• RECOGNITION (noticed and learned during the Forum)
    • CALL (Forum participants calls for assistance)


10 September 2009

10th International HCH and Pesticides Forum
Brno, Czech Republic
7 - 10 September 2009


The International HCH and Pesticides Forum represents a platform for discussion between stakeholders of all kinds, working on implementation of projects related to POPs, obsolete pesticides and hazardous chemical waste. It acts as a catalyst in the exchange of information for the implementation of the Stockholm Convention and other chemicals-related multilateral environmental agreements, and the environmentally sound management of pesticides, pesticide waste and other chemicals. On September 7 – 10th the 10th Forum on HCH and Obsolete Pesticides was held in Brno, Czech Republic with participation of more than 120 experts from more than 40 countries.

The 10th Forum brings together governments, donors, UN agencies, IGOs, NGOs, academia and the private sector for further exchange of information and possible cooperation among countries, experts, institutions and donors.

The Forum was initiated and enabled by the International HCH and Pesticides Association (IHPA) in order to follow up on the progress since the 9th Forum in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

The Forum was hosted by RECETOX, The Masaryk University and the Central and Eastern European Regional POPs Centre.

During the course of the Forum, progress achieved was noted as well as experience gained, and further assistance, information, capacity building etc. was identified as reflected in the following declaration. It became clear that the issue of obsolete pesticides and the damages and impacts have a direct influence on the quality of life of people, especially the poor, the old, women, and children living in rural areas. Accordingly, the progress of elimination of obsolete pesticides is not only an environmental problem, much more it stands in the way of socio-economic development, impacts the quality of life and the right at least to live in a safe environment.


The Czech Republic is a member state of the European Union and a Party to the global environmental agreements such as the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

An active environmentally sound approach and responsible cleanup and remediation of sites contaminated with persistent organic pollutants have been shown in many examples recently.
The most important successfully finished project “Spolana – Dioxins” represents the best environmental practice in which the oldest environment damage in the Czech Republic was removed. More than 50,000 tonnes of various materials, construction and demolition waste, soil, dust and metal pieces contaminated with PCDDs, PCDFs, HCB, lindane and some organochlorinated pesticides were decontaminated using the non-combustion technology BCD – Base Catalysed Decomposition in combination with the Indirect Thermal Desorption and Metal Parts Furnaces by company BCD CZ a.s. Praha.

The country aims its effort at an appropriate legal waste management and waste reduction, as well as to the replacement of hazardous substances in materials and products. In the agricultural sector the Czech Republic for example supported the collection of obsolete and organochlorinated pesticides, stockpiles of pesticides wastes, and paid for the incineration from the national budget of the following amount of waste in the year 2003 (93.051 tonnes), 2004 (75.591 tonnes), 2005 (24.407 tonnes), 2006 (25.898 tonnes) and 2007 (141 tonnes).

The Czech Republic has enough capacity for the disposal and environmentally sound cleanup management of sites contaminated with POPs, hazardous substances and waste.

The Czech Republic is furthermore the first from the signatory countries of the Stockholm convention that offers fully developed and functional tools, capable of providing information on the Central European levels of POPs and the long-term trends in those levels. The major advantage is the availability of consistent high volume POPs monitoring data from Košetice EMEP station including a data set with established time trends for the last twelve years.

Majority of information on the POP levels in ambient air in CEEC is derived from the passive air monitoring projects. Model passive air monitoring network (MONET-CZ) has been developed in the Czech Republic since 2003 as a contribution to the ongoing national POPs inventory in the Czech Republic. It currently consists of 37 sampling sites, including 15 backgrounds (industrial, urban, rural, mountain) and a variety of sites influenced by primary and secondary POP sources. Based on the results from this network, various aspects of the POP contamination can be addressed, from an impact of the point sources or the old burdens, through spatial or seasonal variability, to the long term trends in the background areas.

Data on the POP contamination of ambient air in the Central and Eastern European Region is insufficient, and the lack of regular monitoring is a priority problem. Based on the evaluation of the technical and financial capabilities of available local laboratories it has been concluded that they are capable of providing OCP and PCB analyses of environmental and food samples. These laboratories, however, require both financial and human resources to obtain or replace equipment, and to attract and train skilled personnel.



The participants of the 10th International HCH and Pesticides Forum representing governments, donors, IGOs, NGOs, the private sector, civil society and academia, meeting in Brno on 7-10 September 2009, expressed their gratitude to the RECETOX, The Masaryk University and the Central and Eastern European Regional POPs Centre for its hospitality and generous contribution in organizing this Forum.

The participants….

Recognise that public participation increases the probability of successful obsolete pesticides programmes with minimal risks and builds cooperation between the public, the regulators (the Government) and the NGOs. They therefore recommend building public participation into the design of policies, programmes and projects in order to reach more effective and sustainable results, and to establish public partnerships in order to provide alternatives to points of disagreement.

Recognise that the obsolete pesticides elimination is a national issue threatening the environment, people and sustainability of agricultural export goods; and stress that the associated problems require a multi-disciplinary approach supervised under highest possible level of Government and involving all major and relevant Government institutions such as Ministries of Environment, Agriculture, Health, Industry, Defence and Finance as well as universities and NGOs for solving the national problem. The participants recommend to consider the experience of the Republic of Moldova.

