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EU: No pesticides on Ecological Focus Areas
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PAN Europe (Pesticide Action Network) welcomes yesterday’s successful vote on the Commission Delegated Regulation proposing to ban pesticides in Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) that took place in the European Parliament’s plenary session.
A little victory for biodiversity and sustainability
“The EP voted for not spraying pesticides in EFAs, which is a very important decision for saving and improving biodiversity and a step in the direction for sustainable agriculture. It is now well documented that there is a strong relationship between the amount of pesticides used and the reduction in biodiversity. The fact that EFAs will be kept free of pesticide sprays will help to maintain and restore biodiversity.” says Prof.Dr. Joop C. van Lenteren, Entomologist, member of the Dutch Academy of Science and former President of the International Organization for Biological Control.
IFOAM EU: CAP 2020 must aim higher
Also IFOAM EU welcomes the vote of the European Parliament. But warns that MEPs and the CAP post-2020 must aim higher at protecting the environment from harmful agriculture practices. "The MEPs’ decision sends a political signal that agrochemicals are not compatible with agroecological farming practices and should not be allowed on EFAs. Still a lot needs to be done to implement the principle of public money for public goods under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)", says Stephen Meredith, IFOAM EU Deputy Policy Manager.
IFOAM EU calls on MEPs to lead the way and go even further with commitments to work towards more fundamental change of the CAP post-2020. "The current “greening” measures have so far had little positive impact on the ground. A modernised and simplified CAP with sustainability at its heart is best placed to recognize the value agriculture can deliver to rural and urban communities, such as jobs, biodiversity, soil and water quality", says Meredith.
More must be done
Henriette Christensen, PAN Europe Senior Policy Advisor comments:“The EP refusal to undermine EFAs by allowing pesticides use is a small but welcome victory for common sense, biodiversity and the wider environment. But, in truth, much more must be done on the road to sustainable agriculture. PAN Europe now looks forward to pressurising the European Commission, Council and the Member States to fully implement the Sustainable Use Directive on pesticides so both human health and the environment can get rid of improper and excessive use of pesticides. This can be achieved through rigorous efforts across the entire agricultural and forest sectors to achieve IPM as standard practice, as now foreseen in the EU legislation.”
Further details of IFOAM EU’s position on the next CAP reform are set out in a Vision Paper A CAP for healthy farms, healthy people and healthy planet.