing by the site. Two years ago 98 people fell ill and 35 were hospitalised after the consumption of the meat of poisoned cows that reportedly drank standing water from pits on the site. This year a herd of 130 sheep died after drinking from the same pits.
An international coalition of NGOs and the Dutch Engineering Company Tauw received funding to lower the short term risks of the Suzak A. burial site with cost effective and low tech measures to protect the environment and groups at risk from villages close to the site. Milieukontakt International , Tauw, Green Cross Switzerland, together with the Kyrgyz NGOs Ekois and Green Light joined forces for risk reducing remediation of the site. Awareness raising activities and a social medical intervention to support the village of the people who were poisoned will play an important role. The initiative is financed by the GEF Small Grants Programme for Kyrgyzstan, Green Cross Switzerland, OSCE and the Milieukontakt Private Donations Fund.
New fence to avoid further accidents
During a first mission in July it turned out that there is strong commitment to solve the health and environmental problems from the burial site in Jalal Abad Oblast. A Memorandum of Understanding, designed as a Go / No Go decision making instrument to measure the commitment of local government, was signed by all relevant stakeholders even before the mission. Moreover, the first steps of technical implementation were already taken. This month a new fence was build around the site. (See the picture above.) These early results give a good perspective for further project implementation and high hopes that the project results will be reached in efficient cooperation with local government and NGOs.
full article |
12th Forum 10 years after the 7th forum in Kiev: what has been achieved in a decade in Ukraine – what is Ukraine’s role for the other Eastern European, Caucasus and Central European countries
November 06-08, 2013, Kiev,Ukraine
The forum objectives are:
- to make a status of the developments and new plans in Ukraine over the last decade, and assess if these developments can be used as an example for other countries in the region and elsewhere;
- to review past and ongoing activities in the field of obsolete pesticides problems in Central European and EECCA Countries, in Africa, in Asia and in South America;
- to make a review of what has been realised from the 11th Forum recommendations;
- to discuss the national and regional strategies, action plans and financial resources for elimination of the obsolete pesticides;
- to review and exchange technologies and experiences for inventory, risk assessment, environmental impact assessment of central stores, environmentally sound management, storage and destruction of obsolete pesticides and contaminated soils;
- awareness raising of the obsolete pesticides problems globally, regionally, nationally and locally
Milieukontakt will participate at and actively contribute to the HCH forum in Ukraine, amongst others we will organise in cooperation with Green Cross a session called “Education and awareness raising; a need and a must”.full article |
Several students from the International Rural Development Class at CAH Vilentum University of Applied Sciences in Dronten visited Milieukontakt over the years for an internship at the Amsterdam office. Milieukontakt in turn, was invited by CAH Vilentum for short trainings on lobbying and advocacy.
This year CAH Vilentum and Milieukontakt decided to intensify the cooperation with and Introductory Course on Green Agenda Sustainable Development Planning for the International Rural Development Class at the new CAH Vilentum establishment in Almere.
Since 1998 Milieukontakt has been working on the development of an approach for sustainable development planning in rural areas and smaller municipal entities of cities. Contrary to many planning approaches, the Milieukontakt Green Agenda Approach starts out by identifying local values rather than problems. Participation in the process is not limited to experts or certain stakeholder groups, but is wide open to all. Thanks to the process, its results are genuinely owned by the citizens. If well implemented, the Green Agenda development planning brings about opportunities for development without disruption of local traditions and culture, and destruction of nature and environment.
The first steps in developing this approach were initiated by Milieukontakt and its Romanian partner Focus Eco Centre. Over the years the method has been further developed in more than ten countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and between 2007 and 2010 a large Green Agenda project was implemented on the Balkans.
