- News and Current Affairs
- Features and Reports
- Useful information
- Our Shows
- ON DEMAND
A petition to save the bees has managed to gather enough signatures to be submitted for examination to the EC
A petition to save the bees has managed to gather enough signatures to be submitted for examination to the EC. The initiative called Save the Bees and the Farmers gathered more than a million signatures, according to the website. 'The fact that we managed this in spite of the massive restrictions caused by the COVID-19 crisis shows how many people call for a change in agricultural policy'. That was a statement from Veronika Feicht, representing the Environmental Institute in Munich, one of the organizers of the campaign. The petition calls on the EU to gradually phase out synthetic pesticides, restore biodiversity, and stop emphasizing industrial agriculture.
Over 31,000 signatures originated in Romania, over 30% more than was needed to reach the country minimum threshold. The petition was initiated by 90 organizations from 17 EU countries, and calls for synthetic pesticides in farming to be reduced by 80% by 2030, and completely removed by 2035. Among the initiators is the Beekeeper Association Federation in Romania, Romapis. We asked the vice-president of the organization, Constantin Dobrescu, why this was needed:
“This was a sorely needed initiative, because bees, and pollinators in general, are in decline – a decline that was proven by science, and which has very long term effects, in all sorts of areas. There are now studies in Germany, in protected areas without intensive farming, which is based on intensive use of pesticides and on monocultures. In one such region, over 30 years, a decline in pollinators of about 70% was recorded. This means insects. Insects are the root of the food chain. Right now, insects disappearing is like sea plankton disappearing. All life is in jeopardy, not just human life. This is no joke! You realize what happens in industrial agriculture areas, where they use loads of pesticides. Bees suffer, bee keepers suffer, but think of solitary bees, of bumblebees... No one defends them. So they go extinct, whole species, which are major losses with extraordinary consequences.”
Bees, as well as other pollinators, are indispensable for ecosystems and biodiversity. Up to a third of human food and two thirds of daily consumption fruits and vegetables are growing due to pollinators. However, their existence is menaced by the constant contamination with pesticides, along with loss of habitat because of industrial farming, says the Beekeeper Association Federation in Romania. The petition also points out strongly that natural ecosystems in agricultural areas have to be urgently restored, so that agriculture can become a key factor in restoring biodiversity. In order to achieve that, farmers need support in their transition to ecological farming. Small, diverse, and durable farms have to be favored, with expanding ecological farming. What should be promoted are training and research in pesticide free farming, without GMOs, the petition also states. Here is Constantin Dobrescu:
“Agriculture is tributary, it pays tribute to the agricultural chemical industry. There are some habits that formed in present farming practices which involves massive use of these pesticides, which are much more toxic than the first generations. So, from one generation to the next, they become much more dangerous for insects, but also for the human population. Whether you want it or not, they make their way into food. This idea, that we cannot do farming without these poisons, it is false. There are scientific studies proving the Europe could be self-sustaining in terms of food. Of course, that would be true if we change some mentalities: for instance, we should not eat meat more than twice a week. So, ecological farming is possible. Farmers who have already embraced this kind of production know the subject, they know it is possible, they know that this idea that people would starve without pesticides, is erroneous, it is false, we could even call it a lie...”
This European citizen initiative was introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon. It allows a million citizens from at least a quarter of EU member states to invite the EC to submit legislative initiatives in areas in which it has jurisdiction. However, upon request from states which needed time to put in place mechanisms to verify the declarations of support, citizens were able to launch such initiatives starting only on April 1, 2021.
Copyright © . All rights reserved