France Pledges to Protect 30% of Its Territory by 2022

 

France’s ecological transition ministry unveiled on Tuesday its new national protected areas strategy, which aims to protect 30% of its areas by 2022.

Fulfilling such a goal should not be too difficult, since 29.5% of France’s land area is already protected, while 23.5% of its marine areas are safeguarded. The real challenge for the government, however, will be to reach the 10% target for areas to receive “strong protection”.

France’s strategy was already mentioned on Monday, during the One Planet Summit held at the Elysée Palace and attended by several heads of state, as well as business and finance actors. “France’s actions in favour of biodiversity are part of its international and European commitments”, said a government press release.

2021 promises to be a key year for biodiversity, with the World Conservation Congress set to take place in Marseille in September, and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity – more commonly known as the COP15 on biodiversity – scheduled for October in Kunming, China.

Lucie Duboua-Lorsch

EURACTIV.fr

 

New Zealand Declares a Climate Change Emergency

Jacinda Ardern calls climate change ‘one of the greatest challenges of our time’ and pledges carbon-neutral government by 2025

Jacinda Ardern declares ‘climate emergency’ in New Zealand – video

 

New Zealand has declared a climate change emergency and committed to a carbon-neutral government by 2025, in what the prime minister Jacinda Ardern called “one of the greatest challenges of our time”.

A motion tabled in parliament on Wednesday recognised “the devastating impact that volatile and extreme weather will have on New Zealand and the wellbeing of New Zealanders, on our primary industries, water availability, and public health through flooding, sea level rise, and wildfire”.

Thirty-two other nations have formally acknowledged the global crisis by declaring a climate emergency.

The motion acknowledged the “alarming trend in species decline and global biodiversity” including the decline in New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity.
The declaration of a climate emergency was supported by the Green Party and Māori Party and opposed by the National and Act parties.

Speaking in parliament after its introduction, Ardern said the country must “act with urgency”.

“This declaration is an acknowledgement of the next generation. An acknowledgement of the burden that they will carry if we do not get this right and do not take action now,” she said.

“It is up to us to make sure we demonstrate a plan for action, and a reason for hope.”

Ardern said the government sector will be required to buy only electric or hybrid vehicles, the fleet will be reduced over time by 20% and all 200 coal-fired boilers used in the public service’s buildings will be phased out.

The motion also calls for recognition of the “significant progress on meeting the challenge” by the country through signing the Paris Agreement and passing the Zero Carbon Act 2019, which commits New Zealand to reducing emissions.

That legislation – which sets up a Climate Change Commission tasked with putting the country on a path to net zero emissions by 2050 – made New Zealand one of few countries to have a zero-emissions goal enshrined in law.

But experts says the country is well behind on changes needed. The lack of action was “embarrassing” and had become “untenable”, University of Canterbury political science professor Bronwyn Hayward said last week. “The irony is, even under [President] Trump, the US is going to have made better per-capita reductions than we have.”

Writing in The Conversation, Robert McLachlan, a professor of applied mathematics at Massey University, said New Zealand was yet to make emissions reductions. Of 43 industrialised countries, New Zealand is among 12 that have seen net emissions increase between 1990 and 2018.

This is despite strong statements from the prime minister, such as this when the Zero Carbon Act was passed in November last year: “[New Zealand is] on the right side of history. I absolutely believe and continue to stand by the statement that climate change is the biggest challenge of our time.”

Wednesday’s declaration also said the government will “demonstrate what is possible to other sectors of the economy by reducing the government’s own emissions and becoming a carbon-neutral government by 2025”.

But opposition parties have described the move as a publicity stunt, with the National Party leader, Judith Collins, calling it “virtue signalling”.

“We think it’s all very well to declare an emergency but there’s no proper plan in place as to how to deal with it,” Collins told Radio New Zealand.

As an example, she pointed to the government’s fleet of more than 15,000 vehicles, of which only about 10% are electric.

