Who we are

The Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention (CPSP) works to reduce the number of pesticide suicides worldwide.

Our approach combines our experience of work in Sri Lanka, knowledge gained from world-class research at the University of Edinburgh, and best practices endorsed by the WHO, FAO and United Nations Environment Program. We are guided by the human rights-based approach and understanding of the impact pesticide suicide has in Asia. Our work is done with the help of local staff who serve as champions for the effort of reducing pesticide poisonings and deaths. Experts from the Centre work with local individuals and organisations to implement solutions which suit the national or local regulation of HHPs. 

We work with local and regional governments to first find out what is known about HHPs in their country and then train local researchers to identify the suicide, accidental poisoning, and environmental consequences of HHP use. We provide modest funding for, and assist, these groups to collect the necessary data and provide it to both national regulators and international organisations. We work with pesticide regulators and other decision-makers to help them formulate recommendations and implement policy reform aimed at phasing out HHPs.


Our Mission is to substantially reduce the number of pesticide suicides occurring worldwide, by working in low-income countries with national pesticide regulators and the United Nations to identify the most hazardous pesticides through research and to reduce their use through regulation. Removing highly hazardous pesticides from agriculture will benefit households and communities by reducing suicide as well as benefiting the environment and public health.Our Vision is the world with substantially fewer suicides from pesticide poisoning together with the improved environment, public, and community health.


The Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention grew out of the work of the Advisory Board in Asia over more than 20 years. It became clear to us that pesticide regulation was by far the most effective means of pesticide suicide prevention and there was a need for a focus of research work to encourage its uptake globally, with the ambition of saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Leah and Michael started work on the Centre in 2016 and were fortunate to receive funding in 2017. We hope that the lessons of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South Korea can be applied to other lower and middle-income countries at an immense benefit to poor rural communities.


We are a philanthropically funded research and policy initiative within the University of Edinburgh. We adhere to the values, procedures, and governance structure of the University of Edinburgh, which can be found here https://www.ed.ac.uk/governance-strategic-planning/governance.

The Ethical Fundraising Advisory Group of the University of Edinburgh is responsible for ensuring that all donations to the University, including donations to the CPSP, come from ethical sources. More information on this group can be found here https://www.ed.ac.uk/governance-strategic-planning/governance/university...

In terms of CPSP’s governance procedures and structure, we are supervised by the research committee of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Edinburgh. We do not have a separate board from the University Board of Directors but we have a Scientific Advisory Board that is convened on a case by case basis.

To ensure transparent management of any possible conflict of interest within CPSP, we adhere to the Edinburgh University conflict of interest policy which can be found here http://www.docs.csg.ed.ac.uk/HumanResources/Policies/Conflict_of_Interest.pdf.

Project Directors

Dr Leah Utyasheva

Policy Director

Research Associates

Mr Manjula Weerasinghe

Manjula is a PhD fellow at Rajarata University

Advisory Board

Dr Shu-Sen Chang

Shu-Sen Chang is Assistant Professor of Health Behaviors and Community Sciences at National Taiwan University.

Prof Andrew Dawson

Andrew Dawson is a Clinical Professor in Addiction Medicine at the University of Sydney.

Prof Abul Faiz

Abul Faiz is a Professor of Medicine at the Sir Salimullah Medical College in Dakha, Bangladesh.

Prof Indika Gawarammana

Indika Gawarammana is Professor and Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Peradeniya.

Prof David Gunnell

David Gunnell is Professor of Epidemiology and a public health physician at the University of Bristol.

Prof Keith Hawton

Keith Hawton is Professor of Psychiatry at Oxford University and a Consultant Psychiatrist with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Prof Flemming Konradsen

Flemming Konradsen is Professor and Director of the School of Global Health at the University of Copenhagen.

Prof Won-Jin Lee

Won-Jin Lee is Professor of Preventative Medicine and an epidemiologist at the Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul.

Dr Melissa Pearson

Dr Pearson works on the regulatory actions that have resulted in suicide reductions worldwide.

Prof Andrea Rother

Andrea Rother is Head of the Environmental Health Division and Professor in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at University of Cape Town, South Africa