Since 2007, the Swedish Chemicals Agency has been managing a regional cooperation programme in South-East Asia together with Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand and Vietnam. The programme is called "Towards a non-toxic South-East Asia" and its overall aim is to contribute to reduced health and environmental risks from chemicals through better management of agricultural, industrial and consumer chemicals and sustainable intensification of agricultural production.
The regional programme in South-East Asia builds on a strong partnership with well-established organisations that together have many years of experience on dealing with chemicals management issues in the region.
The programme is coordinated by the Swedish Chemicals Agency and partners in the collaboration are:
- Swedish Chemicals Agency
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Regional office for Asia and Oceania (Bangkok)
- Pesticides Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP)
- The Field Alliance (TFA)
Most activities are implemented in close cooperation with organisations and the governments in Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Working with both governmental agencies at different levels and with civil society organisations (CSOs) increases the opportunity to change behaviours and policies at all levels of society. Informed and empowered farmers, consumers and local community leaders enhance change from the bottom-up, while strengthening of regulatory control and enforcement of legislation simultaneously addresses the issues from the top-down.
Examples of activities:
- Monitoring of the use of pesticides at community level and feed back of this information to the policy-making level at local, national, regional and global level.
- Awareness-raising activities on the risks of pesticides, risk reduction measures and alternatives to chemical pesticides through face to face trainings and meetings, production and distribution of informational material and use of conventional and social media.
- Support to communities to develop action plans to reduce the exposure and use of hazardous chemicals
- Support for adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) by smallholder farmers through participation in Farmers Field Schools and promotion of scaling up of farmer education on IPM and pesticide risk reduction by local governments and other donors.
- Support for improvement of legislation on pesticides, industrial and consumer chemicals and capacity for efficient enforcement of such legislation.
- Support for regional collaboration on chemicals management through organisation of regional forums and workshops for information sharing, networking and capacity building. Read more about regional forums here.
- Contribution and engagement in various global instruments on chemicals like the Stockholm and Rotterdam Convention and SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management).
The current programme has funding from Sida from July 2013 to June 2018.
Since August 2014, the Swedish Chemicals Agency has an expert for the programme stationed in Bangkok to facilitate coordination and take part in implementation of the programme.
The Field Alliance (TFA):
Mr Marut Jatiket
Sida (Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok):
Ms Louise Herrmann