MEPs call for a reduction in pesticides to protect bees and biodiversity

Farming Life news
Farming Life news

The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee of the European Parliament has approved a resolution highlighting weaknesses in the EU Pollinator Initiative that render it inadequate to address the main causes of pollinators’ decline in Europe.

The committee proposes that a reduction in the use of pesticides be set as a ‘common indicator’ to evaluate how effective national measures are in protecting bees and other pollinators.

To help further decrease pesticide residues in bee habitats, MEPs want the reduction of pesticide use to become a key part of the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The committee finally demands more funds to support research into the causes of bee decline to protect the diversity of pollinator species. Indicators of colony vitality should also be developed to measure if implemented actions have been successful.

EU pollinators Initiative not sufficient

The approved text is a reaction to the Commission’s EU Pollinators Initiative and stresses its measures are inadequate to protect bees and other pollinators from land-use changes, loss of habitat, intensive farming, climate change and invasive alien species.

The Initiative fails to address sufficiently the main causes of pollinators’ decline that are essential for biodiversity and reproduction in many plant species, MEPs agreed.

The resolution was adopted with 67 vote for, none against and one abstention.

Next steps

The resolution will be put to a vote at the January plenary session in Strasbourg.

Background

In April 2018, the EU agreed to fully ban outdoor use of imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, known as neonicotinoids. However, several member states notified emergency derogations regarding their use on their territory.

After calls from Parliament and Council for action to protect bees and other pollinators, the Commission presented its Communication on the EU Pollinators Initiative on 1 June 2018.