Open letter to the Belgian premier De Croo

The Via Pontica Foundation Joins International Coalition in Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Belgium and the President of the European Commission

In an act of solidarity and commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development, the Via Pontica Foundation joined an impressive coalition of non-governmental organizations to express its deep outrage at the recent event organized by the Belgian Presidency of the EU in collaboration with the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) and its Belgian member Essenscia. The event, held at the BASF chemical plant in Antwerp, brought together high-level political leaders and representatives of the chemical and other energy-intensive industrial sectors in a closed meeting, which raised serious concerns among environmental defenders.

The open letter, addressed to the Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander de Croo and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, expresses outrage that by participating in this event, the high-level leaders have failed to recognize the culpability of corporate interests contributing to the climate crisis, toxic pollution, and the biodiversity crisis. These crises pose a threat to the lives of communities around the world.

The letter emphasizes that over the past five years, chemical corporations and their lobbying groups have waged an intensive campaign in Brussels and across Europe to undermine the ambitious regulations promised by the von der Leyen Commission. This includes strategies such as the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and the Farm to Fork Strategy, which aim to limit hazardous chemicals in consumer and agricultural products in the EU.

The Via Pontica Foundation, as an active participant in environmental protection and sustainable development, expresses its concern about this event and supports the call to stop providing privileged access to industries known for their harmful products and practices. The organization insists on the ambitious implementation of key sustainability strategies.

Through this participation, the Via Pontica Foundation continues its mission to restore sustainable ecosystems and take active steps to restore the connection between people and nature.

Here is the full text of the letter:

 

To the attention of Prime Minister Alexander de Croo
cc European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

Dear Prime Minister De Croo,

20 February 2024

We are appalled that today the Belgian Presidency of the EU is organising, alongside the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) and its Belgian industry member Essenscia, a closed event for chemical and other intensive industrial energy users and high-level political leaders at BASF’s chemicals plant in Antwerp.

By overseeing and participating in this event you have failed to recognise the culpability of the corporate interests attending in contributing to the climate, toxic pollution, and biodiversity crises which pose a tremendous risk to planetary boundaries and a death threat to communities around the world. These crises are a result of decades of irresponsible corporate decision-making that has insisted on producing and using hazardous substances and burning fossil fuels for profit.

In the past five years, BASF, other chemical corporations and intensive energy users, and their lobby groups, have waged a huge lobby campaign in Brussels and across Europe to undermine and destroy ambitious regulations promised by the von der Leyen Commission. The goals of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and the Farm to Fork strategy to restrict hazardous chemicals in consumer and agricultural uses in the EU, as well as to prevent the export of banned substances, including chemicals and pesticides, have faded away. Meanwhile industry has also secured massive support for new fossil fuel infrastructure and for false solutions to the climate crisis such as hydrogen, carbon capture, and offsets.

Industry has a long history of crying wolf and exaggerating the consequences of progressive green policies. And, in a big year for elections in Belgium and across the EU, too many politicians are falling for the rhetoric that there should be a “pause” in new environmental rules and that net zero is somehow as good as real zero. Politicians have a responsibility to show genuine leadership rather than following the latest greed-driven, populist, scaremongering.

But rather than spearheading an approach to stand up to these lobbies and reverse these trends, instead today you are rewarding big polluting industries with privileged access to high-level decision-makers and the expectation of even more political and policy support.

This event is an insult to communities in Flanders, not least those living with PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ pollution from the 3M plant in Antwerp; in Wallonia; and across the rest of the EU and beyond; who are currently confronting the reality of the industry-generated toxic pollution crisis in terms of their personal health and that of their local biodiversity, air, water, and soils.

This event with its emphasis on industry’s “business case” and even a “European Industrial Deal” is entirely wrong-headed, and sits at odds with your Presidency’s promise of “decisive and holistic action” to tackle the climate, biodiversity, and pollution crises. It puts big business in the driving seat to promote its agenda of avoiding legislation, demanding public subsidy, and pushing a corporate greenwashed, deeply-flawed ‘net zero’ approach.

