Towards a non-toxic South-East Asia

Between 2007 and 2018, the Swedish Chemicals Agency coordinated a regional cooperation programme in South-East Asia together with Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand and Vietnam. The programme was called "Towards a non-toxic South-East Asia" and its overall aim was 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.

Watch a short film about the work and results in the programme “Towards a non-toxic South-East Asia”.

The regional programme in South-East Asia was built 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 was coordinated by the Swedish Chemicals Agency and partners in the collaboration were:

Most activities were 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 most recent programme had funding from Sida from July 2013 to December 2018.


Printed materials:

Information brochure "Stories from the field"

Information brochure "Towards a non-toxic environment in South-East Asia"

Fact sheets from Pesticides Action Network, Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP)

Annual progress reports

Progress report 2017

Progress report 2016

Progress report 2015

Progress report 2014

Progress report 2013

Final reports

Final Report 2010-2013

Final report 2013-2019

Programme achievements 2007-2019, lessons learned and recommendations


FAO, 2013 "Empowering Farmers to Reduce Pesticide Risks". Impact Assessment Study Report-Cambodia and Vietnam for period 2007-2012.

PAN AP 2014, ”Children and Pesticides: Protect our Children from Toxic Pesticides”

PAN AP, 2013 ”Poisoning Our Future: Children and Pesticides”

PAN AP, 2011, ”Illegal Pesticide Trade in the Mekong Countries: Case of Lao PDR”

PAN AP 2013, ”Breast Cancer, Pesticides and You!”

Evaluations and reviews of the programme

Mid-Term Evaluation 2011

Response to the 2011 evaluation by the programme management

Mid-Term Review 2016

Response to the 2016 review by the programme management

Final evaluation by FAO 2019

Final evaluation by SIDA 2019

Programme document

Programme document

Links to relevant guidance

International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management

FAO Pesticide Registration Toolkit

OMC Toolbox for Decision Making In Chemicals Management

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