Reclaiming the future of food and farming

PAN International

Medha Chandra's picture

Global WIN! Agroecology to replace endosulfan.

I have wonderful news to share. Delegates to the Stockholm Convention meeting in Geneva just agreed that the best alternative to the hazardous pesticide endosulfan is agroecology. This is a huge step that PAN and our allies have long pushed for.

The Stockholm Convention listed endosulfan for global phase out back in 2011. The pesticides officially suggested as alternatives were mostly hazardous as well, according to a careful PAN analysis. In an effort led by PAN scientist Dr. Meriel Watts, the Convention reviewed possible non-chemical alternatives, and found that a strong case could be made for ecosystem-based solutions. Late last week, the delegates officially endorsed this approach.

Medha Chandra
PAN International's picture

Guest blog: African communities tackle malaria

This year, we mark World Malaria Day by highlighting communities here in Africa that are winning the battle against this deadly disease. Locally-led programs from Senegal to Kenya to Ethiopia are employing malaria control methods that are safe for human health and environmentally sustainable. And it's working.

Over the past decade, our organizations — based in West and East Africa — have watched as global malaria control efforts focused in on a small handful of tactics: indoor spraying of insecticides, insecticide treated bed nets, treatment of malaria cases and preventative treatment for pregnant women. We've also seen the resulting rise of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes and resistance to drugs in humans, along with worrisome health impacts of the insecticides being used.

PAN International
Medha Chandra's picture

Pesticide harms are global — & often invisible

This week we mark the International Week of No Pesticide Use, which honors victims of pesticide poisonings across the world. A week which I wish did not need to exist.

Unfortunately, the problem is very real. According to the World Health Organization, 25 million farmworkers experience episodes of pesticide poisoning in the Global South every year. A new report by PAN Germany highlights this and other sobering facts, illustrating how pesticides continue to harm millions across the globe — and making a compelling case that it's time for real change.

Medha Chandra
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Talking POPs in Geneva

PAN and our partners have been on the ground in Geneva this week, participating in the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC8)

Here at this annual gathering of scientists and policymakers from around the world, chemicals are considered for addition to the Stockholm Convention. This international treaty bans or restricts use of chemicals deemed to be "persistent organic pollutants" (POPs) due to their harmful impacts on health and their long-lasting presence in the environment.

Pesticide Actio...
Judy Hatcher's picture

Re-learning old lessons in Nairobi

One of America’s most influential environmentalists, Barry Commoner, died last week. Over 40 years ago, he promoted these Four Laws of Ecology:

Everything is connected to everything else.
Everything must go somewhere.
Nature knows best.
There is no such thing as a free lunch.

I saw evidence of all four laws in action at the UN-sponsored Strategic Approach to Integrated Chemicals Management (SAICM) meeting in Nairobi last month.

Judy Hatcher
Kathryn Gilje's picture

Poised for global action on chemicals?

This week, PAN International is gathered with governments from across the globe in Nairobi, Kenya, pushing assertive and fair action on chemicals. Our goal: protect the health and well-being of our families and ecosystems the world over.

The auspices for the gathering: it's time to check progress on the Strategic Approach to Integrated Chemicals Management (better known as SAICM), an agreed-upon global plan of action to reduce to a minimum the harm chemicals wreak on health and ecosystems by 2020.

Kathryn Gilje
Kristin Schafer's picture

Mother takes on Monsanto, wins global prize

Hats off to this mother of three who got fed up and took charge. Thirteen years ago, Sofía Gatica's newborn died of kidney failure after being exposed to pesticides in the womb. After the despair came anger, then a fierce determination to protect the children in her community and beyond.

Today, she's one of six grassroots leaders from around the world receiving the Goldman Environmental Prize, in recognition of her courageous — and successful — efforts.

Kristin Schafer
Kathryn Gilje's picture

Chile stands up to Monsanto

On March 21, the Chilean Transparency Council stood with its citizenry against Monsanto and other global seed corporations to protect Chileans' right to know about genetically engineered (GE) crops.

The Council's decision ensures that farmers, beekeepers and rural residents can find out exactly where GE crops are planted — basic information that is critically important as they seek to protect their farms, apiaries and families from toxic pesticide drift and contamination by pollen from GE plants.

Kathryn Gilje
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Stop paraquat in palm plantations

Pesticide use on the massive palm oil plantations throughout Asia and the Pacific is putting the health of communities and agricultural workers at risk. This week, PAN's office in the region will press palm oil companies to stop use of the most dangerous pesticides, including the infamous herbicide paraquat.

PAN's resolution and petition will be presented on March 8 to the meeting of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an organization made up of companies that produce, market, invest and trade in palm oil, as well as environmental and other nonprofit organizations. The list of companies involved includes U.S. giants such as Cargill, Nestle, and Unilever.

Pesticide Actio...
Medha Chandra's picture

Women power on the farm

Women grow more than half of the world’s food. It's the unknown fact of global agriculture.

I have vivid memories of women working the fields across my travels in Asia, and find it amazing that when people talk about farmers, it's almost always about men. In the U.S., for instance, 30.2% of the 3.3 million farm operators counted in the 2007 census were women. In the Global South, women remain guardians of sophisticated and extensive knowledge about traditional agricultural practices that have sustained communities over centuries. The fact is that women are the ‘hidden resource’ supporting much of agriculture across the globe.

Medha Chandra