Friday, October 22, 2010

About Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific (PAN AP)

video video

Please watch above videos:
Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific: 18 Years of Empowering People for Change
(Part 1)
Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific: 18 Years of Empowering People for Change
(Part 2)

Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) is one of the five regional centres of PAN, a global network dedicated to eliminating the harm caused to humans and the environment by pesticides and promoting biodiversity-based ecological agriculture.

Since its inception as an independent organisation, PAN AP has situated itself in the grassroots movements of Asia and as such has gained strength from these linkages.

This could be seen through the success of the People’s Caravan 2004 that provided a mechanism to strengthen the people’s movements, publicise their issues, and unite various movements altogether. It has cut through countries, culture, languages and political ideologies. The interactions with local communities have enriched the solidarity among grassroots organisations and advocacy groups and individuals.  Currently, PAN AP has 108 partner groups  in the Asia and the Pacific region, and more than 390 PAN AP participants.

The empowerment of women has been a conscious effort within PAN AP staff, its programmes, and its network.  It was able to systematically ensure women’s involvement and integrate gender views in various projects and activities.  PAN AP fought very hard for equal representation of grassroots women from Asia in various national and global fora.  PAN AP has as its core, women’s movements and groups who are strong on gender issues that motivates and directs PAN AP’s work in the region.

Apart from PAN AP’s contribution in strengthening peasants’ and women’s movements, PAN AP’s work has also been continuously recognised in the areas of campaign work that is grassroots-based.  This development is seen through the acceleration of the Community Pesticide Action Monitoring or CPAM.  Developed as a tool for community documentation of the impact of pesticides on health of communities, this tool has become a method not only to document but also to organise communities to take action against pesticides. The training workshops have also provided the impetus for developing action plans that are now being implemented. PAN AP and its team of facilitators have also progressively improved the training methodology and information documentation so that it is easily adapted to different situations and cultures.

The experiences shared by communities, the local knowledge gained from these interactions and collaborative work within its partner groups have become leverages for PAN AP’s policy advocacy work.  PAN AP’s policy advocacy is aimed at influencing government policies and regulations at the national and international levels based on these knowledge and experiences. Its research agenda has provided deeper analysis and perspectives on policy issues.  It has a stronger aim of generating and collating information alongside communities and partner groups through participatory approaches. All programmes within PAN AP have integrated this framework.

Overall, PAN AP’s work continues to provide impetus to improve the lives of the marginalised communities.  Based on its recent external evaluation, the process provided new learning and renewed perspectives that further affirmed PAN AP’s relevance, effectiveness, and commitment to continue with its work programmes, its campaigns, advocacy, research, training, mobilising, networking and facilitating the strengthening of movements to truly empower communities for change and advance food sovereignty, ecological sustainability and gender justice.

PAN AP would like to thank Humanistisch Instituut voor Ontwikkelingssamenwerking (HIVOS, The Netherlands), Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst (EED, Germany), and Netherlands Organisation for International Development Cooperation (NOVIB, Netherlands) for their generous support to PAN AP. For more information please visit: www.panap.net

Thursday, October 21, 2010

December 3rd to 10th 2010: No Pesticides Use Week (NPUW)



NPUW 2010 Theme: Women and Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs)

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International launched December 3 as the “No Pesticides Use Day” in 1998, to commemorate the world’s worst chemical and industrial disaster in 1984. A Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal (India) exploded and released a lethal gas (methyl isocyanate) that causing more than 500,000 injured and 20,000 deaths in the years since. Cases of chronic illnesses are still mounting among survivors to this day.

This year marks the 26th year of the Bhopal tragedy, and partners in India, besides drawing attention to the dangers of pesticides, will also be highlighting the continuing inability of the concerned governments in bringing the perpetrators of the crime to justice. Union Carbide has since been bought by Dow Chemicals, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of chemicals and pesticides.

PAN International has highlighted the tragedy of Bhopal as an example of a tragic instance of chemical pesticide contamination for which its victims continue to suffer to this day. Bhopal has been called the worst commercial industrial disaster in history - but not the last. Around the world the ongoing manufacture, distribution, and use of chemical pesticides continues to wreak devastating impacts on people and the environment. While acute cases of pesticide poisoning are a concern, the chronic long-term effects such as cancers; and endocrine disrupting effects are of increasing concern.

Since 3rd December 1998, Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) has organized campaigns and activities along with its partners from 8 countries and local community advocates to commemorate the disaster and raise public awareness on the adverse effects of pesticides. The activities expose the hazards and risks of pesticide use in agriculture, the conditions of pesticide use in developing countries in the Asia Pacific Region as well as promote sustainable alternatives and farming practices without pesticides.

In previous years, this campaign was known as No Pesticides Use Day (NPUD). After much discussion during the Pesticides Task Force meeting in March 2010, it was decided to extend the campaign for a week. So, the No Pesticides Use Week (NPUW) campaign starts from 3rd December culminating on the 10th of December - the World Human Rights Day. All campaign activities will be held within this week. For more information please visit: www.panap.net