New Zealand contributes just 0.17% of global emissions but that is high for its size, placing it 17th out of 32 OECD countries. Its net emissions have risen by 60% in the past two decades.

The nation’s biggest source of CO2 emissions is road transport but most greenhouse gases stem from agriculture.

New Zealand’s pledges have been seen internationally as less than required and the second-term Labour government is yet to introduce carbon-cutting policies that would put the country on track to meet its emission targets.

Phil Taylor in Auckland

RedMarLitter Project Progress Meeting

 

Another partnership meeting was organized on November 30, 2020.  The event was originally planned to take place in Romania, but due to the situation with COVID-19, it was decided to be held online through the Webex platform.

During the event, the 14 participants discussed the progress of the project, the activities implemented in the second year of the project, as well as the possibilities for promoting the project. The ways in which these activities are emerging from the pandemic were also discussed.

The possibilities for ensuring the sustainability of the project were also discussed, as well as the organization of the Final Conference, which should be addressed to the main stakeholders, but should not be limited to the participation of representatives of the academic community.

The meeting was opened by Raluca Trandafir – Doctor of Science, Associate Professor, VICE-RECTOR in charge of developing and implementing the financial strategy and of projects from European funds in the University of Constanta, National Coordinator.

“Some aspects regarding the biodiversity of the Romanian Black Sea coast” were presented by Samargiu Manuela, UOC, PhD Professor.

Michaela Candea from the NGO Mare Nostrum and Anka Gheorghe from the same NGO also presented reports.

The working session of the meeting included a Review of the actions, deadlines and results of the Red Mar Litter project, in which took part:

  • Via Pontica Foundation (VPF)
  • Burgas Municipality
  • “Ovidius” University of Constanta (OUC)
  • Iv. Javakashvili Tbilisi State University (TSU)

The partners then discussed an in-depth update of the project management plan, administrative and financial issues, a plan and programming of the work to be done and other future actions.

Is Bulgaria Ready to Introduce a Plastics Tax?

 

The tax is planned to be 0.80 Euro per kilogram

 

From the beginning of next year, a new common tax will be introduced for Member States on non-recycled plastic packaging waste, which Member States will pay into the EU budget. The tax is planned to be 0.80 Euro per kilogram. The new source of revenue for the EU budget was approved at the Council of Europe meeting in July 2020, in accordance with the agreement reached on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and the EU’s Next Generation Recovery Instrument.

At the moment, the so-called plastic tax is actually a contribution based on non-recycled plastic packaging, Tsvetanka Todorova, chairwoman of the Bulgarian Polymers Association, told 3e-news. The own contribution will be covered by the national budget, at least in the beginning, and we hope that no additional fees will be imposed on packaging producers in Bulgaria, she added.

At this stage, it is not clear on the basis of what data this own resource will be calculated, Todorova warned. According to her, the question of how reliable these data are remains open, given that in Bulgaria there are no real statistics on the amount of non-recycled plastic packaging.

The reasons for the adoption are that, in line with the European Plastics Strategy, the Union budget can contribute to reducing pollution from plastic packaging waste. Own resources based on a national contribution proportional to the amount of plastic packaging waste that is not recycled in each Member State will provide an incentive to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics, promote recycling and stimulate the circular economy.

At the same time, Member States will be free to take the most appropriate measures to achieve these objectives in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity.

In order to avoid excessive regressive effects on national contributions, a correction mechanism with an annual reduction in the total amount of Member States with gross national income / GNI per capita in 2017 below the EU average should be applied to the contributions. The reduction should correspond to 3.8 kg of non-recycled plastic packaging multiplied by the population in 2017 of the Member States concerned.

