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The partnership between the EU and Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) will invest in 12 Eastern European countries to dispose of hazardous pesticides and build capacity for legislative reform, advance the registration of pesticides and develop proposals for alternative pesticides.

12 April 2012: In an effort to better manage vast stocks of obsolete pesticides in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the EU have launched a partnership to assist countries in reducing the risks of contamination from current stocks. According to the FAO, half of the world’s stockpiles of obsolete pesticides lie within 12 former Soviet Union republics, in thousands of currently unprotected sites.

The FAO and EU will invest EUR7 million to assist Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan in managing these stocks of pesticides. The efforts are built on the EU Neighbourhood Policy, which pursues a higher level of environmental protection with its eastern partners.

Under the partnership, stockpile disposal will be combined with capacity building in the areas of legislative reform, pesticide registration processes, and proposals of alternative chemical pesticides. The program also will establish a regional forum to mobilize additional sources for clean-up and the development of a region-wide system for dealing with future challenges from pesticides.

The FAO and EU are collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariats of the Rotterdam, Stockholm and Basel Conventions on the initiative. [FAO Press Release]

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