Recognise the COP-4 exhibition "Obsolete and POPs Pesticides in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia" (2009) by IHPA, PAN Germany and sponsored by GTZ and recommend the exhibition for events in the European capitals and at other International Institutions such as GEF/World Bank in order to raise awareness among the public and decision-makers for securing more financial support. They further recommend that such exhibitions be replicated in countries of other regions including Africa, Asia and Latin America to stimulate public and political awareness.

Recognise the activities embedded in the GEF/FAO Capacity building project on Obsolete and POPs Pesticides in Eastern European, Caucasus and Central Asian (EECCA) countries (2009-2012) as important for the further development of capacities and strengthening of the institutions dealing with obsolete pesticides in the countries involved. Further they recommend that this project initiative be enlarged to remaining countries in the region.

Recognise the Global UNEP/WHO Programme "Demonstrating and Scaling-up of Sustainable Alternatives to DDT in Vector Management" (2009-2015) aiming at protecting human health and the environment through demonstrating and scaling-up of sustainable alternatives to DDT in disease vector management and as such reducing the emission of DDT into the global environment. Regional programmes cover, or will cover, 13 countries in Africa, eight countries in Asia, eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa, five countries in Southern Caucasus and Central Asia; and eight countries in Mexico and Central America.

Recognise the planned Global UNEP/UNIDO Programme "Demonstrating and Scaling Up of Lindane and HCH Waste ESM" (2011-2016) aiming at protecting human health and the environment through demonstrating and scaling up ESM of Lindane and HCH waste disposal to avoid the emission of HCH into the global environment. The programme aims at introducing and promoting sustainable alternative approaches to ESM of HCH waste disposal by innovative approaches in various regional projects.

Recognise the need for close cooperation between the Central Asian countries (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) in order to exchange information, coordinate project activities and explore possibilities for regional approaches to the further development of facilities and infrastructure, such as laboratories, treatment facilities etc.

Support the initiative adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) for a strategic approach to international chemicals management (SAICM) and for the WHA's continuous work to include obsolete pesticides and other obsolete chemicals among the priorities of WHO in order to reduce and prevent risks to human health and the environment from their adverse effects and to support their elimination worldwide.

Welcome the inclusion of Lindane and alpha and beta-HCH isomers in the Stockholm Convention [Annex A] as an important step in the elimination of the 1.7 to 6 mio tons of HCH residuals (ref. Vijgen, 2006).

Welcome and support the new initiative for a film 'Contaminated future' as presented at the 10th Forum and recognise it as a valuable contribution to providing information and raising awareness.

The participants in the 10th Forum, recognising the above achievements call upon further support and assistance for reaching the final goal. The participants specifically,

Call upon the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Member States, the United National institutions, World Bank and other bilateral and multilateral donors to

  1. recognise the growing momentum and desire among governments and civil society to eliminate and prevent POPs, obsolete pesticides and hazardous chemical stockpiles and to financially support national and regional initiatives in this area;
  2. improve the dialogue on the scale and urgency of the problem and possible solutions

Specifically, the participants…

Call upon UN donor agencies and the World Bank to

  1. coordinate programming and project activities in the Central Asian countries (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) in order to maximise the programme and project outputs.

Call upon the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the World Bank to

  1. accelerate the processing of project proposals in order to ensure that countries and regions can advance in their work for elimination of obsolete and POPs pesticides and other dangerous chemicals,

Call upon the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) to

  1. address obsolete and POPs pesticides and their elimination during its 2010-2011 cycle on the basis of reports provided by FAO and other agencies and institutions mandated on the management of OPs and to take urgent steps to speed up their elimination all over the world and note in this context that stakeholders such as national governments, SAICM regional groups, NGOs and others concerned with obsolete and POPs pesticides are invited to put this urgent issue on the agenda during the preparation to the 18th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development which will be held in New York from 3 to 4 May 2010. One of such preparation Meetings will be the Regional Implementation Meeting of the United Nations Economic Commission, which will be held in Geneva on 1 and 2 December 2009.

The participants furthermore…

Call upon all Governments to

  1. ensure political focus and raise the awareness of obsolete pesticides, make removal of stocks a priority in their national environmental plans, and add destruction to the agenda of negotiations with donors, while making national funds available for co-funding. 
  2. build in public participation into the design of policies, programmes and projects in order to reach more effective and sustainable results,
  3. establish public partnerships in order to facilitate and find consensus; and to facilitate to provide alternatives to points of disagreement.
  4. consider applying a multi-disciplinary approach for solving the threat of obsolete pesticides in order to protect the environment and secure the quality of life of people
  5. recognise the urgent problems related to the so-called polygons and uncontrolled dump sites of POPs and other dangerous chemicals which are particularly prominent in the EECCA region
  6. identify and mobilise existing industrial capacities in the countries to be considered an  option for obsolete pesticides and contaminated soil elimination
  7. implement common monitoring programmes (as the example from Czech Republic) and comparable risk assessment systems for POPs in the environment;

Call upon the European Commission

  1. to lead and develop an Action Plan in partnership with the EU member states, the European Parliament, non-EU countries such as those falling under the European Neighbourhood Policy and those in Central Asia, international organisations such as the FAO, UNEP, UNDP, UNIDO, World Bank and GEF, agricultural organisations, NGOs, consumer organisations and industry including chemical industry and food retailers.

