AGP - Africa Stockpiles Programme

Africa Stockpiles Programme

There are thousands of tonnes of obsolete pesticides in Africa. The Africa Stockpiles Programme (ASP) is working to clean up these pesticides, dispose of them safely and prevent more stocks from accumulating.

It is the only inter-agency, international initiative that has as a key objective the removal and destruction of obsolete pesticides from an entire region.

Non governmental organizations take the initiative

Non governmental organizations take the initiative

Here's some background to the African Stockpiles Programme:

In 2000, negotiations that would eventually result in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) were coming to a close. Governments of the world recognized the need for a global mechanism to end the production of POPs chemicals and dispose of existing POPs chemical stockpiles. Most of the POPs covered by the Stockholm Convention are pesticides. At the same, African countries were requesting assistance to deal with their stockpiles of POPs pesticides.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Pesticides Action Network (PAN) proposed an ambitious undertaking to remove all obsolete pesticide stocks from Africa: the Africa Stockpiles Programme (ASP).

FAO plays a key role

FAO plays a key role

Both WWF and PAN recognized that they could not fund or coordinate a continent-wide programme on their own. They quickly set about creating an international partnership that brought together many multinational organizations, international non-governmental organizations, governments and industry.

As the main technical agency working on pesticides management and obsolete pesticides issues, FAO has been involved right from the beginning of the project. FAO, along with the World Bank has worked to secure funding for the Programme.

Individual cleanup projects begin with a detailed inventory of stocks and their locations. This inventory is carried out by trained local personnel. Inventory information is stored in the Pesticides Stock Management System (PSMS). The PSMS is a web-based database software that FAO has developed over the course of its experience in pesticide disposal projects in Africa and elsewhere. The PSMS was launched in April 2006 and is now being used in Eritrea, Mali, and Tunisia to store Inventory Data and to conduct environmental risk assessments for Obsolete Pesticide Sites and Stores.

FAO, the pesticides industry and bilateral donor agencies provide technical support to countries where the cleanup activities are taking place. This technical support is coordinated through a technical support unit that is hosted by FAO. This unit also has the responsibility for ensuring that technical inputs meet the agreed standards of the Programme.