MEPs call for a reduction in pesticides to protect bees and Biodiversity

Further reducing use of pesticides, more funds for research and better monitoring are urgently needed to save the EU’s bees, says the Environment Committee.
The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee on Tuesday approved a resolution highlighting weaknesses in the EU Pollinator Initiative that render it inadequate to address the main causes of pollinators’ decline in Europe.


The committee proposes that a reduction in the use of pesticides be set as a ‘common indicator’ to evaluate how effective national measures are in protecting bees and other pollinators.


To help further decrease pesticide residues in bee habitats, MEPs want the reduction of pesticide use to become a key part of the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).


The committee finally demands more funds to support research into the causes of bee decline to protect the diversity of pollinator species. Indicators of colony vitality should also be developed to measure if implemented actions have been successful.


EU Pollinators Initiative not sufficient


The approved text is a reaction to the Commission’s EU Pollinators Initiative and stresses its measures are inadequate to protect bees and other pollinators from land-use changes, loss of habitat, intensive farming, climate change and invasive alien species. The Initiative fails to address sufficiently the main causes of pollinators’ decline that are essential for biodiversity and reproduction in many plant species, MEPs agreed.


The resolution was adopted with 67 vote for, none against and 1 abstention.


Next steps


The resolution will be put to a vote at the January plenary session in Strasbourg.




In April 2018, the EU agreed to fully ban outdoor use of imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, known as neonicotinoids. However, several member states notified emergency derogations regarding their use on their territory.


After calls from Parliament and Council for action to protect bees and other pollinators, the Commission presented its Communication on the EU Pollinators Initiative on 1 June 2018.


Further information
Draft resolution on the EU Pollinator Initiative
Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety



Biodiversity: MEPs call for legally binding targets, as for climate change

Legally binding biodiversity targets at global and EU level
Sufficient financing needed under the next EU long-term budget
Better enforcement of EU nature protection laws

Next year’s UN biodiversity conference, the COP15, should be the biodiversity equivalent of the Paris agreement on climate change, says the Environment Committee.

The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee on Tuesday approved a resolution setting out their proposals for Parliament’s position for the UN biodiversity conference to be held in autumn next year.


Legally binding global targets


The Environment Committee believes the upcoming COP15 conference on biodiversity should be the biodiversity equivalent of the Paris agreement on climate change and they want the EU to lead the way. In this context, they call for legally binding targets at global and EU level to increase ambition and ensure that post-2020 action on global biodiversity will be effective. Specifically, they want 30 % of natural areas to be conserved by 2030 and 30 % of degraded ecosystems to be restored.


Protecting biodiversity through EU policies


MEPs urge the Commission and member states to commit to “immediate, substantial and additional” efforts in the form of legally binding targets on biodiversity conservation and restoration, to meet EU targets and stop the current trajectory of biodiversity loss.


They want biodiversity objectives to be taken into account in all EU policies and call for biodiversity to be sufficiently financed under the next EU 2021-2027 long-term budget (MFF), in order to achieve the objectives of the UN 2050 Vision of Biodiversity Conservation. They say that minimum 10 % of the EU long-term budget should support efforts to improve biodiversity.


MEPs also underline the need for more sustainable agricultural and forestry practices. The role of urban areas and cities in the preservation of biodiversity should be more thoroughly assessed and an in-depth analysis of all EU protected areas is needed, they say.


The resolution was adopted with 60 votes for, none against and 9 abstentions.


Next steps


The resolution is expected be put to a vote during the January plenary in 2020 in Strasbourg.




The UN Biodiversity Convention entered into force on 29 December 1993. The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP 15) is to be held in Kunming, China, from 19 October to 1 November 2020. The aim of COP15 will be to update the Convention’s strategic plan and adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

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