This year’s CAH’s International Rural Development Class comprises of students from Latvia, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Romania, Italy, Portugal and Brazil. Milieukontakt will introduce the Green Agenda approach and present examples of successfully implemented Green Agenda pilot projects. Next to other assignments, the students will have to choose a small village in their native country, analyse the community based on the Green Agenda approach, talk to community representatives and design a Green Agenda development plan.full article |
A consortium of Tauw, Witteveen+Bos, Milieukontakt and Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) is selected by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to conduct a site assessment and feasibility study of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), pesticide burial site Nubarashen in Armenia.
The Nubarashen Burial site was built in the mid 1970ies as a disposal site for POPs, obsolete pesticides and other chemicals. The burial site is located on the south east side of Yerevan in a valley subject to severe erosion processes. A small village comprising of summer cottages is located around four kilometres down the slope from the burial site. Other villages are located in the area at some greater distance to the burial site.
In 2010 OSCE and FAO experts, assisting the Ministry of Emergency Situations, concluded that emergency measures had to be taken as the complete cover of the burial site had been removed and there was a direct risk of the spread of pesticides waste via surface water and by air. Recently the site was capped with clay and the area was fenced. The Ministry of Emergency Situations also installed permanent site guards.
The consortium will investigate the site and carry out feasibility study to support the selection of a long term solution for the elimination of risks for the POPs pesticides waste at the burial site. Special attention will be paid to assess health risks for vulnerable groups living close Nubarashen.full article |
Milieukontakt partners with FAO in new regional project on obsolete pesticides and alternatives to pesticides
Milieukontakt International is one of the partners in the new EU funded FAO project Improving capacities to eliminate and prevent recurrence of obsolete pesticides as a model for tackling unused hazardous chemicals in the former Soviet Union, together with the International HCH and Pesticides Association and Green Cross Switzerland. The overall objective of the project is to contribute towards better protection of environment and public health in the ENPI East region and Central Asia, through reducing the risk posed by hazardous waste and chemical life cycle management in the region, placing specific emphasis on pesticides as a model group of hazardous chemicals.
The specific objectives are as follows:
- To strengthen knowledge in the countries/region about the extent of the problem by completing/creating inventories of pesticide stockpiles, serving also as a model for other hazardous chemicals;
- To strengthen national and local in-country capacity and expertise to carry out risk assessments and strategically prioritise remediation of polluted sites, safe storage and destruction of hazardous chemicals;
- To improve the legislative framework in line with EU policy approaches and relevant multilateral environment agreements;
- To prevent the recurrence of obsolete pesticides by strengthening effective life cycle management for pesticides and promoting strategies to reduce pesticide use;
- To improve awareness among decision makers and the public of the risks associated with obsolete pesticides and hazardous chemicals and the need to take action, including the costs in both human and economic terms of non-action;
- To enhance cross-regional exchange of expertise and experience;
- To improve donor coordination.
Milieukontakt participated in the Steering Committee Meeting of the project that took place in Moldova on 27 and 28 September. Here Milieukontakt and partners of the Milieukontakt network presented our previous work on obsolete pesticides. In the EU FAO project, Milieukontakt International is providing support, advice and training to countries on inventory, PSMS (this is the FAO database tool for keeping all inventory data, which also provides a risk setting of all inventoried sites), Environmental Management Plans, Environmental Assessments, supervision during safeguarding and national communication strategies.
Please see also attached Milieukontakt partner profile:
Soon more information about the project will be published on this website.full article |
As many other developing countries, Vietnam is facing legacy problems with obsolete and POPs pesticides. In the case of Vietnam many of the former storages are emptied in a clean-up campaign and send for destruction to a modern cement kiln. But people have buried the stocks as well in the past because they did not know what to do with them. As a result the pesticides are mixed with soil and it is more difficult to collect and destruct them.
The Dutch Environmental Consultant Tauw implements a UNDP project to write a handbook with guidelines for Obsolete and POPs pesticides remediation based on the practical example of 10 pilot remediation sites.
For this assignment Tauw established in 2011 a consortium of the International HCH and Pesticides Association (IHPA), Milieukontakt International and the independent legal expert Helle Husum. The drafting of the handbook is well underway and pilot remediation has taken place on the first location: under the management of Berto Collet from Tauw a bunker with 25 tonnes of Lindane and DDT was emptied.
