Say No to Chemicals in Our Environment. The advocacy component

The advocacy component

  • Project goals, objectives and expected outcomes.

Goal: to advocate for chemical safety as integral part of the rights to health and healthy environment

  • To advocate for civil society dialogue on the issue of chemical safety in agriculture through support to implementation of national rules and regulation for ensuring protection from hazards of POPs and pesticides for human health and the environment.

Expected outcomes:

  • Decision-makers at national (members of the National Assembly and Ministries of Agriculture and Health) and marz (Governor’s offices) levels as well as leading political parties and mass media are alerted on the need to protect human health and the environment from POPs hazards.
  • Women farmers acquire skills on alternative sustainable agriculture/ Integrated Pest Management (IPM), bio-humus production and use, sun fruit dryers; best practices are shared through special event (International Rural Women’s Day), as well as publications in the press and AWHHE website.
  • Owners and consumers of pesticide shops are alerted on the safe use of pesticides.
  • Young specialists at the American University of Armenia and the Armenian State Agrarian University are equipped with necessary knowledge and skills through lectures by AWHHE experts and collection of signatures in support of chemical safety in agriculture.
  • Activities/strategies that will be undertaken to achieve the objectives

Advocacy with decision-makers and other key players at national level: (a) A two-days working meeting will be organized with participation of at least 20 decision-makers at local and national levels (members of Committee on Agriculture of the National Assembly; Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health; Agriculture Support Centers) as well as international organizations (FAO and UNDP) to develop a plan of action for promotion of sustainable and safe use of pesticides through advocacy for implementation of relevant national rules and regulations. (b) An international conference on chemical safety will be organized (at least 50 participants). (c) Prior to the upcoming elections to the National Assembly, advocacy letters will be sent to four leading political parties asking to state their position on chemical safety in sale and use of pesticides; after the elections, follow-up letters will be sent.

Advocacy with the owners and sellers of at least 100 pesticide shops and their consumers through (a) providing stickers and lists of pesticides permissible for use to highlight safety considerations when buying pesticides; (b) advocating with shop owners to post the stickers and the list for consumers’ reference; (c) operating a hotline for consumers.
Advocacy with farmers (particularly female farmers) to reduce the use of pesticides by replacing them with plant tinctures as well as mechanical and physical measures of plant protection,  through organization of farmer field schools in 3 target communities on IPM; creation of agricultural centers in 4 target communities to promote sustainable practices, acquisition of needed supplies and establishment of small tincture production facilities for the centers (the first 5 times the tinctures will be provided free of charge); organization of 10 seminars on hazards of POPs and toxic chemicals and alternatives to them for 150 farmers of target communities; organization of 2 trainings on drying and installation of 12 solar food dries for drying chemical free products grown by female farmers; testing of bio-humus produced from industrial organic waste in different agricultural crops as well as 6 seminars for farmers, production of a short video, an information kit, and design and production of bio-humus packaging of 3 different sizes); training of at least 20 local trained trainers from Agriculture Support Center of Armavir marz and target communities using the “GEF SGP Module on POPs”; training of at least 200 local farmers by the certified trainers and getting agreement from Agriculture Support Center of Armavir marz on adoption of recommendation/ decision. “Say Yes to Chemicals Free Products!” campaign promoting pesticide-free agricultural products will be conducted to celebrate the International Rural Women’s Day and to market pesticide-free products.
Advocacy with universities (American University of Armenia and Armenian State Agrarian University): AWHHE expert will prepare and deliver a lecture for the American University of Armenia and the Armenian State Agrarian University (at least 70 students); information about the lectures will be posted on AWHHE website. Signatures will be collected by students in support of chemical safety in agriculture (at least 200 signatures).
Information Support for Advocacy Actions will include design, printing and dissemination of: “No to Chemicals” information poster and booklet for farmers; an advocacy poster, a booklet and the list of safe pesticides for pesticide shops. In addition, four articles will be printed in marz newspapers to cover important issues and events in the course of project implementation. All the produced print materials and other relevant information will be available on AWHHE website for broader dissemination.

  • Intended beneficiaries

Owners and sellers of pesticide shops as well as their consumers; farmers, particularly female farmers; university students

  • Advocacy target(s)

National authorities (leading political parties, members of National Assembly, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health); Marz authorities; Agriculture Support Centers; local mass media

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