The Arusha Call for Action on Pesticides

The Arusha Call for Action on Pesticides
Pesticide Politics in Africa Conference
Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI), Arusha, Tanzania
31 May 2019
Acknowledging that even by responsible and trained users, pesticides cannot be used safely, given the
insufficient protection offered by PPEs under real conditions of use;
Seriously concerned about the increasing number of non-communicable diseases known to be related to
chronic pesticide exposures (such as cancer, neurological diseases, cognitive & neurodevelopmental
disorders, reproductive disorders, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, attention disorders in children);
Realising the serious negative effects of acute poisoning – including self harm;
Seriously concerned about the persistent contamination of soil, water, air and food produce, and the
harm suffered by non-target organisms;
Realising the call from consumers for safe food;
Acknowledging the inadequateness of regulations, the widespread failure of enforcement, the high cost
of control, and the porosity of borders;
Acknowledging the tremendous economic costs of public health and environmental externalities of
pesticide usage;
We, participants to the Pesticide Politics in Africa conference, conclude that pesticides cannot be used
safely, under real conditions of use.
Recognizing the role played by farmer organisations, non-governmental organisations, civil society
organisations in addressing the dangers of pesticide usage and seeking alternatives to synthetic
pesticides;
Realising that the use of pesticides leads to serious human rights violations, especially affecting
vulnerable communalities, such as small-scale holders, women, children and the elderly;
Realising the potential of agro-ecology to foster environmental and social justice, equal human dignity,
resilience and to alleviate poverty;
We, participants to the Pesticide Politics in Africa conference, call the Commission of the African Union,
the Conference of the Heads of State of the African Union, the Conferences of the ministers of Agriculture
and Health of the African Union, international organisations (UN organisations, Word Bank, IMF), and
pesticide companies for action to protect the environment and human health from synthetic pesticides.
This includes:
1. An immediate ban on highly hazardous pesticides (8 criteria of the FAO-WHO Joint Management
of the pesticide Committee) shown to contribute to non-communicable diseases and
reproductive disorders
2. Making publicly available all information on the toxicity of pesticides for human health and
ecosystems, and data on pesticide residues in food products and the environment
3. Establishing effective surveillance systems of acute and chronic pesticide poisoning and
environmental monitoring and pesticide residues in food, including the establishment of
accredited laboratories
4. Ensuring training of health care providers on management of pesticide poisoning
5. Ensuring inter-ministerial cooperation for pesticide poisoning prevention
6. Harmonizing regulatory systems within Africa and the effective implementation of the
international conventions, agreements and protocols related to pesticides to which they are
party
7. Implementing, monitoring and strict enforcement of pesticide regulations
8. Making pesticide producers, importers and promoters accountable for the effects of their
products on human health and the environment, and obliging them to put in place a system to
collect empty pesticide containers, based on incentive mechanisms
9. Phasing out subsidies and tax regimes that favour pesticide use
10. Promoting agro-ecological farming, training and extension, as well as research on alternatives to
synthetic pest control, supported by accredited laboratories and direct farmer support with
mechanical alternatives.
This will contribute to the protection of the rights of people in Africa to equal dignity, social and
environmental justice, and the right to live in safe environments.