On the 2nd of May, EU parliamentarians, scientists and professionals gathered in Brussels for the Public Hearing on the dangers of obsolete pesticides. The event was hosted by Wieslaw Kuc, a member of the European Parliament and an active supporter of initiatives aimed at the elimination of acute risks posed by obsolete pesticides. The discussion highlighted the importance of this issue and gave politicians and citizens the opportunity to observe the real state of affairs with regard to the problem of obsolete pesticides.
“Nowadays pesticide storage sites in many Eastern European countries and Central Asia are in awful conditions and they are a real danger to the lives and well-being of the local people and animals. It goes without saying that this badly affects the environment. And this is happening in the 21st century!” This statement made by John Vijgen, the director of the International HCH and Pesticides Association in Denmark, left hardly anyone dispassionate. John Vijgen’s concerns were reflected in the speech of the director of Milieukontakt International, Jerphaas Donner, who presented the current results of the project “Elimination of acute risks of obsolete pesticides in Moldova, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan”, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In connection with this project, the delegation from Georgia directed the attention of the audience to the positive outcomes of Milieukontakt’s activities in Georgia in cleaning up the sites of improper pesticide storage.
The Public Hearing was followed by the exhibition “Danger: Obsolete Pesticides”, where the participants could see the negative impact and the threats that come from obsolete pesticides. One of the goals of the event was to emphasize the scale of the problem and to underline the importance of additional funds from the EU to eliminate the danger from obsolete pesticides.
More information on obsolete pesticides can be found on the website of The International HCH and Pesticides Association