Joint press release by the Federal Environment Agency and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation

Plant protection from the sky

BfN and UBA inform about the risks of spraying pesticides over protected areas

A new paper by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) provides information on the risks of spraying plant protection agents over nature conservation and other protected areas. In the past there had been a ban on spraying insecticides from helicopters to combat forest pests because of the great environmental risks associated with the practice. Exceptions were made only upon submission of a request to the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) for emergency authorisation. New regulation went into effect on 25 February 2015: amended directions for use for two plant protection agents determine that the federal states alone can authorise this type of pesticide use.

"This confers a great amount of responsibility upon the authorities in the federal states because spraying plant protection agents from the sky above protected areas can jeopardise the populations of endangered animal species", said Maria Krautzberger, President of the Federal Environment Agency. Insecticides are also hazardous for many species which are not the target of these chemicals: they are directly toxic to butterflies, for instance. Certain species of birds and bats are affected because the missing insects are an essential part of their diet. "Application in protected areas may therefore only be authorised following a nature conservation appraisal. Authorisation must remain the rare exception", added Prof. Beate Jessel, President of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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 chemical plant protection  pesticides