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An initiative to protect bees and get out of pesticides begins

On Monday, the European Citizens' Initiative (EBI) "Save Bees and Farmers" was launched to protect bees and ecosystems. Farmers should receive support in the transition to organic farming, and synthetic pesticides such as glyphosate should be phased out by 2035, the NGO Global 2000 reported on Monday.

If it is possible to collect one million signatures from at least seven EU countries by September 2020 at the latest, the Commission of the European Union must address the problems of the initiative and then decide whether to harmonize the requirements legally. To date, more than 90 organizations from 17 EU countries have supported the initiative, including beekeeping and agricultural associations, as well as health and environmental organizations. In Austria, except Global 2000 u.a. The Austrian Mountaineers and Small Animals Association, Bee Austria, the Austrian Simcard Acquisition Association and the Healthcare Environment (AEGU) have joined the initiative.

"Only sustainable pesticide-free agriculture can secure the food supply of current and future generations and respond to the growing challenges of the climate and biodiversity crisis," says Helmut Burtscher-Schaden, Global 2000 chemist and co-founder of the initiative. He also hopes for managerial effects in the future, for example regarding the US and Brazil: "Someone has to start, the EU is a big economic area that can make a difference," he said in an interview with APA.

The World Food Organization (FAO), the World Biodiversity Council (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have also called for urgent systemic changes to stem the world's biodiversity collapse, Global Global reported, and a quarter of wildlife in Europe, half of them are under serious threat. Ecosystems are in a critical state and human nutrition is at risk, a non-governmental organization warned.

In particular, Save Bees and Farmers calls for a reduction in pesticide use by 8030 by 2030 – starting with the most dangerous substances – from being synthetic pesticides by 2035. Furthermore, restoring biodiversity by restoring natural ecosystems and supporting farmers in transition: Promote small, diverse and sustainable agricultural structures and agro-ecological farming methods, and promote pesticide and GMO cultivation research.

Millions of farmers were forced out of the market by unfair competition and lack of political support, Global 2000 said. Four million smaller farms disappeared between 2005 and 2016 in the EU, which is also evident in Austria, where there are seven daily businesses. .

"The EBI is coming at the right time," said Christian Boigenzahn, CEO of Biene Austria. Work is already underway on the upcoming Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) by 2027. To achieve the goals of the citizens' initiative, a reformed and well-funded CAP is needed. "In Austria, the protection of pollinators by the future Austrian agri-environment program (ÖPUL) is already receiving positive signals from the Ministry of Agriculture," says Boigenzahn.

In the EU alone, 84 percent of cultivated plant species and 78 percent of wild cauliflower species are at least partly dependent on pollination. Up to € 15 billion in annual EU agricultural production is directly attributable to pollinators. "We can overcome the current crisis with a rapid and targeted change in our energy and food systems, as well as our consumption behavior," said Burtscher's optimistic damage. The EU Citizens' Initiative should now initiate this much-needed change.

(SERVICE – Bee and Farmer Saving Initiative:;; EU Agricultural Atlas 2019: Paper background with Global 2000:

Source: APA