Pesticide Action Network Europe, together with the member of the European Parliament, Radan Kanev, the organizations IBMA and IOBC-WPRS,  and Member of the Bulgarian Parliament Albena Simeonova Varbanova, invites you to an online symposium entitled ” Agroecological transition in Bulgaria: Integrated pest management with biocontrol as a foundation for reducing pesticide use in arable crops”.

PAN Europe is a non-governmental organization that works to minimize the negative effects and replace the use of hazardous chemicals with environmentally friendly alternatives. Its network brings together public health and environmental organizations and women’s groups from 19 European countries. It works to eliminate reliance on chemical pesticides and to maintain safe, sustainable methods of pest control.

OBC/WPRS is an international organization of progressive European researchers and other informed people, investigating the use of sustainable, environmentally safe, economically feasible, socially acceptable methods of pest and disease control in agricultural crops.

IBMA is an association of the biocontrol industries producing solutions: microorganisms, macro-organisms, semi-chemicals and natural plant protection products.


Date: March 6, 2023

Duration: 09:00 to 12:00 CET (10:00 – 13:00 EET)

Place: Online – Zoom platform

Language: direct translation into Bulgarian and English

With the participation of scientists and experts from Europe.


The talk will be about:

  • Scientific evidence supporting the transition to agroecology.
  • Correlation between biodiversity and yields.
  • Increasing the application of Integrated Pest Management together with biocontrol, to significantly reduce the need for pesticide application.
  • Tools that farmers can use in the transitional period.
  • Experiences of farmers who successfully reduced the use of pesticides.

To ensure food safety, the necessity of establishing a sustainable food production system is of utmost importance. Conservation of natural resources – soil fertility and biodiversity restoration – are the absolute key to sustaining food production for future generations.


The meeting will be chaired by David Cary

9.00 Start of the meeting

  • Welcome by IBMA / PAN Europe
  • Welcome by MEP Radan Kanev

9.10 Keynote speeches

  • “Is a 2050 chemical pesticide-free world possible?” – Christian Huyghe, Scientific Director of Agriculture, INRAE
  • Alignment of the Bulgarian NAP with the F2F pesticide reduction targets – Borislav Sandov, former Deputy Prime Minister for Climate Policies and former Minister of Environment

09:40 State of the environment and agricultural production

  • Insects decline in correlation with yield stability – Prof. Daniela Atanasova Entomologist at Agriculture University of Plovdiv
  • Agro-ecological transition in Bulgaria in practice – Prof. Nidal Shaban, University of Forestry

10:10  Ecological transition facilitated by biocontrol

  • Biological control solutions and their benefits – their essential role for a complete agroecological transition working with nature – IBMA Executive Director, Jennifer Lewis, IBMA
  • Experiences with agro-ecological solutions in conventional arable farming – Biobest Group Director Research & Development,  Felix Wäckers
  • Results in pesticides reduction by using biocontrol – Amitiza, Svilen Smilenov, Bulgaria

10:55 Alternatives to chemical pesticides and tools to facilitate the transition in arable crops

  • Policy tools helping farmers in transition to agroecology in maize production – Academic Researcher from University of Padua, Lorenzo Furlan
  • Alternatives to synthetic pesticides in arable farming – Member of the Bulgarian Parliament, Albena Simeonova
  • Alternatives to neonicotinoids in arable – Bulgarian Conventional Farmer, Yosif Delgyanski

11:45 Debate with participants

  • Minister, MEPs, NGOs

11:55 Closing word – Martin Dermine, PAN Europe


Please, register on the Eventbrite page ( On Monday morning you will receive the link to join the symposium.

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Agroecological Transition in Bulgaria: Integrated Pest Management with Biocontrol