Boudewijn Fokke from Tauw is drafting the handbook and uses the extensive experience of John Vijgen from IHPA to review the result. Thus far the handbook contains 7 environmental management plans for the pilot remediation sites. Helle Husum writes a gap analysis of the obsolete and POPs pesticides legislation in Vietnam and Wouter Pronk of Milieukontakt writes guidelines for stakeholder involvement at local level. This in order to make sure that the local people that live close to the sites are well informed before a remediation starts, know how to minimize health risks and avoid mistakes, accidents and protests around the project.full article |
Mongolia’s economy is booming. International investments for exploration of the extensive mineral deposits resulted in a growth rate of close to 20 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. But pesticides problems from the past – when the country was a Soviet satellite – remain unsolved.
A mission form Milieukontakt and the International HCH and Pesticides Association (IHPA) to Mongolia in October 2011 revealed that on different locations in the country obsolete stocks of POPs pesticides are stored under substandard conditions. The scale of the problem, however, is difficult to establish without a further research.
During a seminar with Milieukontakt and IHPA and Regional Inspectors from the Plant Protection and Quarantine Department of the Ministry of Agriculture in Ulan Bataar it was agreed that the inspectors would look into the matter in further detail and search for not administered stock of obsolete and POPs pesticides. This in order to get a first indication of the scale and extend of the problems in Mongolia.
Unfortunately the inspectors thus far were not able to provide Milieukontakt and IHPA with further details of amounts of obsolete and POPs pesticides in their home provinces.
It will be important to set up structural cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders in order to get the facts straight about the scale of the problem in Mongolia and prepare next steps to eliminate the acute risks on human health and the environment stemming from obsolete and POPs pesticides.
A mission report will be available after Milieukontakt and IHPA received comments on the outcomes from the Mongolian Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Milieukontakt and IHPA mission to Mongolia was financed as part of the FAO, Green Cross Switzerland, IHPA and Milieukontakt implemented and GEF-funded project: Capacity building on Obsolete and POPs Pesticides in Eastern European, Caucasus and Central Asian (EECCA) countries.full article |
In a new publication Milieukontakt describes lessons learned about building civil society for the environment. The publication is based on more than 20 years experience in this field in over 30 countries. It is published in the framework of the project, ‘Serving Albanian Environmental Civil Society in Environment’ (SACSIE), conducted in Albania from 2007 to 2010.full article |
In February 2007 the program Green Agenda in The Western Balkans began with the intention to develop Green Agenda processes in at least 12 communities in 6 countries. Nobody knew if this process would work in a region so much affected by recent conflicts. The big question was: Are local citizens in the region capable of cooperation outside their own circle and can they look at the future based on values developed in the past?
Now, 4 years later, a Green Agenda document has been adopted in 16 communities, and 7 more have gone through the process of development of Green Agenda documents. Local citizens have worked together to define values and develop pilot projects within a strategy based on these values. In each country local project managers, platforms, trainers and local working groups have been, and still are, committed to support the development of a true participative democracy of which Green Agenda is one of the most advanced, bottom up, approaches.
Download the handbook here:
Green Agenda on the Western Balkans
Milieukontakt is co-author of the recent brochure The Eliminators in Moldova, published within the GEF/FAO project Capacity Building on Obsolete and POPs Pesticides in EasternEuropean Caucasus and Central Asian Countries. The brochure was prepared to serve as an example and inspiration for those who will work or are already working on problems related to obsolete pesticides and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), irrespective whether they work for national or local governments, NGOs, scientific organisations, donors or the private sector.
