MEPs vote for a reduction in use of pesticides and legally binding conservation targets
A European Parliament committee approved a resolution on Tuesday that highlights the “urgency” of reducing the use of pesticides in areas where bees live and provides more funds to investigate the causes of the decline in pollinator populations.
The text, adopted by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, with 67 votes in favour, one abstention and none against, underlines the “weaknesses” of the EU Pollinator Initiative, that make it “inadequate” to tackle the main causes of the problem in Europe.
MEPs have proposed that the reduction in pesticide use be established as a “common indicator” to assess the effectiveness of national measures to protect bees and other pollinators. They have also proposed that the lower use of pesticides be a “key part” of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Furthermore, the committee requested that funds be increased to analyse what lies behind the decline of the bee population. In the opinion of MEPs, indicators on the vitality of populations should be developed to assess whether the measures applied are successful. In another resolution, adopted with 60 votes in favour, nine abstentions and none against, the Committee on the Environment called for binding goals to be established both globally and at a European level for the protection of biodiversity at the COP15 United Nations summit to be held in autumn 2020 in Kunming, China.
Specifically, MEPs have called for the conservation of 30 percent of all natural areas to be conserved and for 30 percent of degraded ecosystems to be restored by 2030. COP 15 for biodiversity, they said, must be “equivalent” to Climate COP21 in which the Paris Agreement was sealed.
In this regard, they have called on both the European Commission and the EU governments to commit themselves to “immediate, substantial and additional” efforts in the form of legally binding objectives on biodiversity conservation and restoration, with the aim of stopping the “current trajectory” of its loss.
The two resolutions adopted on Tuesday will be put to a vote in the whole hemicycle in the plenary session that will take place in January.