This event, and the political agenda it represents, should not be going ahead.

  • We urge you and all other political leaders attending to stop providing such privileged access to industries that are known for their harmful products and practices, as well as for their lobbying against action for healthier communities, resilient ecosystems, and genuine carbon reduction.
  • We implore you to prioritise the protection of citizens and environments suffering from chemical, pesticide, and fossil fuel pollution, and to fight for an ambitious implementation of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, the Farm to Fork strategy, and action to ensure that big polluters can no longer evade responsibility for the climate crisis.Signed byARCHE NOAH
    Arnika – Toxics and Waste Programme
    Association For Promotion Sustainable Development , Association of Ethical Shareholders Germany
    Aurelia Stiftung
    Bond Beter Leefmilieu
    Break Free From Plastic Europe
    Broederlijk Delen
    Canopea
    Child Rights International Network (CRIN)
    CIEL
    ClientEarth
    Climate Express
    Climaxi
    Corporate Europe Observatory
    Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.
    Eco Hvar
    ECOCITY
    Ecologistas en Acción
    Ecology without borders foundation
    EEB European Environmental Bureau
    Entraide et Fraternité
    EnvMed Network – Europan Network for Environmental Medicine Euro Coop
    Exit Plastik Alliance
    Foodwatch International
    Foundation for the protection of Biodiversity in Bulgaria
    Friends of the Earth Europe
    Générations Futures
    GLOBAL 2000 Austria
    GMWatch

Greenpeace Belgique Grondrecht

Grootouders voor het Klimaat Hamraah Foundation

Health & Environment Alliance (HEAL)
Health and Environment Justice Support (HEJSupport) Hogar sin Tóxicos
Humundi
IndyAct
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Europe
Isde, International Society of Doctors for Environment Klimaatcoalitie Coalition Climat
La Grande Puissance de Dieu
Les Amis de la Terre – Belgique
LobbyControl
Muchi Children’s Home
Natagora
Nature & Progrès
Navdanya International
Observatoire du principe pollueur-payeur
Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe
Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Germany
Pesticide Action Network in Mexico (RAPAM)
Pesticide Action Network Netherlands
Plastic Change
Plastic Soup Foundation
Plough Back The Fruits
Polish Zero Waste Association
POLLINIS
Race for Water
Recycling Netwerk Benelux
Société Scientifique de Médecine Générale (SSMG)
SOS Faim
Stichting Mission Lanka
The Good Lobby
TROCA – Plataforma por um Comércio Internacional Justo Via Pontica Foundation
WeMove Europe
Women Engage for a Common Future – WECF
Women on Farms Project, South Africa
ZERO – Association for the Sustainability of the Earth System 11 march movement

Please send any replies to Vicky Cann, Corporate Europe Observatory

vicky@corporateeurope.org

#industrialdeal, #AntwerpDeclaration, #BigToxics, #toxicfreepolitics

CHILDREN’S DRAWING COMPETITION dedicated to World Wetlands Day – February 2

Via Pontica Foundation organizes a CHILDREN’S DRAWING COMPETITION dedicated to World Wetlands Day – February 2 on the topic: Wetlands: Source of life and human well-being

Conditions for participation:
Competition works will be divided into three age groups:
7 – 12 years;
13 – 16 years
16 – 18 years

The originals of the drawings must be in A3 format.
Any materials and techniques from the visual arts (including graphic programs) are allowed for the presentation of ideas.
Each author can participate with 1 drawing.
Each drawing must be accompanied by a short text summarizing the author’s idea, an information sheet for the participant, which states: name of the educational institution, the three names of the author, age, city, address, contact phone number.

Deadline for sending the works: 16.02.2024

Send the works scanned to the email address: office@viapontica.org
Technical parameters of images: size – up to 5 MB; resolution – max 300 dpi; allowed formats – JPG, PNG, TIF, TIFF
or
on site at the office of the “Via Pontika” Foundation – Burgas, “Ivan Vazov” Blvd. No. 1, railway station station – floor 2
Winners announced: February 20, 2024.

