More money, less poison Schulze makes insect repellent proposals

More money, less poison Schulze makes insect repellent proposals

More money, less poison Schulze makes insect repellent proposals

For the protection of bees and other insects, Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) wants to spend more money in the future and tighten the rules for fertilization and the use of pesticides. The cabinet has already approved the cornerstones of the insect protection action program planned by the grand coalition. The debate on details began in Berlin on Wednesday. Among other things, Schulze suggests promoting insect protection, research and monitoring with an additional 100 million euros per year.

Everyone can comment and make suggestions online until November 7th. The program must be coordinated with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, which is responsible, for example, for phasing out the weed toxin glyphosate and the rules for fertilizing in the fields. In the early summer of 2019, the cabinet should then decide on the program.

Among other things, Schulze proposes to ban the fertilization of strips of land that border important insect habitats and to restrict fertilization in other areas. The Ministry wants to ban pesticides in areas that are particularly in need of ecological protection. It is worded more precisely than in the jointly agreed key points. Glyphosate should only be used “where and to the extent that there is absolutely no other way”.

Around 70 percent of the living animal species are insects. They are important for the pollination of plants, as food for other animals and overall for the ecological balance. “The currently available data indicated a“ serious loss ”,“ both in terms of species numbers and population sizes, ”it said on Wednesday in a statement from experts advising the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture. The main cause is the loss of habitats and food sources, for example through intensive agriculture and building.

Environmental protection associations welcomed the proposals. The nature conservation association Nabu called for immediate programs. , Umwelthilfe, der and the Naturschutzring called on the other ministries to support Schulze – in particular Federal Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU). According to a spokeswoman, the Ministry of Agriculture sees “no contradiction” on the subject of insect protection. One is in discussion with the Ministry of the Environment.

The Farmers’ Association (DBV) was also committed to insect protection, but was critical: The proposals must “also take into account the economic challenges of agriculture,” said DBV environmental officer Eberhard Hartelt. In addition, the proposals focused too much on agriculture and remained more general in other areas.

For the Greens, on the other hand, the proposals do not go far enough. They are “too weak and will not stop the insect death,” said Steffi Lemke, the nature conservation spokeswoman for the Greens in the Bundestag. Green agricultural expert Harald Ebner said: “In order to really do something for the insects, we have to drastically reduce the amount of poison in the fields across the board, not just in some protected areas.”