News

Current Articles | Search | Syndication
Add to iGoogle or Google Reader

Blog: Wetlands International tackles pesticide overuse in rice paddies at Ramsar Conference

11-Jul-2012

By Paul Brotherton, from the Ramsar Convention in Bucharest

The overuse of pesticides in rice paddies in Southeast Asia is currently fueling a devastating pest outbreak epidemic. Due to the urgent need for the Ramsar Convention to address these issues, we felt it important to present the facts supporting it. Therefore, Wetlands International's team from its India, Argentina and the Netherlands offices held an informational event together with partners FAO, IRRI and IWMI.


It was shocking to hear how in some countries dangerous pesticides are marketed and sold in the same manner as food and drinks. The pesticide industry offers giveaways such as clothing and prizes such as motorbikes to promote pesticides, with a singular goal of increasing sales.

 

Without proper regulation and education, these perverse incentives promote overuse and inappropriate use while threatening health, safety and rice yields. 

 

Fortunately, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands has proposed taking action through a draft resolution: number 15, Agriculture-wetland interactions – rice paddy and pesticide usage.

 

A set of powerful presentations (see below) showcased evidence that the current overuse of pesticides is harming biodiversity such as birds, contaminating water and fueling rice pest outbreaks in Southeast Asia.

 

The country delegates and civil society organisations in attendance heard about the critical need for improved regulation, farmer education, and Integrated Pest Management in order to reduce pest outbreaks and pesticide overuse.

 

View the presentations

The resolution will be considered by countries this week. I invite you to view these very compelling presentations:

 

Daniel Blanco, Wetlands International Argentina presented his research on the importance of rice paddies for biodiversity in South America: Biodiversity conservation and rice production in southern South America. See the related publication: Use of rice fields by migratory shorebirds in southern South America

 

Ritesh Kumar, Wetlands International South Asia office in India presented a case study demonstrating the need for an integrated approach to agriculture-wetland interactions that focuses on ecosystem health. Case study from S. Asia on rice paddies: pesticide use and related land and water management challenges

 

Johannes Ketelaar, FAO Regional Office for Asia and Pacific
Save and Grow: Pesticide Risk Reduction for Sustainable Intensification of Rice Production

 

Finbarr Horgan, International Rice Research Institute
Overuse of pesticides in Asian rice paddies: A threat to rice ecosystem integrity and productivity

 

Watch the video message:

Professor Norman Uphoff of Cornell University on System of Rice Intensification (SRI) as a means of sustainable intensification of rice production

 

Our publications on rice fields

Read also the following publications by Wetlands International related to rice fields and their biodiversity:

Use of rice fields by migratory shorebirds in southern South America. Implications for conservation and management

Land Cover and Avian Biodiversity in Rice Fields and Mangroves of West Africa

Rice paddies supporting livelihoods and biodiversity

 

Paul Brotherton

Wetlands International

paul.brotherton @ wetlands.org

Press contact

Press can contact:

Ms. Ytha Kempkes
Communications and Advocacy Manager
Tel. +31 (0)318 660933
Email: ytha.kempkes@wetlands.org

Press kit

Latest Tweets

TweetId: 491161950785929217 Wetlands Int. WetlandsInt WetlandsInt Introducing former President #BillClinton in Aceh, Indonesia http://t.co/sbq1pmBfSx @ClintonGlobal http://t.co/sXpoVn07zy 21-07-14 10:05
TweetId: 491161617087074304 Wetlands Int. retweeted Bill Clinton billclinton billclinton Inspired by the progress here in Banda Aceh #Indonesia 10 years after the tsunami. Great day seeing old friends & new http://t.co/nGC6jFdsBG 21-07-14 10:03
TweetId: 491154979890429952 Wetlands Int. WetlandsInt WetlandsInt RT Check out our #restoration commitment #CFAsia2014 @BillClinton's visit to Banda Aceh, Indonesia. http://t.co/WciwwAkAve 21-07-14 09:37