In the period 2005-2006, Milieukontakt and partners IHPA and Tauw set up a project in the Hincesti rayon in Moldova in order to safeguard 100 tonnes of obsolete pesticides as a pilot project, while simultaneously running public awareness campaigns and securing the involvement of local stakeholders. Milieukontakt has since then executed similar projects in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine and is still actively involved in elimination of risks from obsolete pesticides, most specifically in Eastern European, Caucasus and Central Asian (EECCA) countries.full article |
Milieukontakt International –local office Albania organized on 27th October 2010 National Conference as a closure of National Campaign – Act Now! Representatives from Central Government, Foreign bodies, civil society organizations, media, etc, participated in the meeting. Event was greeted by Mr. Fatmir Mediu, Minister of Environment, Forest and Water Administration, Mrs. Noeke Ruiter from Netherlands Embassy and REC Albania.
Campaign was running for more than one year expanded country wide and involving several stakeholders from central and local government, state institutions, civil society, focusing on water, air, waste and public participation problems and presenting at the same time initiatives undertaken and positive examples for improvement of these issues.
Campaign was characterized by diversity in activities implemented, materials produced, topics dealt and cities/communes involved.
Environmental organizations guaranteed in the Conference their engagement in environment protection, contributing in improvement of the situation in the country as stated in the Declaration below.
The results of the interviewing of Belorussian consumers on the issue of sustainable consumption are summarized.
Results are published in the brochure “Sustainable consumption in Belorussian consumers’ perception”(see annex).
Подведены итоги интервьюирования потребителей Беларуси по проблеме устойчивого потребления.
Результаты опубликованы в брошюре «УСТОЙЧИВОЕ ПОТРЕБЛЕНИЕ В ПРЕДСТАВЛЕНИЯХ ПОТРЕБИТЕЛЕЙ БЕЛАРУСИ» (см. приложение).
In Pskov started the second round of the special IWRM summercourses. The course was attended by 21 representatives from 8 regions. The participants have been working on IWRM methodologies, and direct strategy and action planning for an IWRM approach to deal with a wide range of problems and their opportunities of the waterbodies in their own region.
Participants from the following regions attended the course: Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Omsk, Perm, Pskov, Saratov, Sakhalin, Khabarovsk, and Chelyabinsk
The two weeks educational program included lectures, practical sessions, and meetings with representatives of local state, NGO, private sector, scientific organizations and mass media.
The innovative aspect of this year was that the admittance of participants did not take place on a personal base, but the regions had to prepare a case study upfront, and provide a team of specialists from multiple stakeholders of that region: in this way the outcome of the action plans has already been composed by them, underlining the “Integrated” approach. The interests of these actors have been discussed, and as such the result is a joint plan, diminishing the risks of conflicts in later stage, and improving the mutual understanding on interests.
Furthermore there have been working excursions to the Peipsi Lake (Chudskoye), Pushkinskie gori, Izborsk and Pechori, where local stakeholders have been interviewed about the way the management plan for these areas have been set up, and how stakeholders and other actors have been involved in the development of these plans.
The course was finished with a plenary presentation of 6 regional action plans, which include SWOT analyses, stakeholder graphs, resource plannings, problem trees and actor analysis diagrams.
We will make the full report of this course available on the website http://www.iwrmru.netfull article |
В Беларуси состоялся IX Республиканский конкурс-фестиваль «Основы потребительских знаний», который проводился по нескольким номинациям:
• “Миниолимпиада”. Победителем стала команда ГУО “Гимназия №1 г.Жодино”.
• Команды представили свою “Визитную карточку”, где познакомили жюри и всех участников конкурса со своей командой. Лучшая ”Визитная карточка” у команды из г. Полоцка (УО “Полоцкая государственная общеобразовательная средняя школа № 16).
• В конкурсе “Горячая линия” победила ГУО “Житьковская ОСШ Борисовского района”.
• Домашнее задание “Жизнь взаймы”. Ребята представили свое видение проблем кредитополучателей и кредитодателей. Лучшие домашние задания у команд из г.Бреста (“Центр внешкольной работы”) и г.Минска (ГУО “СОШ № 45”).
