EC will be reduced pesticides by 2030 to protect bees and biodiversity

EC will be reduced pesticides by 2030 to protect bees and biodiversity

The European Commission (EC) aims to halve the use of pesticides by 2030 with the goal of halting the decline of pollinators, in a plan that is likely to draw criticism from both those demanding the removal of the substances and farmers who say they crops yields will suffer.

With this, the EC wants to commit agricultural production in the European Union to halve the use of “high risk” chemical pesticides by 2030, according to a draft that appears to be published on May 20.

Because the EC declines to comment on unpublished drafts, which are working documents and are subject to change until adopted, it did not explain what high risk meant or how it would impose the reduction.

Indeed, according to the European Food Safety Authority, the drop in the number of bees and loss of colonies in the last 15 years; a trend endangers 76% of food production in Europe that depending on pollination.

Figure 1. Delivery of the letter to the EC requesting the reduction of pesticides. Source: www.savebeesandfarmers.eu

Figure 1. Delivery of the letter to the EC requesting the reduction of pesticides. Source: www.savebeesandfarmers.eu

According to several research, since mid-20 century an intensive agricultural practice has driven of biodiversity loss and wild bee decline (Cole, et al., 2019) in olive groves (Campos et al., 2017) vineyards (Kratschmer et al., 2019), grasslands (Ekross, et al., 2019), melons orchards (Hamblin, et al., 2018) and so on.

It seems that the effort made by some civil society organizations, such as the drafting of a joint letter that they sent to the EC to gradually reduce pesticides, has caused a positive effect.

However, some farmer groups have said that a broad ban on pesticides could cause falling crop yields, and urged the Commission to assess the impact of the measures before setting binding targets.

Do you think the measure that will be approved by the European Commission is positive? (Please, write your opinion in the comments.)

 

References

Campos, M., Alche, J.D., Porcel, M., Paredes, M., Alcalá, R., Fernández, M.L. 2017. Comunidad de abejas asociadas a las cubiertas vegetales del olivar. Revista de Fruticultura
Cole, L. J., Kleijn, D., Dicks, L. V., Stout, J. C., Potts, S. G., Albrecht, M., … Scheper, J. (2020). A critical analysis of the potential for EU Common Agricultural Policy measures to support wild pollinators on farmland. Journal of Applied Ecology. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13572
Hamblin, J., Barbetti, M. J., Stefanova, K., Blakeway, F., Clements, J., Cowling, W., … Nichols, P. (2018). Crop breeding to break nexus between bee decline/food production? Global Food Security, 19, 56–63. doi:10.1016/j.gfs.2018.09.003 
Kratschmer, Sophie; Pachinger, Bärbel; Schwantzer, Martina; Paredes, Daniel; Guzmán, Gema; Goméz, José A.; Entrenas, José A.; Guernion, Muriel; Burel, Françoise; Nicolai, Annegret; Fertil, Albin; Popescu, Daniela; Macavei, Laura; Hoble, Adela; Bunea, Claudiu; Kriechbaum, Monika; Zaller, Johann G.; Winter, Silvia. 2019. Effects of vineyard inter-row management intensity and landscape diversity on wild bee diversity, abundance and functional traits across Europe. Geophysical Research Abstracts . 2019, Vol. 21, p1-1. 1p.
kroos, J., Kleijn, D., Batáry, P., Albrecht, M., Báldi, A., Blüthgen, N., … Smith, H. G. (2020). High land-use intensity in grasslands constrains wild bee species richness in Europe. Biological Conservation, 241, 108255. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108255

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