Metadata Factsheet

1. Indicator name

Predicted Environmental Concentration (PEC) for pesticides

2. Date of metadata update

2022-12-01 00:00:00 UTC

3. Goals and Targets addressed

3a. Goal

N/A

3b. Target

Target 7. Reduce pollution risks and the negative impact of pollution from all sources by 2030, to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, considering cumulative effects, including: (a) by reducing excess nutrients lost to the environment by at least half, including through more efficient nutrient cycling and use; (b) by reducing the overall risk from pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals by at least half, including through integrated pest management, based on science, taking into account food security and livelihoods; and (c) by preventing, reducing, and working towards eliminating plastic pollution.

4. Rationale

Three quarters of the world's population is exposed to pesticides (Maggi et al.,2021) and global pesticide use is increasing rapidly (Bernhardt et al. 2017), with agriculture having by far the largest share (Maggi et al. 2019). Monitoring data for certain types of pesticides show that the concentrations regularly present in the environment greatly exceed the ecotoxicological thresholds determined in the regulatory pesticide risk assessment (Stehle & Schulz, 2015; Wolfram et al. 2018). High PEC has detrimental effects on land, biodiversity and human health (see Tang et al., 2021). Tang et al โ€œurgently recommend that a global strategy is established to transition towards sustainable agriculture and sustainable living with low pesticide inputs and reduced food loss and food waste to achieve responsible production and consumption in an acceptable, profitable systemโ€(Tang et al., 2021). Literature and experiences from case studies with pesticides show that increasing efficiency and substitution (thus lowering PEC) can achieve risk reduction of 20-50%, without redesign of production systems. Novel pesticide-free production systems can greatly reduce pesticide use while reducing trade-offs with yield losses and increasing farmers incomes (Mรถhring and Finger, 2022). In addition, as seen in tables 1 and 2 of the Target 7 Science Briefing, a successful reduction in PEC allows for a reduction in negative surface water/ biodiversity impact, terrestrial biodiversity and soil biodiversity.

5. Definitions, concepts and classifications

5a. Definition:

The indicator is defined as the annual agricultural use of total pesticides in active ingredients for the following categories of pesticides: Fungicides Bactericides; Herbicides; Insecticides; Plant Growth Regulators; Seed Treatment Fungicides; Seed Treatment Insecticides; Mineral Oils; Rodenticides; Disinfectants; and other pesticides, nes (not elsewhere specified). The sum of active ingredients is divided by the area of cropland (which is the sum of arable land and land under permanent crops).

To calculate the PEC, spatial pesticide use data is required. Minimum requirement at subnational administrative units at level 1, better if administrative units at level 2 data are available, and optimal if the data are georeferenced (i.e., over a latitude-longitude grid). Climate data of rainfall, air temperature, evapotranspiration (better if with the same spatial resolution as above) and soil properties data of soil organic carbon content, bulk density, field capacity, water table (better if with the same spatial resolution as above) is also required.

5b. Method of computation

The indicator Use per area of cropland is calculated as: ๐‘ˆ (๐ถ,๐‘Œ) = ๐‘ƒ๐‘‡(๐ถ,๐‘Œ)/๐ด๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘Ž(๐ถ,๐‘Œ) Where: ๐‘ˆ (๐ถ,๐‘Œ)=Use per area of cropland in country C and year Y (in kg/ha) ๐‘ƒ๐‘‡( ๐ถ,๐‘Œ) =Pesticides (in total active ingredients) in country C and year Y (in tonnes). ๐ด๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘Ž(๐ถ,๐‘Œ) =Cropland area (corresponding to the sum of Arable land and Permanent crops) in country C and year Y (in 1 000 ha)

Pesticides (total) is the sum of active ingredients in the following categories of pesticides: Fungicides & Bactericides, Herbicides, Insecticides, Plant Growth Regulators, Seed Treatment Fungicides, Seed Treatment Insecticides, Mineral Oils, Rodenticides, and Disinfectants and Other pesticides, nes (not elsewhere specified).

5c. Data collection method

Computed. Due to the inputs required to calculate the PEC, countries can use their own collected data regarding the required inputs. As a result, the calculation of PEC can be done individually by each country.

See Tang, F. H., Lenzen, M., McBratney, A., & Maggi, F. (2021). Risk of pesticide pollution at the global scale. Nature Geoscience, 14(4), 206-210) methods section*. https://hh-ra.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/s4156...

*Model that served Tang et al to calculate PEC is based from Trevisan, M., Di Guardo, A. & Balderacchi, M. An environmental indicator to drive sustainable pest management practices. Environ. Model. Softw. 24, 994โ€“1002 (2009).

5d. Accessibility of methodology

The methodology regarding PEC calculation is found in the methods section of Tang, F. H., Lenzen, M., McBratney, A., & Maggi, F. (2021). Risk of pesticide pollution at the global scale. Nature Geoscience, 14(4), 206-210. It is published in a peer-reviewed location (nature geoscience). The explanation regarding the process of calculating the PECs was thorough to be replicated if need be. It is capable to be done at national scale.