Победителем IX Республиканского конкурса-фестиваля “Основы потребительских знаний» стала команда УО “Полоцкая государственная общеобразовательная средняя школа № 16”.
Призерами стали команды ГУО “Житьковская ОСШ Борисовского района” и ГУО “Гимназия № 10 г.Молодечно”.
Участники конкурса были награждены грамотами и дипломами Министерства образования, Министерства торговли, ОО «Белорусское общество защиты потребителей», поощрены специальными дипломами и призами других организаций — спонсоров конкурса, например, ООО «Экобрейн», Филиала № 503 АСБ «Беларусбанк».
8 апреля в Барановичах в рамках празднования Всемирного дня Здоровья (девиз этого года – “Урбанизация и здоровье”) прошла общегородская выставка-ярмарка. В ней приняли участие предприятия пищевой отрасли, зональный центр санитарии и гигиены, медучреждения.
ЭКОО “Неруш” представил проект “Устойчивое потребление для улучшения качества жизни”. Специально для выставки были распечатаны лифлеты “Нитраты”, “Радон”, “Электромагнитное излучение”, “Пищевые добавки”, “Шум”, “Пассивное курение”, “Знак Натуральный продукт”. В ходе выставки прошла рабочая встреча команды “Неруша” с маркетиговыми службами молочного комбината, хлебозавода, комбината пищевых продуктов, предприятия “Водоканал”, сотрудниками зонального центра санитарии и гигиены по вопросам реализации проекта.
(материал подготовил В.Зуев)
Шестнадцатого апреля на базе Могилевского областного центра экологического воспитания в рамках проекта «Устойчивое потреблениедля улучшения качества жизни» прошел тренинг, направленный на популяризацию идей устойчивого развития и устойчивого потребления.
В тренинге приняли участие 25 руководителей эколого-биологических кружков из города Могилева и Могилевской области. Участники получили информационно-методические рекомендации по данной тематике, а также
книги, буклеты и календари, которые помогут им при работе с детьми и их родителями. Также важным достижением тренинга является заинтересованность участников в данной проблеме и желание повышать свой уровень
информированности в области устойчивого развития и устойчивого потребления и популяризировать полученные знания.
Тренинг провела сотрудник информационного центра по устойчивому развитию Алена Пахоменко.
Руководитель партнерской организации “Неруш” голландско-белорусского проекта «Устойчивое потребление для улучшения качества жизни» Владимир Зуев сообщает из Барановичей:
“25 марта на базе Ляховичского аграрного колледжа состоялся областной семинар “Современное экологическое образование и воспитание в средних специальных учебных заведениях: задачи, проблемы, пути решения”. В работе семинара приняли участие преподаватели и завучи ССУЗов Брестской области.
С докладом «Формирование экологической культуры в условиях средних специальных учебных заведений» выступил В. Зуев, председатель эколого-краеведческого общественного объединения «Неруш». В докладе были раскрыты основные направления экологического образования с учетом глобальных, региональных и локальных экологических проблем. Были освещены задачи и результаты научных и просветительских экологических и природоохранных проектов.
Были представлены задачи и первые результаты проекта «Устойчивое потребление для улучшения качества жизни». Достигнута договоренность с Советом руководителей учреждений среднего специального образования Брестской области о проведении презентаций проекта в колледжах области.
В рамках семинара были рассмотрены результаты научно-исследовательской работы учащихся колледжа. Наибольший интерес вызвали работы «Пути снижения пестицидной нагрузки на окружающую среду при возделывании сои» (Г. Войтик, Ф. Шимонец, Е. Левкович), «Эффективность агротехнических приемов для получения экологически чистого урожая гречихи» и другие.
Достигнута договоренность об участии Ляховичского аграрного колледжа в реализации проекта «Устойчивое потребление для улучшения качества жизни», а именно: будут изучены условия получения сельхозпродукции в учебно-опытном хозяйстве колледжа на предмет их экологической безопасности.”full article |