Over 40% of the world’s stockpiles of obsolete pesticides, around 200,000 tons, are estimated to be still present in the former Soviet Union Republics including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Moldova and Russian Federation.
Blacksmith has been invited to join the Food and Agricultural Organization-EU partnership project (development of capacity to improve pesticides management in the former Soviet Union).
Blacksmith have been asked to focus their efforts on the assessment of health and environmental impacts from pesticide-contaminated sites in the region.
Obsolete pesticides can be found abandoned at hundreds of unprotected sites, often stored in underground bunkers. Original pesticide containers are leaking their toxic contents into the soil and water, posing a major risk to nearby communities and the global environment.
Blacksmith will work to consolidate the existing inventory data on pesticide-contaminated sites, develop assessment protocols for each country in the region, assess the risks and threats in at least 60 contaminated sites, and design remediation at two high priority locations with at-risk populations.
The multi-year effort is supported by the European Commission and the Global Environment Facility and implemented in cooperation with national government partners, civil society groups, the pesticide industry and other U.N. Agencies.