Drawings will be judged by a professional jury comprising artists and environmental scientists/experts. The most interesting drawings will be published in electronic form on the website of the “Via Pontica” Foundation.

PRIZES: certificates for all participants in the competition, subject prizes for the first 3 places awarded.

Via Pontica Foundation is now member of PAN Europe

The Via Pontica Foundation is proud to announce its inclusion as a full member of PAN Europe (Pesticides Action Network Europe). This partnership represents a significant step in the foundation’s efforts to work to create sustainable and healthy ecosystems, as well as to improve the relationship between people and nature, said the foundation’s founder and Chairperson of the Managing Board, Ina Agafonova.

PAN Europe is an organization that seeks to reduce dependence on synthetic pesticides and promote agro-ecological farming methods. The main objective of the organization is to protect the health of workers and rural residents, especially children, while protecting the environment and biodiversity. PAN Europe is a science-oriented organization composed of experts in various fields related to pesticides.

The inclusion of the Via Pontica Foundation in PAN Europe is a logical continuation of the foundation’s long-standing efforts in the field of environmental protection. With this move, the foundation not only expands its scope of influence at the European level, but also gets the opportunity to share and apply science-based methods for sustainable agriculture and ecosystem management. This aligns perfectly with the foundation’s mission to restore sustainable ecosystems with a focus on biodiversity reservoirs – wetlands and active steps to restore the relationship between people and nature.

The Via Pontica Foundation already has experience in the implementation and coordination of projects, including with EU funding, and is an active participant in the protection of species and habitats on land and water. Membership of PAN Europe will allow the foundation to actively participate in the development of policies and strategies at the European level related to the sustainable use of land and resources.

With this strategic move, the Via Pontica Foundation and PAN Europe are joining forces to work together to achieve their common goals: creating a sustainable future where man and nature coexist in harmony.

Agroecological Transition in Bulgaria: Integrated Pest Management with Biocontrol

 

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.

Programme:

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

SEE the FULL PROGRAM

Please, register on the Eventbrite page (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/agroecological-transition-in-bulgaria-tickets-553097518567). On Monday morning you will receive the link to join the symposium.

Feel free to share this information in your circles.

 

Poisonous Imports through the Back Door

Banned pesticides found in fruit and vegetables from overseas in the pesticide test by GLOBAL 2000 and AK Upper Austria

The environmental organisation GLOBAL 2000 and the Chamber of Labour of Upper Austria have tested mangoes, pomegranates, sweet peas and green beans for pesticides.

Pesticide residues were found on more than three quarters of the products, in half of the cases even multiple contamination with up to seven different active substances. In addition to two cases where the legal maximum levels were exceeded, the testers also discovered several active substances that are banned in the EU.

Especially in the winter months, the products examined come from countries such as Kenya, Morocco, Brazil or Turkey. These countries are not subject to EU legislation and can therefore use pesticides that are banned in the EU. However, the inconsistent approach of the EU makes this situation very delicate: In the EU, pesticide active substances lose their authorisation if a risk to consumers or the environment cannot be ruled out (anymore). The EU then sets the legal maximum residue levels for all products to a minimum value, the so-called limit of detection (usually 0.01 mg/kg). For some foodstuffs imported from non-EU countries, however, alarmingly high maximum residue levels of up to 10 mg/kg are set.

 

Double standards of the EU

 

Waltraud Novak, pesticide expert at GLOBAL 2000, says: “The EU grants so-called import tolerances within the framework of trade agreements in order to ‘meet the requirements of international trade’. This allows countries where these pesticides – banned in the EU – are still allowed, to export their products to the EU. In this way, food containing harmful pesticides, from which consumers should be protected by the EU ban, can legally end up on European plates.

Novak continues: “An example of this double standard are the tested mangoes: The active ingredient Carbendazim found in our test is banned in the EU since several years because of its health effects. It can cause genetic defects, impair fertility and even harm the child in the womb. In mangoes, however, this pesticide has a maximum value of 0.5 mg/kg, so it is fifty times above the detection limit of 0.01 mg”.