5e. Data sources

Data used in the calculations of this agro-environmental indicator are sourced from other FAOSTAT domains. Namely, the domain Inputs โ€“ Pesticides Use (RP) is the source of information used as nominator in calculations. Cropland area values that are used as denominator in calculations are derived from the domain Inputs - Land Use (RL). Trends in the derived agro-environmental indicator are thus directly associated with the underlying data sources. Note Data for the following countries are currently not displayed because quality checks are being conducted on their data series: Costa Rica, Bahamas, Maldives, Malta, Barbados, Bermuda

5f. Availability and release calendar

Indicator is currently in development regarding its metadata. It is being operated for academic use by scholars in published articles.

5g. Time series

1990-2019

5h. Data providers

FAO

5i. Data compilers

Tang, F. H., Lenzen, M., McBratney, A., & Maggi, F compiled PEC calculation for their study. PEC calculations are open to anyone who wants to perform their own analysis. The availability of pesticide use data at subnational level is required. If pesticide use data is not available, sales data may be used upon the assumption that sales = use. In addition, the estimation of PEC requires some assumptions and it does not consider legacy pollution and the pollution caused by the residual toxicity of pesticide degradation products. Regarding estimates/missing values, refer to โ€œMethods - Assumptions and limitationsโ€ in Tang et al. (2021) for further details

5j. Gaps in data coverage

Thematic gaps: The calculated PECs were non-cumulative and not dynamic in timeโ€”that is, we did not consider the effect of accumulation of pesticides and their degradation products over time, and thus may not fully capture the pervasiveness of certain AIs. We did not account for the synergistic effects of pesticide mixtures due to limited data. There is also no account of pesticide impact on human health. Please refer to โ€œMethods - Assumptions and limitationsโ€ in Tang et al. (2021) for further details

5k. Treatment of missing values

If pesticide use data is not available, sales data may be used upon the assumption that sales = use. In addition, the estimation of PEC requires some assumptions and it does not consider legacy pollution and the pollution caused by the residual toxicity of pesticide degradation products. Once again, refer to โ€œMethods - Assumptions and limitationsโ€ in Tang et al. (2021) for complete details.

6. Scale

6a. Scale of use

Scale of application: Global, Regional, National

Scale of data disaggregation/aggregation:

Global/ regional scale indicator can be disaggregated to national level:

National data is collated to form global indicator:

6b. National/regional indicator production

National Methodology is available. Refer to Tang, F. H., Lenzen, M., McBratney, A., & Maggi, F. (2021). Risk of pesticide pollution at the global scale. Nature Geoscience, 14(4), 206-210 for calculation of PEC. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-021-00712-5

Underlying data can be accessed regarding calculation of PEC.

6c. Sources of differences between global and national figures

PEC is calculated individually for each country. Since the data is aggregated at global level, there should be no differences.

6d. Regional and global estimates & data collection for global monitoring

6d.1 Description of the methodology

Refer to methods section of Tang, F. H., Lenzen, M., McBratney, A., & Maggi, F. (2021). Risk of pesticide pollution at the global scale. Nature Geoscience, 14(4), 206-210. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-021-00712-5

6d.2 Additional methodological details

6d.3 Description of the mechanism for collecting data from countries

Level 1: Globally available data from observations and modelling

Level 2: National data which will be collected from countries

7. Other MEAs, processes and organisations

7a. Other MEA and processes

PEC calculation has been used in academic journals on its own and as part to calculate RS (risk score) and the PHRIc (pesticide health risk index) in the academic journals.

7b. Biodiversity Indicator Partnership

Yes

8. Disaggregation

In Tang et al., 2021, disaggregation of PEC can be seen along four environmental compartments; soil, surface water, groundwater and atmosphere. The individual calculations done for the PEC for each of the four compartments is explained in the methods section of Tang et al.,2021. With the data stemming from georeferenced environmental datasets (global database), PECs contain geospatial disaggregation

9. Related indicators

1. Risk Score (RS)

2. Pesticide Health Risk Index (PHRI)

Both RS and PHRI indicators are calculated based on the Pesticide Environmental Concentration (PEC) and pesticide toxicity. In both indicators, the first step is to estimate PEC.

10. Data reporter

10a. Organisation

UN SCBD

10b. Contact person(s)

Jillian Campbell UN CBD campbell7@un.org

11. References

Article 1: Tang, F. H., Lenzen, M., McBratney, A., & Maggi, F. (2021). Risk of pesticide pollution at the global scale. Nature Geoscience, 14(4), 206-210.

Article 2: Maggi, F., Tang, F. H., Black, A. J., Marks, G. B., & McBratney, A. (2021). The pesticide health risk index-An application to the world's countries. Science of the Total Environment, 801, 149731.

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