The aim is for all Member States to reach the maximum level of recycling of packaging waste. Currently, each country’s individual contribution to the EU budget goes to the common basket. This is not a solution for innovation and stimulating recycling, Todorova stressed.

dir.bg

Image: fdiforum.net

 

Green Infrastructure Offers Many Ecosystem-service Benefits in Densely Populated Areas, Finds Amsterdam Study

 

 

 

A new study models ecosystem services at a local level to support urban planning in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The researchers assess how ecosystem services might change in the city as green infrastructure (GI) — natural and semi-natural features such as parks and green roofs — is developed. By identifying the key factors that generate value for residents, the approach could help planners optimise green infrastructure and communicate its importance to decision-makers, investors and residents.

GI  across  soil,  vegetation  and  water  (with  the  latter  sometimes  called  ‘blue  infrastructure’)  provides  people with valuable ecosystem services. Such structures can mitigate pollution and extreme weather — trees, for example, absorb carbon dioxide, provide shade and soak up heavy rain — as well as providing recreation opportunities and causing property values to increase. However, tools are needed to assess how best to incorporate GI into urban development, say the researchers behind an Amsterdam-based study. As the city’s 850 000-strong population will increase by a projected 70 000 by 2025, the necessary development  of  ‘grey’  infrastructure  (built-up  and  paved  areas)  will  compete  for  resources,  making  it  increasingly important to justify the value and importance of GI, the researchers note.

To  support  planning  and  communication  about  GI,  the  study  applies  an  approach  called  the  Natural  Capital  Model  to  quantify  and  map  the  socioeconomic  benefits  of  ecosystem  services.  Amsterdam  is  implementing its Green Quality Impulse (KwaliteitsImpuls Groen) spatial plan to expand and improve the city’s GI by the year 2025, in-line with goals to transition into a sustainable, climate-proof and socially attractive urban environment. The researchers apply the Natural Capital Model across three scenarios relevant under this plan, each capturing different potential levels of GI change, and compare the benefits to a reference scenario (which foresees no increase in green infrastructure).

The three scenarios are ‘green neighbourhoods’ (which forecasts substantial increases in vegetation by converting parking spaces and creating green roofs); ’green network’ (which envisions strengthened ecological habitats and recreational trails for cycling and hiking, etc., chiefly by planting more trees); and ‘urban parks’ (which plans existing parks enhanced with further vegetation and the creation of new parks).

To develop these scenarios, the researchers consulted the local authority about planned changes and worked with an urban design firm to envision where GI would be located, considering the projected changes in residential infrastructure. Six types of benefits were then assessed for each scenario: air quality, physical activity, property value, urban cooling, urban health and water storage.

According to the model, the highest overall increase in ecosystem service benefits was found in the green neighbourhoods scenario, despite it having the lowest net expansion in vegetation cover (249 hectares  (ha))  and  woody  vegetation.  This  was  due  to  green  neighbourhoods’  initiatives  typically  located in densely populated, built-up areas, where more people can experience health and physical activity benefits. These benefits were valued at €22 million/year (€6 million from reduced mortality; €3 million from reduced health costs; and €13 million from reduced labour costs — due to factors such as reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, and fewer citizen visits to a general practitioner).

The green  network  scenario  revealed  the  highest  improvement  in  air  quality  (reducing  levels  of  particulate matter (PM10) by 8 100 kilograms per year — by increasing pollution-retaining tree cover by 454 ha) and water storage (due to the capacity of vegetation to soak up rain, which reduced water treatment costs). This resulted in health and economic benefits worth €0.4 million and €1.1 million per year, respectively.

The urban  parks  scenario  brought  the  greatest  cooling  benefits  due  to  increased  tree  cover  (258  ha), which reduced the urban heat island effect by 0.04°C. Overall, however, it produced relatively low increases in benefits.

Additional  workshops  revealed  that  urban  planners  were  less  interested  in  the  economic  value  generated by GI than in socioeconomic wellbeing. However, as lack of awareness of such benefits can result in the conversion of urban nature into built infrastructure, the researchers note the necessity of an economic case for investing into GI.