Call upon the European Council, led by the Presidency, to

  1. urgently address the obsolete and POPs pesticides and its adverse impact on the quality of life of people, especially the poor, the old, women and children living in rural areas, in the Council Working Party on International Environmental Issues (WPIEI) to continue the work already commenced during the Slovenian Presidency of the European Council and particularly the (WPIEI) in first half of 2008.

Call upon the European Parliament to

  1. request an amendment of the pesticides strategy within the current debated Framework Directive on sustainable use of pesticides, with binding requirements to report obsolete pesticides stocks, and highlight obsolete pesticides in the coming new Neighbourhood Strategy, which includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Republic of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine
  2. request to accelerate the finalisation of the proposed Soil Framework Directive

Call upon NGOs and the civil society to

  1. follow-up on Government policies and assist in their implementation

Call upon plant protection associations and the industry in line with their capabilities to

  1. offer to advise and assist the countries in elimination of dangerous chemicals
  2. provide technologies and facilities for securing a low risk final disposition for empty and properly rinsed containers



The participants recognised the efforts of the Director of the IHPA for his continuing support in keeping the issue of obsolete pesticides on the international agenda. The participants furthermore expressed appreciation of IHPA for the cooperation and assistance to the development of capacities and to elimination of obsolete pesticides and other dangerous chemicals, and urge the continuation of this work.

The participants welcome and appreciate the invitation from the Republic of Azerbaijan to host the 11th International HCH and Pesticides Forum in 2011.



The first HCH and Pesticides Forum was held in 1992 in Zwolle (The Netherlands). It started with status reports on the perception of the problems related to the presence of obsolete pesticides in different countries. During the next Forums in Magdeburg (1993), Bilbao (1994), Poznan (1996), Bilbao (1998), Poznan (2001), Kiev (2003), Sofia (2005) and Chisinau (2007) the scope of the Forum was enlarged with exchange of information on common practice, technical solutions, risk assessment, specific problems in Central European and EECCA countries, training, technology development and funding. Over this period of more than a decade the number of participants has grown from 40 till 140.

The number of institutions present in the Forum has increased accordingly. The value of the International HCH and Pesticides Forum as a whole is the possibility for the “pesticides community” to debate important issues such as technology transfer, partnership and “lessons learned” from failures and successes. This debate brings better understanding, and presents ideas for those preparing and implementing (National) Implementation Plans for obsolete pesticides, management of chemicals and sustainable agriculture, together aiming at overall sustainable development. It is to be noted that the European Union stresses that the Stockholm Convention's National Implementation Plans (NIPs) is an instrument to establish priorities and to determine the necessary means to achieve them.

The EU further encourages the Parties of the Convention to seek coherence between NIPs and other existing and future plans to be developed in the area of chemicals management. The EU stresses the importance of Parties applying NIPs as a mechanism for enhancing strategies and strengthening cooperation between Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, and urges Parties to integrate sound management of chemicals, including NIPs, in their national strategies for sustainable development, national development plans and other national and sector-based development plans.

The above position has specifically been expressed at the 8th International HCH and Pesticides Forum for which official letters of support have been received. Letters from members of the EU Parliament and the European Commissioner to the Environment are especially worthy of mention. Since the last Forum in Chisinau in 2007, many countries have become Parties to the Stockholm Convention and are working on the preparation or finalisation of National Implementation Plans (NIPs).

The actual status is that 152 countries have signed and 148 countries have become Parties to the Stockholm Convention. In total 116 countries have submitted a National Implementation Plan, of which 34 was submitted in 2008-2009.

The challenge in the coming years is to put these NIPs in place. This requires reliable inventories and assistance in the funding of projects and programs for training, repackaging and destruction of obsolete and POPs pesticides. WHO has estimated that in 2050 every second human being will die from cancer due to contamination in food, water and the environment. Until now, attention has been given only on a limited scale to the problems of soil and groundwater contamination as a consequence of former stocks of pesticides, especially regarding the medium and long-term negative effects threatening food production and groundwater quality.



The International HCH and Pesticides Forum in Brno was sponsored by:

  • FAO, Subregional Offices for Central and Eastern Europe (SEUR) and Central Asia (SEC)
  • FAO – GEF-funded project "Capacity building on Obsolete and POPs Pesticides in Eastern European, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) Countries"
  • SITA, Czech Republic
  • BCD CZ, a.s.
  • RMT VZ, a.s.


The International HCH and Pesticides Forum in Brno was co-organised by:

  • Institute of Public Health, Ostrava, Czech Republic
  • TOCOEN, s.r.o., Brno, Czech Republic
  • Federal Environment Agency of Germany (UBA)
  • European Crop Protection Association (ECPA)
  • TAUW Group, the Netherlands