Pesticide use in South and South-East Asia: Environmental Public Health and Legal Concerns
DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2012.152.157
American Journal of Environmental Sciences
Volume 8, Issue 2
Problem statement: The South and South East Asian countries are characterized by their rich biodiversity as well as cultural diversity. Agricultural expansion for livelihood security is leading to an increase in pesticide application in this region. It has been observed that because of the hot and humid conditions prevalent in this region, most farmers and pesticide applicators do not use proper protective gear, thereby exposing themselves to the hazards of pesticide poisoning. Another important issue is the exposure of infants and children to toxic pesticides, especially in congested urban slums and tenements. Approach: The biodiversity contained in the six biodiversity hotspots located in this region was also at considerable risk from the toxic effects of pesticides from agricultural fields as well as plantations of tea, coffee, rubber, oil palm, which were often present in close proximity of protected areas. Though a large number of countries in this region had ratified and/or signed important international conventions on pesticide manufacture, export-import and trans boundary movements such as the Stockholm, the Rotterdam and the Basel conventions. Results: A large number of hazardous pesticides was still in use in this region and require to be phased out. Information was lacking on the use status of several pesticides in smaller countries, thereby retaining a certain amount of ambiguity. Conclusion: Despite the grave nature of the pesticide use regulation issue in the Asia-Pacific, clear and uniform policy response is lacking in most countries of this region. These issues need to be addressed through dialogues and mutual cooperation both at national as well as international levels.
© 2012 Abhik Gupta. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.