The  researchers  were  unable  to  estimate  the  costs  of  the  GI  modelled,  but  acknowledge  that  it  can  be  most  expensive  to  introduce  GI  in  densely  populated  areas  where  there  are  small  or  no  gardens, for example, which poses a trade-off in the scenario conferring the greatest benefits (green neighbourhoods). They also acknowledge that the model relies on simplification, for example by using just  one  indicator  for  air  quality  improvement  (reduction  in  particulate  matter)  and  not  considering  complexities such as the effect of street trees trapping pollution. Nevertheless, it provides a useful tool to assess the benefits of Amsterdam’s Green Quality Impulse, they argue, providing detailed insights on how different strategies may influence ecosystem service delivery and allow planners to optimise and communicate ecosystem-service delivery through GI.


ec.europa.eu

 

 

Via Pontica Foundation Presented Ecopark for Biodiversity and Alternative Tourism “Vaya” at a Forum Organized by the Green Balkans Federation

As part of the BioLearn project, the Green Balkans Federation organized a seminar on: “Interpretation of specific knowledge for the local communities in protected areas: BioLearn Project area experience”. Due to the prevailing epidemiological situation, the meeting was held on 19 and 20 November 2020 by teleconference, and was attended by prominent scientists, professors and experts in various fields related to management and conservation of the environment and waste, NGOs, etc.

The project BioLearn: “Eco-Conscious Minds to Stop Pollution in the Valuable Wetlands of Black Sea Basin” aims to reduce wetland pollution through educational, informational and training activities. The focus is on key wetlands off the coast of Turkey, Greece, Georgia, Ukraine and last but not least Bulgaria. Located on migration routes or wintering grounds for rare and protected waterfowl, these water bodies are key to bird conservation. At the same time, these places are often threatened by pollution of various types as a result of human activity. In this regard, governmental and non-governmental organizations from the listed countries are joining forces to address this large-scale problem, which requires a sustained and coordinated efforts.

The main purpose of the seminar was to exchange information, experience and knowledge about the current state of wetlands, as well as ways to promote the value and importance of biodiversity and understanding the problems of environmental protection through information and education.

The forum was in English, but people with other languages on the web were also welcome.

During the first day, reports were presented by well-known scientists and ecologists on the state, problems and future of a number of Ramsar sites and protected areas of Natura 2000, such as the  Pomorie Lake, Poda, Atanasovsko Lake and Ecopark for Biodiversity and Alternative Tourism “Vaya”-Bulgaria, Evros Delta-Greece, Danube Delta-Ukraine.

The founder and head of Via Pontica Foundation Ina Agafonova in her report presented the improvement of the capacity for environmental protection, sustainable use and management of common natural resources through investment activities in Lake Vaya and the creation of a tourist site for sustainable tourism development in the region, namely the Ecopark for Biodiversity and Alternative Tourism “Vaya”.

Via Pontica Foundation, as the NGO coordinator of the Ramsar Convention’s Program for Communication, Capacity Building, Training, Publicity and Awareness Raising (CEPA), organizes a number of events during the year. In the working with stakeholders, the team of the Ecopark is guided by the current program (2016-2024). It has been developed in conjunction with the fourth Strategic Plan of the Convention. Promoting ecosystem functions and services and supporting Contracting Parties with high quality guidance to manage wetlands wisely are central to the Ramsar Convention. The Convention considers communication, capacity building, education, participation and awareness as important tools to support the delivery of the Strategic Plan.

The reports aroused lively interest and a number of participants made statements with comments, asked questions and heard the views of representatives of the private sector and other stakeholders.

The second day was dedicated to presentations by all project partners on training young people and organizing public awareness campaigns.
The seminar ended with a discussion of the work on the preparation of the Handbook for best educational and training practices.

