More flower strips and fallow land needed for protection of insects and birds
Legal opinion: Authorisation procedure must take better account of indirect impacts on biodiversity
The national assessment authorities must take greater account of the indirect effects of plant protection products (PPPs) on biodiversity. These effects refer for example to when skylarks and other birds can no longer find food on fields because plant protection products inadvertently also kill off the insects and other organisms on which birds feed. Although such protection against the indirect effects of PPPs on biodiversity is required by EU and national law, its actual execution is inadequate. These are the findings of a new legal opinion commissioned by the German Environment Agency (UBA). UBA therefore recommends a much more cautious use of PPPs which are particularly harmful to biodiversity. "This means that the use of products with strong indirect impacts will only be allowed if the operator can provide evidence of a minimum parcel of land untouched by plant protection agents on which wild herbs can grow and insects and birds can feed. Flower strips, fallow land or untreated areas of spaced sowing could provide the appropriate space for this purpose. Any application of chemicals for plant protection would be prohibited on these ecological compensation areas", said UBA's President Maria Krautzberger.