Health must come before profit

Novak also points to the effects outside the EU: “Workers in the producing countries have to handle those highly dangerous substances – often with inadequate protective equipment. We also found pesticides, which are banned in the EU, in green beans and sugar snap peas from Kenya.

GLOBAL 2000 and the Chamber of Labour of Upper Austria are therefore calling on Health Minister Johannes Rauch to take action at EU level to ensure that pesticides that are harmful to health do not end up on our plates via detours. No import tolerances for dangerous substances into the EU!

What can consumers do?

Novak recommends consumers to pay attention to seasonality and regionality when shopping: “Seasonal, regional products are usually less contaminated with pesticides. However, only products from organic farming are really safe, as no synthetic chemical pesticides are used in organic farming.

Consumers can also find out about the current pesticide contamination of fruit and vegetables, for example at www.billa.at/prp.

There, the supermarket chain Billa, in cooperation with GLOBAL 2000, regularly publishes the results of its in-house residue controls. Every week, random samples of the entire fresh fruit and vegetable assortment are tested for pesticide residues in accredited laboratories and the results are published on the homepage.

 

Sign GLOBAL 2000’s petition for rapid implementation of EU pesticide reduction at https://www.global2000.at/pestizid-reduktion-fordern

 

Pesticid test_banned pesticides_230215 en-GB

 

 

World Wetlands Day 2023

World Wetlands Day is celebrated on the second day of February every year.

What are wetlands?

Land areas that are saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally.

Inland wetlands:

Marshes, lakes, rivers, floodplains, peatlands and swamps.

Coastal wetlands:

Saltwater marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons and coral reefs.

Human-made wetlands:

Fish ponds, rice paddies and salt pans.

Wetlands are among the most important types of ecosystems. Their functions and services are essential for human lives and biodiversity.

Statement by Dr. Musonda Mumba, Secretary General of the Convention on Wetlands:

„Wherever land meets water, life abounds. Wetlands exist in every corner of this beautiful planet and are the arteries and veins of the landscape. Majestic and mighty, wetlands are a sight to behold.

World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year on 2nd of February. The commemoration raises awareness and increases people’s understanding of the critical importance of wetlands. Wetlands support critical ecosystems and biodiversity. 40 percent of all plant and animal species live or breed in wetlands.

Wetlands are rich in nature and vital to human life. They are crucial to agriculture and fisheries. They act as water sources, purifiers and protect our shores. Wetlands are the planet’s greatest natural carbon stores.

To date, nearly 90 percent of the world’s wetlands have been degraded or lost. We are losing wetlands three times faster than forests. There is an urgency to raise global awareness on wetlands to arrest and reverse their rapid loss and encourage actions to restore and conserve these vital ecosystems.

The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands invites you to join the World Wetlands Day celebrations on 2nd February 2023; it is now recognized by the UN as an “International Day”. The theme for the day is ‘It’s ‘Time for Wetland Restoration’. With only seven years left until 2030 for us to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, time is of the essence for sure.

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a great opportunity for all of us to rethink and change how humans impact the environment – and a chance to restore vital ecosystems like wetlands. Through activating all the relevant players from the general public to key stakeholders, we’re mobilizing an entire generation for wetland restoration.

For World Wetlands Day 2023, we’re calling on you to take action in three specific ways:

  • Conscious choices to minimize our own impact on wetlands
  • Persuasive voices to educate and activate others to get involved in wetland restoration
  • Bold actions and taking part in wetland restoration efforts locally

Governments and other stakeholders are critical actors towards ensuring wetland restoration actions are being implemented on the ground. Three actions that can spearhead these restoration efforts include:

  • Creating a national inventory of wetlands
  • Setting specific targets for wetland restoration
  • Promoting wise use and good management practices

Be a part of the solution by influencing change and sharing your stories of conservation and restoration efforts with us from your countries and communities.“

 

Support for the European Commission’s Draft (2020) Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability

In October 2020, the European Commission published a Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, which aims to reduce human and environmental exposure to hazardous chemicals, while enhancing the competitiveness and innovation of European industry. This strategy, adopted by the European Parliament in July 2020, responds to the “Zero Pollution” ambition of the Green Pact for Europe.