Ecopark VAYA Presentation 2020, as a Tool of the RAMSAR CEPA PROGRAM

 

Via Pontica Foundation Presented the Project “Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas” at a Forum of the National Fisheries Network

 

City of Burgas hosted a working meeting of the National Fisheries Network with representatives of science on “Blue Economy and Blue Innovations”. The forum was held on 19.11.2020 from 10:00 am in the Exhibition Center “Flora”.

The objectives of the workshop were:

– To present the activities of the Bulgarian scientific community, local fisheries initiative groups, non-governmental organizations, municipalities and other stakeholders in the field of blue Economy and Blue Innovations;
– To exchange knowledge, experience and good practices about projects and initiatives in the field of Blue Economy and Blue Innovations implemented at national and European level;
-To discuss the possibilities for future joint initiatives and strengthening the cooperation between stakeholders – representatives of science, public, business and non-profit sectors.

 

nacionalna-ribarska-mreja

 

The event is implemented with the support of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Maritime and Fisheries Programme 2014-2020.

The working meeting was opened by Stoyan Kotov – Director of the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Directorate at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, which is the Managing Authority of the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Programme 2014-2020.

During the forum, leading scientists and experts presented their research and innovative developments in the field of Blue Economy. Prof. Dr. Milen Baltov, Co-Chair of the Stakeholder Working Group on the Strategic Agenda for Innovation and Development in the Black Sea at DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission, took a special part online.

 

nacionalna-ribarska-mreja

 

The experts from the Management Unit of the National Fisheries Network revealed the possibilities for financing research and innovation projects in the field of the Blue Economy, as well as good European practices in the field. Fisheries Local Action Group “Nessebar-Mesemvria” took part in the forum with a photo exhibition on “Life among fishing nets – Nessebar 2020”.

 

nacionalna-ribarska-mreja

 

A representative of the Via Pontica Foundation also took part in the second thematic panel of the workshop, which included presentations of projects and innovative developments with the participation of Bulgarian universities, non-governmental organizations and local fishing initiative groups.

 

nacionalna-ribarska-mreja

 

“All BSB552 / RedMarLitter “Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas”project partners agree that a key factor in implementing strategies such as the Blue Economy and Blue Growth is to provide knowledge, legal stability and security for the protection of the seas and oceans by reducing pollution from the rivers that flow into them, shipping and land resources, as well as measures to prevent and control air pollution. These efforts must be combined as much as possible with the promotion of cooperation between coastal states, “said Ina Agafonova, founder and head of the Via Pontica Foundation, in her report “Clean Black Sea – the Hope and Future of the Maritime Economy.” It was listened to with great attention, because it sharply pointed out the problems and barriers to the development of the Blue Economy.

 

nacionalna-ribarska-mreja

 

The last thematic panel held interactive sessions to discuss current issues related to the future development of the Blue Economy and the search for solutions to strengthen cooperation between the science, business, public and non-governmental sector to develop Blue Innovations.

 

nacionalna-ribarska-mreja

The Black Sea Needs Our Inspired Work – an International Online Conference

 

The event was organized by the Ministry of Environment and Water and was attended by representatives of the Black Sea Commission, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, state and local authorities, scientists and environmentalists.

This year’s edition of the conference was under the motto “Together for a Bluer Black Sea”. Its aim was to support the targeted and sustainable development of the Black Sea region, taking into account that the work done so far under the Black Sea Agenda, as well as other political, economic and environmental formats, is a good basis for upgrading and achieving balanced protection of the Black Sea and the economic development of the region.

The location of Burgas has a geostrategic significance, which determines the development of the city as a regional, national and international center in economic, logistical, cultural and social terms. The presence of wetlands near the sea with exceptional biodiversity contributes to the unique appearance of the city. Burgas, also has a key role in establishing international partnerships with cities from other Black Sea countries and in implementing the European policy for economic development of the region.

“I believe that the Black Sea needs our inspired work to protect its sensitive ecosystem and ensure sustainable development of coastal areas. Before the participants in an international online conference organized by the MoEW and dedicated to tomorrow’s International Black Sea Day, I presented the legislative framework for the protection of the marine environment, which we continue to improve and upgrade “, informed the Burgas MP Ivelina Vasileva.

