FAO in Lao People's Democratic Republic

Officials beef up on pesticide control


Vientiane.-Officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Enviornment and other bodies are learning about the current system of the control of import and export of pesticides usd in agriculture from international experts.

The officials are also learning about the control measures used to ban or restrict industrial chemicals, at a workshop that opened in Vientiane yesterday on the Development of the National Action Plan for Implementation of the Rotterdam Convention.

The four-day meeting is chaired by the Director General off the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's Department of Pollution Control, Mr Khamphan Nanthavong, and attended by experts familiar with the Rotterdam Convention, as well as staff from FAO and line sectors.

Laos ratified the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemical and their Disposal in 2010.

Speaking at the meeting,Mr Khamphan, encouraged participants to share the lessons they had learned with the experts so they could use what they learned at the meeting more effectively.

Participants will also hear about pesticide monitoring and inspection as well as future plans, especially the overview of existing national legislation and administrative measures in the management of pesticides in agriculture.

A Regulation on the Control of Pesticides in Laos was issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in 2010 as an instrument to control the importation, distribution and use of pesticies, according to a statement from the ministry.

This replaced an older regulation issued in 2000.The new regulation also provides an expanded list of banned active ingredients.

The regulation establishes the requirements and procedures for the registration of pesticides. It regulates licensing; production ,import, export, distribution and sale; transport and storage; packing,labelling and advertising; use and disposal; management and inspection.

In recognition of the limited human and financial resources available for inspection, the government adopted a strategic approach to focus on importers and distributors in the provincial capatials and other main distribution hubs.

The assumption is that improvements at all levels will trickle through as they are the main suppliers of small shops.

The first target is to end the sale of banned pesticides and illegally repackaged pesticides. The next step will be to end the sale of unregistered pesticides and products without labelling in the Lao language. This will be a major challenge, as over 95 percent of products on the market currently do not have a label in the national language.

Since 2000, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's National Resources and Enviorment's National Resources and Enviornment Institute has been the national focal point for implementation of the Rotterdam Convention. In 2011 the focal point became the Lao Mekong Commission, and since 2015 it has been the Department of Pollution Control.