The project is facing some opponents, including senior members of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung or Bfr), who argue that the toxicological risks of chemicals have already been minimized and are optimally regulated by the European Union.

In an article published on January 5, 2023, Erik Millstone, professor emeritus of science policy at the University of Sussex, and Peter Clausing, toxicologist and administrator of Justice Pesticides, explain the reasons for reinforcing the European Union’s regulation of chemicals, even though it is the most advanced in the world, based on the presentation of its limitations and on their intention to prioritize the protection of public health and the environment over commercial interests.

The limits contained in the current regulation are, for example :

(i) Taking into account the possible combination effects between multiple chemicals in the risk assessment. This assessment is limited to the cumulative effects of oral exposure to pesticides on only two endpoints, namely acute effects on the nervous system and chronic effects on the thyroid. In addition, combination effects under different routes of exposure (e.g., inhalation and/or dermal) and chemicals other than pesticides/biocides are not yet included.

(ii) The large uncertainties about the validity of extrapolative inferences from animal studies to human risks.

As they point out, “Chemical risk assessment policy decision-making operates in a contestable and often contested space because different groups of stakeholders have different and often conflicting interests”. And, the commercial interests that most guide chemical risk assessment policy today like to pretend to act in accordance with scientific considerations, when in fact they are value-judgmental, as the study criticized here from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment illustrates.

Their article, by crossing the views of the philosopher and the toxicologist, participates in the challenge of transforming the promises of the European Commission into real legislative changes.

Justice Pesticides

justicepesticides.org

EU: How the Agrochemical Industry and Member States Are Defeating Pesticide Regulation

European Union: “Save the bees and the farmers” will be the 7th European Citizens’ Initiative.

European Union: “Save the bees and the farmers. Towards a bee-friendly agriculture for a healthy environment“ has reached the one million mark in declarations of support from European citizens, as the European Commission admitted on October 10.

It is thus 3 years after its registration that the Commission is finally required to consider new legislation including the objective carried by the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), namely to phase out synthetic pesticides by 2035, to restore biodiversity and to help farmers during this transition phase.

The validation of the initiative paved the way for a strict timetable to be followed. First, the Commission received on November 25 the leaders of the ECI save bees and farmers to discuss the initiative in detail. Then, within three months, the ECI will be presented at a public hearing in the European Parliament.

Finally, the Commission has until April 7, 2023 to present its formal response, outlining what action it intends to take: propose legislation, take other non-legislative measures, or take no action at all.

While the ECI obliges the Commission to seriously consider the requests of European citizens, it is not obliged to act on them. The organizers will have no recourse against it.

We strongly hope that the European authorities will be supportive of these public health and environmental issues.

Justice Pesticides

justicepesticides.org

 

 

Open Letter for the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF Committee)

 

 

An Open letter addressed to the members of the PAFF committee and the Commission as chair, in advance of the PAFF meeting this week. The letter is signed by 58 organisations across Europe, including trade unions (representing agriculture workers), environmental, health and beekeeper organisations (including the organisers of the European Citizens Initiative “Save Bees and Farmers”), as well as the European umbrella organisation for organic food and farming.

 The letter says:

Dear representatives of national governments, members of the PAFF Committee,

Dear Chair of the PAFF Committee,

We are writing on behalf of 58 organisations across Europe in view of the next PAFF Committee meeting on 14-15 July when you will discuss the draft Commission Implementing Regulation under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 on “the content and format of the records of the use of plant protection products to be kept by professional users in accordance with Article 67(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009” (see Agenda, item C.01).

First of all, we would like to state that we welcome the agreement reached on the new regulation on agricultural input and output statistics (SAIO), in particular the obligation to collect and publish data on the use of pesticides on an annual basis. Evidence of unacceptable harm from extensive pesticide use, whether to biodiversity,1 or to agricultural workers, is piling up.Keeping track of what pesticides are used where when and how is therefore of utmost importance.