The Chair of the Committee on the Environment and Water in the National Assembly also announced: “We expect the changes related to the new European legislative package for the reduction of litter and disposable plastics, which should enter into force in the middle of next year, to be presented to the Parliament. It is very important for a vulnerable water basin such as the Black Sea. We are also looking forward to the new National Waste Management Plan for the period up to 2028, as well as the National Strategy and Action Plan for the Transition to a Circular Economy. “

Good interaction between institutions and regional cooperation will be even more important about the Black Sea in the new programming period, especially in the context of the challenges we face – anthropogenic pressure, the Green Deal and the transition to a circular economy, the effects of climate change and the pandemic.

The International Black Sea Day (October 31) marks the anniversary of the signing in 1996 at the international level of the Strategic Action Plan for the Restoration and Conservation of the Black Sea. The plan is in connection with the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution (the so-called Bucharest Convention) signed in 1992 by the six Black Sea countries – Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine.

Its celebration aims to draw public attention to the problems of the sea and ways to protect it. Due to its specificity, the Black Sea is one of the most vulnerable marine ecosystems in the world. In order to preserve its vitality and resources, there is an increasing need for intensive human activities at sea to be very carefully assessed and applied more sparingly.

Based on materials from burgas.bg and flagman.bg

 

Over 200,000 Tonnes of Plastic Leaking into the Mediterranean Each Year – IUCN Report

 

A new IUCN report finds that an estimated 229,000 tonnes of plastic is leaking into the Mediterranean Sea every year, equivalent to over 500 shipping containers each day. Unless significant measures are taken to address mismanaged waste, the main source of the leakage, this will at least double by 2040.

Based on a compilation of data from field studies and using the IUCN marine plastic footprint methodology, the report, Mare Plasticum: The Mediterranean, developed in partnership with Environmental Action, estimates plastic fluxes from 33 countries around the Mediterranean basin.

It finds that macro-plastics resulting from mismanaged waste make up 94% of the total plastic leakage. Once washed into the sea, plastic mostly settles in the sediments in the form of microplastics (particles smaller than 5mm). The report estimates that more than one million tonnes of plastic have accumulated in the Mediterranean Sea.

Plastic pollution can cause long-term damage to terrestrial and marine ecosystems and biodiversity. Marine animals can get entangled or swallow plastic waste, and ultimately end up dying from exhaustion and starvation. Additionally, plastic waste releases chemical substances such as softeners or fire retardants into the environment, which can be harmful to both ecosystems and human health, especially in a semi-closed sea such as the Mediterranean. As this report makes clear, current and planned measures are not enough to reduce plastic leakage and prevent these impacts, said Minna Epps, Director, IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme.

According to the report, Egypt (around 74,000 tonnes/year), Italy (34,000 tonnes/year) and Turkey (24,000 tonnes/year) are the countries with the highest plastic leakage rates into the Mediterranean, mainly due to high quantities of mismanaged waste and large coastal populations. Per capita, however, Montenegro (8kg/year/person), Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia (each contributing an estimated 3kg/year/person) have the highest levels of leakage.

For primary microplastics – plastics that enter the oceans in the form of small particles, as opposed to larger plastic waste that degrades in the water – the plastic flow into the Mediterranean is estimated at 13,000 tonnes/year. Tyre dust is the largest source of leakage (53%), followed by textiles (33%), microbeads in cosmetics (12%), and production pellets (2%).

Based on a projected annual increase in global plastic production of 4%, the report lays out different leakage scenarios and assesses key actions that could contribute to cutting plastic flows into the Mediterranean over next 20 years. It finds that under a business as usual scenario, annual leakage will reach 500,000 tonnes per year by 2040, and underlines that ambitious interventions beyond current commitments will be required to reduce the flow of plastic into the sea.

