The Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides
The Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Background, agenda and contents Sofia Parente, PAN Europe [email_address] www.pan-europe.info Mediterranean Social Forum, Barcelona, 16-19 June 2005
PAN Europe – an overview Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is a network of over 600 non-governmental organisations, institutions and individuals in over 60 countries worldwide, working to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound alternatives. PAN Europe is the regional centre in Europe; was founded in 1987 and it’s currently based in the UK. The PAN Europe network consists of consumer, public health and environmental organisations, trade unions, women’s groups, development and sustainable farming groups and farmer associations. We have over 50 partner organisations throughout Europe that signed our principles and medium-term objectives. PAN Europe has currently 20 network members; one of our objectives is to expand our membership for Southern and Eastern Europe.
PAN Europe – an overview Objectives 2005 1. A Thematic Strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides aimed at significant pesticide dependency reduction ; 2. Plant protection product authorisation policy achieving a high level of environment and health protection; 3. Promote alternative pest management strategies and methods; 4. A stronger and more effective PAN Europe network.
Pesticide regulation: legislative framework ‣ Directive 91/414/EEC is the key regulatory instrument at EU level and concerns the authorization and placing on the market of pesticides; adresses to a general extent some issues regarding their use and control. Biocides Directive; ‣ The Residue Directives establish Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for food. After an harmonization process ongoing for several years, a new Regulation was presented by the Commission and approved in the end of 2004 by the European Parliament and the Council. PAN Europe lobbying was instrumental in getting stricter amendments into this Regulation; ‣ A legislative framework (Directive) for pesticide use does not exist so far. The Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides, under the 6th Environmental Action Plrogramme offers a chance to establish such a framework.
Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Background (1) ‣ 5th Environmental Action Programme ”to achieve a substancial reduction of pesticide use per unit of land under production”. No action was taken but there were 7 studies made during the 1990’s to prepare a Directive. One stakeholders consultation meeting in 1998; ‣ 6th EAP (2001-2010) ”reduce the impact of pesticides on human health and the environment... As well as a significant overhall reduction in risks and of the use of pesticides”; ‣ PAN Europe’s ”Suggested text for a Directive on Pesticides Use Reduction in Europe (PURE)”. The PURE campaing is supported by 92 European organisations in 30 European countries, including 6 Spanish organisations. ‣ Being prepared by DG Environment in coordination with the revision of Directive 91/414/EEC by DG Health and Consumer Protection;
Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Background (2) ‣ Commission Communication: 4 July 2002; ‣ Stakeholders meeting: 4 November 2002; ‣ Environment Council conclusions: 9 December 2002; ‣ European Parliament Resolution: 27 March 2003 (very critical); ‣ Several technical meetings during 2003 and 2004 (on compliance, aerial spraying, sprayers, indicators and collection of empty packaging); ‣ Extended Impact Assessment finalised in October 2004; PAN Europe commented the EIA, which was biased towards the industry. The comments can be found on DG Environment and PAN Europe websites; ‣ Interactive Policy Making internet consultation from March-12 May 2005; PAN Europe and 17 partners from 11 European countries participated in the consultation.
Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Agenda ‣ Adoption by the Commission: September 2005; ‣ Discussion and vote by the European Parliament (1st reading, 2nd reading and Plenary: 2006; ‣ Discussion and final vote by the Council: second half of 2006 or early 2007; ‣ Final adoption: probably early 2007. ↓ ‣ Opportunity for further ammendements and lobby work by NGOs at the EU level.
Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Commission’s Communication (1) 1 ‣ Minimising the hazards and risks to health and environment: a. Establishment of National action plans (Remarks: it is not clear wheter they will be mandatory; the Commission fails in setting target and timetables; need for national studies with minimum contents) b. Reducing particular risks such as pollution of watercourses or water catchment areas; general ban of aerial spraying with derrogations (Remarks: the non-legally binding recommendations made by the Commission are far from being sufficient; total ban on aerial spraying; see full PAN Europe position on aerial spraying) c. Improving knowledge of risks by monitoring, and collection of data on incidents, collection and analysis of economic data (Remarks: the Commission fails in setting monitoring on the environment; reporting systems and collection and analysis of economical data are not mandatory) d. Further research and development (Remarks: also not mandatory)
Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Commission’s Communication (2) 2 ‣ Improved controls on the use and distribution of pesticides a. Reporting of production and import/export b. Collection of data concerning use c. Coordinated inspections/monitoring of uses and distribution of PPP (Article 17 of Directive 91/414/EEC d. System of regular and safe collection, re-use and destruction of packaging e. Regular technical inspection of equipment f. Mandatory training and certification for all PPP users (Remarks: PAN Europe welcomes the mandatory character of these measures and link with cross-compliance mechanism CAP. No provision after two years of the adoption of the Thematic Strategy. Collection should be producers’ responsability.)
Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Commission’s Communication (3) 3 ‣ Reducing the level of harmful active substances by substituting the most dangerous with safer alternatives Amend Directive 91/414/EEC in order to include the substitution principle and other issues addressed in the 10-year report evaluating the functioning of the Directive. (Remarks: The substitution principle should be apllied to all substances and not only the dangerous; include less harmful agricultural techniques, methods and practices as alternatives.)
Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Commission’s Communication (4) 4 ‣ Use of low input or pesticide-free crop farming... a. Promotion and development of alternatives to chemical control via IPM, organic farming and biological control b. Imposing penalties on users under support schemes (Remarks: Lack of common understanding of terms such as IPM, ICM... PAN Europe propose to define ICM for every crop or crop rotation and that ICM is mandatory. Cross-compliance with ICM should become a minimum condition for CAP subsidies. The measures to promotion low input farming are very weak.) c. Special levies on PPPs (Remarks: No need for further reserach into ”the full costs and benefits”. Pesticide levies are effective and should be used to finance pesticide reduction.) d. Harmonisation of Value Added Tax for PPPs
Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Commission’s Communication (5) 5 ‣ Transparent system for reporting and monitoring... Including the development of suitable indicators a. Regular reporting on national risk reduction programmes b. Development of suitable indicators for monitoring and definition of quantitative targets (Remarks: Reduction of pesticide use is an essential element of risk reduction, therefore the national risk reduction programmes must have use reduction targets. Frequency of Index is easy to calculate and excludes the effects of changing to lower dose pesticides. Reporting by Member States must be mandatory) 6 ‣ Candidate countries 7 ‣ International aspects
PAN Europe’s position – summary New legislation to reduce pesticide dependency /use needed inter alia because of limitations of risk assessment and uncertainties about threats on children and adults later in life, when exposure happens during key windows of foetal or neonatal development (building new toxicological evidence of developmental neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, endocrine toxicity and other developmental reproductive toxicity). Pesticide use is also causing increased contamination of groundwater, Europe’s primary source of drinking water. These problems require immediate and European action. As highlighted in the PURE Directive, there should be, at a minimum: ‣ Mandatory reduction plans for all Member States including targets and timetables for use reduction and increased percentage of land under organic farming, target reduction of 50% of the Treatment Frequency Index within 10 years from a baseline year; ‣ Integrated Pest Management (IPM)/Integrated Crop Management (ICP) as a minimum for all EU non-agriculture and agriculture Plant Protection Products uses;
PAN Europe position – summary ‣ Need to define IPM and ICM as systems aimed at pesticide dependency/use reduction, away from definition of industry which is about pesticides optimisation and reduction of unintended uses; ‣ Cross-compliance with ICM as a condition for Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies; more agri-environmental support under CAP to go beyond ICM, e.g. to promote organic farming; ‣ Full access to information on pesticides held by authorities, including information supporting specific regulatory decisions in due time to allow for response from the general public, and participation of public interest groups, as observers, in all meetings were decisions are taken related to pesticides and their use. ‣ Full position and other reports and policy papers can be downloaded from PAN Europe website: http://www.pan-europe.info/publications/index.shtm