European Parliament has a chance to end pesticide use in areas set aside for wildlife

MEPs this week have a chance to protect sensitive spaces from continued pesticide use. ClientEarth is urging MEPs to vote to stop the use of harmful pesticides in Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs).

The European Commission has released a proposal which would stop the use of pesticides in EFAs, which are areas of farmland set aside to protect habitats and species.

But in an attempt to stop this, the vote on Wednesday is asking MEPs if they oppose the Commission’s proposal. If they vote yes, then they will be condoning continued pesticide use.

If they vote no, they will be supporting an end to pesticide use in EFAs and will allow EFAs to fulfil their purpose.

EFAs were set up to tackle Europe’s declining biodiversity, and are a requirement under the Greening aspects of the Common  Agricultural Policy (CAP). To receive payments farmers need to dedicate 5 per cent of their land to helping nature. The use of pesticides in these areas undermines this purpose.

ClientEarth lawyer, Vito Buonsante said: “Given the strong negative impact that agriculture has on the loss of biodiversity, it is essential that MEPs vote no on Wednesday, and do not allow the Commission’s proposal to be halted. Allowing the use of pesticides in areas that have been put aside precisely for the protection of nature is irresponsible and harmful to Europe’s birds, bees and soils.”

By supporting the end of pesticide use in these areas, MEPs will be making a step towards supporting nature protection across Europe. You can tweet your support of a ‘no’ vote here.

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Jens Lelie