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International Conference on Bio- and Phyto-Remediation Technologies For Contaminated Agricultural Soil Towards Green Agriculture. Concept Note and Agenda

16-17 April 2024














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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    How to clean up pesticide contaminated soils
    Promising option: Bio- and phyto-remediation technologies
    2024
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    Around half the obsolete pesticides in the world can be found in the former Soviet Union, according to estimates, with a large portion currently sitting in Central Asia. Due to the mandatory application and oversupply of pesticides during the Soviet period – including pesticides that are banned today – there remain numerous landfills and agricultural land in the region contaminated with obsolete pesticides above safe health and use levels. The numbers and sizes of landfills differ from country to country, but what has remained the same throughout the years is that pesticides have been spread widely, leading to large-scale soil contamination in vast regions – including areas that contain villages and farmlands. The key to addressing this large-scale soil contamination by pesticides in the region is the soil remediation. However, considering the large areas and volumes involved, cleaning solutions must be economic.Soil remediation is a method used to remove, immobilize or transform pollutants from contaminated soils for the protection of human and animal health and the environment. Untreated contaminated soil poses numerous risks, depending on the contaminant, such as human health risks, ecosystem service disruptions, water resource pollution and biodiversity loss. Older pesticides were often based on a chemical group called persistent pollutants, which tend to accumulate in the food chain and cause serious long-term impacts. Through remediation processes, various soil pollutants – heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, persistent pollutants, pesticides and others – can be removed or transformed by certain microorganisms and plant species. Since bioremediation and phytoremediation are more environmentally friendly, sustainable and cost effective than other soil cleaning methods (e.g. excavation and incineration), they are among the best and cheapest options for addressing lightly polluted soils, especially in Central Asia.This leaflet is to introduce the concept of bio- and phyto- remediation technologies for the pesticide contaminated soils in Central Asia. These remediation technologies are very cost-effective methods for restoring contaminated soils compared to physical or chemical remediation methods. Its use case is mainly for low-contaminated soils where a short remediation time is not important. It can be implemented worldwide, especially when it relies on locally existing microorganisms. This leaflet aims to introduce these novel technologies for further implementations across the Central Asia.
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    Presentation
    Disposal of POPs pesticides - Available options for Central Asia and the potential role of co-processing
    Introduction into cement kiln co-processing Opportunities & limitations - Assessment of cement plant for compliance with environmental standards
    2021
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    Pesticides based on a group of chemicals called Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) have been in wide use in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) area from industrialisation of POPs in the late 1940s until the mid-1980s. DDT and other POPs pesticides were being used on a massive scale across the FSU, be it for cotton and wheat farming or forestry. The planning economy lead to widespread accumulation of pesticides wastes, which were buried in engineered landfills or sometimes in simple burial pits. A conservative estimate is that there are today at least 180 000 - 264 000 MT of obsolete pesticides located in old warehouses, landfills, and dumps across the territory of the FSU as well as a growing volume of contaminated soils from unmanaged stocks. Countries in the FSU region partially lack the capacity as well as the infrastructure to manage these wastes in an environmentally sound manner. The GEF-funded and FAO-managed project “Lifecycle Management of Pesticides and Disposal of POPs Pesticides in Central Asian countries and Turkey”, therefore, facilitates solutions for some of the core issues. In this regard, introduction of disposal options for POPs pesticides is vital to address the issue in the region through the project. With this aim, a webinar was held on 24 June 2020. This presentation is about available options for Central Asia and the potential role of co-processing in disposal options of POPs pesticides. Since the subject of the webinar is technical, the target audience is decision makers and influencers to explain the disposal options for the sake of the impacted communities and the environment.
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    Book (series)
    Final evaluation of ''Demonstration project for the decontamination of Persistent Organic Pesticides contaminated soils using non-thermal treatment methods''
    Project code: GCP/BOT/011/GFF GEF ID: 3985
    2020
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    The pesticide story began in the 1980s with outbreaks of migratory pests, including locusts. Donors provided pesticides, including persistent organic pollutants (POPs), to help control outbreaks. Several storage depots were set up across the country. Some of the pesticides were not used and remained in the depots where they started to leak from their containers into the soil. Between 1995 and 2003 two projects collected over 300 tonnes from government storage depots and identified 42 tonnes of farmer-held obsolete pesticides. The stocks were taken to a warehouse in Sebele before being disposed of through high temperature incineration in 2003. From 2002 to 2012 the government started collecting empty plastic containers (EPCs) and obsolete stocks. While the accumulation of obsolete stocks had fallen through awareness of the problem raised by these projects, it was still a problem. Also, nothing had been done about the POPs contaminated soils left behind after the government depots had been cleared. The Africa Stockpiles Program continued to raise the issue of POPs contamination. 28. It was in this context, that discussions began in 2008 that led to the design and funding of this Project to deal with contaminated soils and to strengthen pesticide lifecycle management to reduce accumulation of obsolete pesticides and the risk from pesticides in general. The Project document identified “serious gaps in Botswana’s ability to control all aspects of the pesticide life cycle” including the capacity to control imports; gaps in pesticide and waste legislation; and need for improved management of pesticide registrations.

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