European Parliament adopts pesticide ban for ‘ecological areas’

The European Parliament on Wednesday endorsed a ban on the use of pesticides on agricultural lands set aside for nature conservation.

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Under the new approved legislation, farmers who receive subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for improving biodiversity on arable lands put aside for nature conservation will no longer be allowed to use pesticides.

Henriette Christensen, senior policy adviser with the Pesticides Action Network Europe, told Bloomberg BNA that the pesticides limitation was “a small but welcome victory for common sense, biodiversity and the wider environment.”

According to Euractiv, farmers with arable land larger than 15 hectares will have to ensure that at least 5% of their land is set aside for nature preservation taking into account measures particularly affecting biodiversity like field margins, fallow land, buffer strips and hedges and trees.

“This no-brainer ban was given the green light by the European Parliament today despite an attempt from MEPs on the agriculture committee to reject it at all costs,” the Brussels-bassed EEB, a network of environmental groups, said in a statement.

The new ban on use of pesticides in certain ecological focus areas will apply beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

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