German action plan for insect protection: Farmers want greater say
With insects declining at an alarming rate, the German environment ministry wants an action plan to protect them before the end of the year. But farmers are feeling ignored in the process and are calling for more environmental protection incentives. EURACTIV Germany reports.
A study featured in the British daily newspaper The Guardian is currently causing quite a stir with its finding that more than 40% of all insect populations are declining sharply. The rate of their extinction is eight times faster than for mammals or reptiles, the researchers warned. In the worst-case scenario, there may not be any insects in 100 years.
The public has long been anxious over this nightmare scenario and the decline of insects has been ignored for too long.
In February, almost 20% of all eligible voters in Bavaria joined a petition for a referendum to better protect biodiversity. The German government, in the form of social democrat (SPD) minister for the environment Svenja Schulze, has also confronted the problem.
In October 2018, the cabinet approved the key points of an “action plan for insect protection,” which has been under consultation between departments since Friday. If Schulze has her way, the cabinet will adopt the finished law in April.
“Stopping the decline of insects is a key political task of our time,” Schulze has said. Around €100 million of funding for the action plan should be made available every year, with a quarter going to research and monitoring.