German environmentalists put pressure back on insect protection

German environmental activists are calling on the federal government to move faster with legislation protecting insects from extinction and banning the pesticide glyphosate.

“Bees and glyphosate have made it into the coalition agreement, but we still have no insect protection law and not even a ban on pesticide use in private gardens,’’ Katrin Wenz, Agricultural Expert at Environmental Group BUND, said.

“If the insect protection law doesn’t come in by next spring, the chances are dwindling, because then it’s already election season again.’’

NABU (Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union) spokesperson, Verena Riedl agreed: “Insect protection is in danger of being forgotten through declarations of intent before something is actually achieved.’’

The Ministry of the Environment had previously declared the issue a priority.

It is working “intensively” to ensure that the insect protection law can be passed through parliament before the end of the year, a spokesperson said.

Implementation of the 2018 action plan drawn up on the issue is being pushed forward “under high pressure”, but schedules have been compromised due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Agriculture said that the measures on far-reaching pesticide restrictions are to be introduced “promptly” by amending the pesticide application ordinance.

The government had previously announced an action plan, stating that it would “significantly restrict” the use of glyphosate, a weedkiller suspected to be carcinogenic and substances with similar effects from 2020 onwards and “completely stop it by 2023’’. (NAN)

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