FAO is committed to environmentally friendly agricultural production. In cooperation with its partners, the Organization has been working on developing tools and programmes to help countries manage pesticides more effectively and to move towards sustainable agriculture.
An international initiative to reduce risks associated with the use of pesticides focusing on Highly Toxic Pesticides (HTPs) is a direct contribution to various Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Efforts to protect human health and the environment and to support the growth of healthy crops against the hazards of pesticides will enhance agricultural and environmental sustainability (MDG 7).
The Rotterdam Convention is one of many concrete examples of FAO's commitment to helping its partners, particularly developing countries, achieve sustainable agricultural production and address the challenging problems associated with pesticide use.
The first key objective of the Rotterdam Convention is to promote shared responsibility among its members in the international trade of hazardous chemicals – both pesticides and industrial chemicals. The second key objective is to contribute to the environmentally sound use of hazardous chemicals by facilitating information exchange among the parties concerned and by providing for a national decision-making process on their import and export.
As a first line of defence against hazardous chemicals, the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure enables countries to monitor and control the trade in these chemicals. It provides an early warning system for countries on the potential danger of highly toxic pesticides by sharing information on national bans or severe restrictions, and information on human poisoning and environmental damage.
For the last few years, many countries in Asia and the Pacific have made significant efforts to improve their national infrastructure for the management of pesticides and chemicals. The Convention has played a crucial role in assisting governments in coping with this task.
The purpose of this publication is to present the experiences of various countries in this region in relation to the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention. The reports reflect the progress which has been made and the steps which remain to be undertaken to achieve the two key objectives of the Convention.
Hopefully, the experiences shared and gained here will help participating countries identify lessons to be learnt to effectively address the challenges of pesticide use and to avoid implementation pitfalls which consume time and are costly.
Assistant Director-General and
FAO Regional Representative for
Asia and the Pacific