In preparation for the April 2004 meeting of the Environment Ministers, OECD's Environment Policy Committee has asked the Secretariat to prepare a paper on progress made since the "OECD Environmental Strategy for the First Decade of the 21st Century" was adopted by Ministers in 2001. In order to prepare the section on progress across all OECD countries in pesticide risk reduction (the Strategy's Objective 2 Decoupling Environmental Pressures from Economic Growth, Agricultural National Action 6), a questionnaire was sent to member governments, requesting them to:
- describe progress made by OECD countries since 2001 in reducing health and environmental risks resulting from pesticide use, and
- highlight major successes and challenges.
Responses were received from 13 members: Australia, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Survey of Risk Reduction Activities (1994-1995)
The first activity undertaken by the Risk Reduction Project was to survey the pesticide risk reduction activities being implemented in OECD and selected FAO countries. The purpose was to inform countries of what was going on elsewhere and to initiate a dialogue about promising approaches to risk reduction. The survey report was published in 1996.
Workshop on Risk Reduction (Uppsala, 1995)
In 1995, the Risk Reduction Project co-organised a Workshop on Risk Reduction,held jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United National (FAO). The purpose was to provide an opportunity for government officials in both OECD and non-OECD countries to share information about pesticide risk reduction and recommend ways to promote it. The survey report described above was used as background, together with a "mini survey" of the workshop participants' views on important pesticide risks. and possible solutions.
The workshop report makes recommendations for (1) minimising risks associated with pesticide application and handling, and (2) reducing reliance on chemical pesticides by increasing the use of biologically based farming methods. Specific recommendations are targeted to OECD, FAO, governments and the pesticide industry. This workshop set the stage for the following years of the OECD Pesticide Risk Reduction Project. Its recommendations have inspired most of the activities subsequently undertaken.
The survey report Activities to Reduce Pesticide Risks in OECD and Selected FAO Countries (1996) Part 1 gives an overview of the different approaches, ranging from mandatory reduction of pesticide use to targeted protection of vulnerable environments, priority registration of safer pesticides, participation in international treaties to reduce emissions to lakes and seas, and promotion of integrated pest management. Part 2 of the report contains the original survey responses (in table format) and contacts for more information.
The Second Risk Reduction Survey (2004-2005)
The WGP decided in February 2004 to conduct a Second Risk Reduction Survey. The survey was intended to identify policies introduced since the first survey in 1994-1995. The objectives of the survey were to (1) compile what has been accomplished at OECD and at country level since the first survey; (2) serve as a risk reduction communication tool; and (3) identify where gaps exist.
The questionnaire for the Second Risk Reduction Survey consisted of three parts: Part A on what has been accomplished, what worked and what didn’t in the last decade; Part B on gaps, remaining challenges and future areas of work; and Part C, which is optional, on additional questions which member countries wished to ask other countries.
Reponses were received from 18 member countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, the US and the EC.
The Final Report was published in July 2006.
For more information, contact: