Project Details Environmental Risk Assessments for the Registration of Pesticides used in Rice Paddy Fields

Project No.: 
Start Date: 
01 April 2007
End Date: 
31 December 2011


1. To provide a state-of-the-art review of environmental risk assessmentapproaches for pesticide use in paddy rice agriculture.

2. To exchange views from different areas of the world on this topicso as to identify research needs and recommend a set of best practicesfor future assessments.


Background – In China and many countries in the South East Asian area rice is an important crop. Although the management of growing rice may be different in different parts of the world also many similarities may be accounted for, like partly inundation of the rice crop (paddy fields), application of plant protection products (PPP) and the registration process to allow the application of PPP in the rice growing countries. Registration of PPPs applied in rice may follow a decision of the government and may be based on a risk assessment process. Risk assessment may be involved for several aspects like humans, the environment, the applicators or the workers. The proposal in this project will focus on the environmental risk assessment for pesticides applied in paddy rice fields. Sometimes the environmental risk assessment process is absent and in other countries the risk assessment may be carried out in different ways. Knowledge of the risk assessment process as carried out in other countries may stimulate countries to actively be involved in the registration of pesticides.

In bringing across differences in rice management systems as well as differences in risk assessment procedures all parties may be able to learn from each other and apply newly developed methods in the specific procedures for registration of pesticides applied in paddy rice fields in their own countries.

Generally environmental risk assessments are carried out in a tiered approach in which each next level will consist of a more sophisticated level of exposure and / or effect assessment and is moving from a worst case scenario to a much more realistic scenario keeping of course a certain level of conservatism to be able to protect man and environment for too high levels of contamination of one hand but also on the other hand to take care of a sufficient level of protection of the crop against diseases that may negatively influence to yield of the rice crop. The exposure analysis may vary between rather simple calculations of possible concentrations to the application of mathematical models to realistically simulate the potential concentrations in the environment. The effect assessment may take into account simple single species toxicity studies to more complex mesocosm or field studies.

In some parts of the world initiatives have been carried out related to environmental risk assessment in paddy rice fields, e.g. the MED-Rice working group of the European Union, the EU project on CAPER and also in the USA by EPA and Waterborn Inc. Experience gained in these projects are incorporated in the current programme of the project. Also other stakeholders, like the International Rice Research Institute would be invited to attend. The project would serve as an important tool to disseminate information to a wider audience.In addition risk management will be discussed as well.

Action Plan
First, representatives of 5 or 6 regions with differing approaches to assessment and regulation will prepare short position papers on the risk assessment process used in their regions. A task group mini-workshop will be hosted during September or October of 2007 with selected representatives presenting summaries of the approaches to risk assessment for their regions followed by a discussion forum to identify areas of commonality and differences, research needs, etc…A draft summary report will be prepared by early-to-mid 2008 including a proposed set of best practices for risk assessment and outline of future research needs.