Beyond the need to analyse trends in the use of pesticides, precise and public data on pesticides use are also indispensable to enabling more realistic analysis of the exposure of agriculture workers and residents in rural areas, as well as the exposure of wildlife and ecosystems. Such data are also key to monitoring water, notably for drinking water suppliers. They are crucial for many other necessary tasks that are in the public interest. It is, in addition, a topic of great importance to millions of EU citizens. The issue of pesticides was indeed the subject matter of the recent European Citizens’ Initiative “Save Bees and Farmers” which gathered approximately 1.2 million signatures across Europe. That is why, as trade unions, environmental, health and beekeeper organisations including the organisers of the European Citizens Initiative Save Bees and Farmers, as well as the European umbrella organisation for organic food and farming, we have been following closely the negotiations on the new regulation on the Statistics for Agriculture Input and Output (SAIO) with a particular focus on pesticide use data. As explained in multiple open letters and public statements, it was already clear in 1993 that public authorities needed meaningful data on pesticide use to be able to protect people and the environment properly. On the basis of the outcome of the trilogue, we believe the new SAIO regulation has the potential to lead to much improved pesticide use data.

However, according to the text agreed, the annual collection of pesticide use data will only start in 2028 and if an Implementing Regulation harmonising the content and format of the pesticide use records is adopted. This is a major factor of uncertainty of the SAIO reform that now has to be fxed in the context of the PAFF Committee. The Commission has prepared an informal draft Implementing Regulation which will be presented on 13-14 July. Furthermore, the Commission has committed to follow a strict timeline. This timeline is laid out in the attached document we obtained following an access to document request to the Secretariat of the Council (see Annex).

The SAIO reform and its ability to fnally deliver robust pesticide use data is now in the hands of the PAFF Committee. It is the moment for national governments to show to their citizens that they are serious about improving the quality and availability of pesticide use data and protecting the health of people and the environment against pesticides.

We therefore call on:

  1. Each national government represented in the PAFF Committee to adhere to the Commission’s timeline, i.e. cooperate in good faith to ensure that the draft Implementing Regulation is formally adopted by the end of 2022.
  2. The European Commission to adhere to the timeline set out in the attached statement, as well as publish without delay the latest version of the draft Implementing Regulation in order to allow civil society to review this draft and participate in a constructive manner to this important decision making process. Thank you for your consideration. Yours sincerely,

     

    Alice Bernard Senior Law and Policy Advisor, Chemicals, ClientEarth

    Natalija Svrtan Campaigner, PAN Europe

    Helmut Burtscher-Schaden Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Austria, GLOBAL 2000

 

See the entire Open Letter HERE : Call to adopt without delay the Implementing Regulation …

https://www.env-health.org › uploads › 2022/07

For the 50th Time We Celebrate World Environment Day

 

World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5 in order to raise awareness about degrading environmental conditions and protection of the environment.

World Environment Day has been a platform for raising awareness on environmental issues such as marine pollution, overpopulation, global warming, sustainable consumption, and wildlife crime.The

Led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), environmentalists encourage people to take positive actions and to help create a better future. This year marks the 50th year of the World Environment Day.

History

The idea of ‘World Environment Day’ was first introduced at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment – also known as the Stockholm conference in 1972. The conference had become the first world  forum to have ‘environment’ on its agenda. Along with the day, the conference saw the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme. First held in 1973, the day is a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 143 countries annually. Each year, the program has provided a theme and forum to advocate environmental causes. A different country hosts the day every year.

Theme

Being hosted by Sweden this year, the slogan for the World Environment day 2022 is “Only One Earth”. The theme is set to focus on “living sustainably in harmony with nature.”

United General Secretary-General António Guterres in his message for World Environment Day said, “It is vital we safeguard the health of its atmosphere, the richness and diversity of life on Earth, its ecosystems, and its finite resources. But we are failing to do so.”

He further added, “We are asking too much of our planet to maintain ways of life that are unsustainable. This planet is our only home.”