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Protect wildlife from pesticide impacts

New Directive on pesticides

A new European Directive called the Sustainable Use Directive has been established in Europe. The Directive is currently being implemented in the UK and should promote best practice for the storage, use and disposal of pesticides.

Weak government response

The UK government consulted on its implementation of the Directive just over a year ago and the government’s response to this consultation was published in early 2011. This response was very weak suggesting no, or very small changes to existing pesticide mitigation measures in the UK despite the number of opportunities provided by the Directive to further reduce pesticide impacts. The government is required to implement the Directive by 25th November 2011.

We believe that the government is failing to deliver adequately to protect wildlife from pesticides impacts and that they need to strengthen implementation of the Directive. The NGOs conducting this campaign are: Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, CHEM Trust, PAN UK and RSPB.

The downloadable Sustainable Use Directive document details what Environmental organisations believe needs to be implemented.

Phased reduction of most toxic substance (relates to Article 4)
• Process to allow the identification or flagging of most harmful pesticides to biodiversity
• Phase out/suspension plans for pesticides
• A focus on developing alternatives to those pesticides that will be phased out by the new EU Regulation and those deemed toxic to bees and other pollinators

Awareness raising (relates to Article 7)
• Leaflets which are offered prior to product sale
• Posters near the products and
• Labelling on the product

Water protection (relates to Article 11)
• Targeted voluntary safeguard zones in pesticide vulnerable areas for Water Framework Directive, EU Habitats directive catchments and other biodiverse areas, backed by the possibility of regulation should a voluntary approach prove unsuccessful
• Voluntary safeguard zones should be well supported by advice, training and assessments
• A ban on blanket spraying on hard surfaces

Integrated pest management (IPM) - an environmentally sensitive approach to their use (relates to Article 14)
• Develop a clear definition of IPM that puts the onus on non-chemical methods and builds on the principles set out in Annex III to deliver real reductions in pesticide use in practice
• Development of crop and sector specific IPM protocols
• Development of extension and outreach services to assist farmers in implementing IPM
• The addition of a new IPM implementation group as a sub-group of the Pesticides Forum
• Mandatory training in IPM for all sectors
• Funding for research into IPM
 

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