Governments, private sector, research institutions and other industries and consumers need to work collaboratively to redesign processes and supply chains, invest in innovation and adopt sustainable consumption patterns and improved waste management practices to close the plastic tap, said Antonio Troya, Director of the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation.

Improving waste management, starting with waste collection, has the greatest potential to reduce plastic leakage over time, according to the report. It finds that more than 50,000 tonnes of plastic leakage into the Mediterranean could be avoided each year if waste management were to be improved to global best practice standards in the top 100 contributing cities alone. Additionally, the report highlights that bans can be effective interventions if widely implemented – for instance, it estimates that a global ban on plastic bags in the basin would further reduce plastic leakage by around 50,000 tonnes per year.

Plastic pollution is harmful to marine wildlife, e.g. through entanglement, or by causing starvation when ingested. It is also thought to accumulate in the food web, with potentially negative impacts on human health.

This report is part of a series of publications under IUCN’s Close the Plastic Tap programme. The publication has been supported by Mava Foundation.

The publication is available here.

For more information, please contact:

Lourdes Lázaro, IUCN Center for Mediterranean Cooperation, [email protected], Tel. +34.952.028.430 Ext. 308; Mobile: +34 609729780

www.iucn.org

Banned and Hazardous Pesticides in European Food

Highlights from PAN Europe’s report

 

PAN Europe carried out an investigation to find out whether pesticides banned in the EU [according to 1107/2009 and PIC legislation1] are detected in food sold on the EU market, using the EU official food pesticide residue monitoring data.

 

Highlights:

  • 74 pesticides – that have been banned for use in the EU because of health and environmental concerns – were found as residues in 5811 food samples (6.2% of all samples tested), the majority being plant-based products (75.2%).

 

  • Exotic fruit sold in Europe such as guavas (85%), goji berries (55%), breadfruit (42%) and cherimoyas (40%) are on the top of the list, together with teas (37%), peppercorns (29%) and coriander leaves (25%).

 

  • The highly toxic fungicide carbendazim, a mutagen substance also toxic to reproduction, is the one which was detected the most (1596 samples), this is more samples than some of the authorised fungicides! Other pesticides, highly toxic to bees or aquatic life such as chlorfenapyr, fenbutatin-oxide, and fenpropathrin were also detected. Our analysis shows that the presence of residues of such pesticides in certain food is in fact legal.

 

  • A high number of different pesticides that have been banned in the EU was detected in food coming from China (30), India (25), Thailand (23), Brazil (13), Vietnam (14) and Morocco (12), among others.  

 

  • recent study

    (link is external)

     by Public Eye and Greenpeace Unearthed revealed that 41 banned pesticides were notified for export from the EU in 2018 predominantly from 7 countries . Our survey shows that at least 22 of those have come back to the EU as they were detected in food consumed in the European market and 19 of them were detected mainly in imported food

 

 

Under the Farm to Fork Strategy, the EU has committed to set a trade policy that supports an European ecological transition and at the same time promotes a global transition to sustainable agri-food systems. Angeliki Lysimachou, Science Policy officer at PAN Europe, says:  “The impact of hazardous pesticides on human health and biodiversity is global, and the EU must take a lead role in stopping support for any practices that jeopardise human health and biodiversity”.

Further, “as a first step the EU should halt the production and sales of banned pesticides and adopt a zero-tolerance approach for such residues in food. Further, pesticide mixtures in food should be urgently addressed. More importantly, all of this should occur alongside the development and promotion of agricultural practices and alternatives to pesticide use that work together with nature and promote biodiversity rather than destroying it”.

 

Contacts:

PAN Europe

Angeliki Lysimachou, +32 496 39 29 30, [email protected]

 

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PDF icon Press Communication banned pesticides in EU food.pdf

PDF icon Technical_Residues of Hazardous Pesticides in EU food_Final.pdf

PDF icon Report_Banned pesticides in EU food_Final.pdf