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The Community Monitoring Approach
CPAM is a Participatory Action Research approach to document and create awareness of pesticide impacts on human health and the environment. It involves community members who undertake the research, and encourages organising and action. CPAM involves recording of the impacts of pesticide use on health and raising awareness of the hazards of pesticide use. CPAM aims to empower communities to address their situation themselves and get actively involved in solving their problems. This approach drives the changes required to reduce the use of pesticides, adopt more ecological and sustainable agricultural practices, and pressure governments for the implementation of better pesticide regulations and international conventions on pesticides (Quijano, 2006).
PANAP's CPAM programme has evolved for over a decade. The aims of the CPAM programme are:
- To increase awareness among farmers and agricultural workers of the adverse impacts of pesticides on their health and the environment
- To facilitate the organising of communities and workers to take action to reduce risks due to pesticide use and to adopt ecological agricultural practices
- To establish the rapid alert response system, PQRST (Pesticide Quick Response and Surveillance Team)
- To document the practices and impact of pesticide use at the local level
The interrelationship between CPAM, organising, action and advocacy is illustrated in the diagram below.