Reducing pesticides in order to save bees

Member States should reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture in order to protect bees, the EP Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee said on Tuesday in a resolution. The committee also highlighted weaknesses in the EU Pollinator Initiative considering it inadequate to address the main causes of pollinators' decline in Europe.

The committee proposes that a reduction in the use of pesticides be set as a “common indicator” to evaluate how effective national measures are in protecting bees and other pollinators. To help further decrease pesticide residues in bee habitats, MEPs want the reduction of pesticide use to become a key part of the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The committee finally demands more funds to support research into the causes of bee decline to protect the diversity of pollinator species. Indicators of colony vitality should also be developed to measure if implemented actions have been successful.

The approved text is a reaction to the Commission's EU Pollinators Initiative and stresses its measures are inadequate to protect bees and other pollinators from land-use changes, loss of habitat, intensive farming, climate change and invasive alien species. The Initiative fails to address sufficiently the main causes of pollinators' decline that are essential for biodiversity and reproduction in many plant species, MEPs agreed. The resolution will be put to a vote at the January plenary session in Strasbourg.

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