Regional Meeting on Community Education for Pesticide Risk Reduction Chiang Mai, Thailand, 12-14 November 2013

The FAO Asian Regional IPM/Pesticide Risk Reduction Programme, in cooperation with The Field Alliance/Thai Education Foundation, organized the Regional Meeting on Community Education for Pesticide Risk Reduction in Chiang Mai, Thailand from 12-14 November 2013. Some 55 participants (21 women) from National IPM Programmes, various government agencies, civil society organizations (CSO), resource persons, donor representatives and FAO staff participated in this regional meeting.

The overall objectives of the meeting were: (1) to share highlights of achievements and impacts resulting from Community Education for Pesticide Risk Reduction work during Phase I, including follow up on pledges made for joint GO-NGO work in the 2010 meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam; (2) to strengthen regional networking on matters concerning IPM, Pesticide Risk Reduction, awareness raising/advocacy and farmer/community education among regional programme and country partners; and, (3) to identify needs, opportunities and challenges for strengthening country and regional strategies for continued collaboration and sustainable impact of the Pesticide Risk Reduction Community Education initiatives, especially in pilot convergence areas as part of Phase II (September 2013-June 2018) Programme implementation planning.

The meeting agenda included presentations and discussions on: (1) Farmer Education on IPM and Pesticide Risk Reduction; (2) awareness raising, health and environmental education, and advocacy support implemented by regional and local partner CSOs; (3) the Vietnam Programme on Pesticide Risk Reduction: Examples of functional and effective GO-CSO collaboration; (3) Strengthening Regulatory Control of the Importation, Distribution and Use of Pesticides; and (4) Capacity Building for Better Chemical Management in Southeast Enlarge ClickAsia.

Other highlights of the meeting were: (1) poster and video exhibitions of country-level and CSO activities on pesticide risk reduction; and (2) field visits to three villages implementing activities on agro-biodiversity and pesticide impact assessment through the Thai Office of Nonformal and Informal Education (ONIE) and a Community Biological Control Laboratory under the Department of Agriculture Extension (DOAE). Country-level strategies and plans for collaboration between National IPM Programmes and partner local CSOs towards a programmatic approach to the design of community education programmes on PRR were identified and would be finalized upon participants’ return to their countries for incorporation into country strategy papers. A detailed report on the workshop will be prepared and posted on the programme website soon.