Reducing the Use of Highly Hazardous Pesticides

7th May 2019

Many pesticides can be harmful to people and the environment, but are still commonly used because of a lack of knowledge about their effects or other ways of managing pests. Voluntary sustainability standards such as Bonsucro’s Production Standard include restrictions on certain pesticides within their criteria, and our partners can often provide on-the-ground training on alternative pest control methods.

Reducing the use of highly toxic pesticides and offering relevant information about non-chemical pest control alternatives is key in a world where around two million tons of pesticides are consumed annually, with around 25 million agricultural workers a year experiencing unintentional pesticide poisonings.

The IPM App

In 2016, the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coalition was formed to tackle these issues. The Coalition aims to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of highly hazardous pesticides, and to promote more sustainable alternatives. Building on the database, the IPM Coalition has developed a mobile app to share transparent information on pesticides and less harmful alternatives with users on the ground. The Which Pesticide? app is available online and offline on Android and iOS devices, giving farmers, foresters and golf course managers the information they need at their fingertips.

Using the App

The app is currently available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Via the app farmers can access toxicity information related to all registered pesticides for a crop and pest species for Mexico and India, as well as per crop for Brazil, Colombia and Kenya. In addition, users can search for non-chemical pest control alternatives from CABI for 2700 pests and diseases and get to know the pesticide restrictions of nine standard systems.

The app also provides access to toxicity information from government authorities, international agreements and/or academic institutions, as well as the restriction status for major standard systems/labels for more than 700 pesticide active ingredients.

Find out more in this video.

Download the “Pesticides and Alternatives” app from the GooglePlay or iTunes Store.

The development of the app was possible thanks to the ISEAL Innovations Fund, the scientific support of the Oregon State University’s Integrated Plant Protection Center (OSU-IPPC), data facilitation from CABI and the collaboration of the IPM Coalition members: Better Cotton Initiative, Bonsucro, Fairtrade, Forest Stewardship Council, GEO Foundation, Global Coffee Platform, Rainforest Alliance, Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, and the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN).

This project was possible thanks to a grant from the ISEAL Innovations Fund, which is supported by:

Bonsucro & Renovabio: Exploring synergies and advancing GHG reduction in Brazil

Project partners: Earth innovation Institute and Agroicone
Project length: 12 months Budget: $22,347,79
Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals:

RenovaBio is a Brazilian biofuel policy designed to decrease Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2029 [compared to 2018], in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. It aims to do this by incentivising fuel distributors to blend more biofuels into their products. RenovaBio has established a certification scheme for biofuel, towards which Brazilian sugarcane mills are working, that will enable them to trade decarbonisation credits on the Brazilian stock exchange.

Bonsucro continuously seeks to grow awareness and adoption of its standard. In Brazil, this can be achieved by aligning its framework with RenovaBio to optimise costs and time for mills. In 2019, Bonsucro received a grant of US $22,000 from the Earth Innovation Institute to provide a common understanding of how RenovaBio works and how other regions might benefit from this approach.

Bonsucro addressed the topic at Bonsucro Global Week in Bangkok in March 2019, and through three stakeholder forums in Brazil. The Bonsucro team also commissioned a technical comparison study, which enabled the organisation to understand how best to align with RenovaBio’s requirements.

The study has been shared with key stakeholders in Brazil and the project is now complete. Bonsucro is working to incorporate the study’s findings and recommendations through its ongoing Production Standard Revision process.

By aligning opportunities of optimisation, joint work and integration with the Brazilian Government and reflecting it in the Bonsucro Standard, Bonsucro can help to ensure that more producers adopt sustainability standards like Bonsucro.