Save the bees: stop to synthetic pesticides, yes to organic farming, sign the European initiative (IT)

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In an article on the newsletter of the Italian project "Cambia la Terra – No ai pesticidi, Sì al biologico  - Change the Earth - No to pesticides, Yes to organic", Marco Tedeschi writes that, between viral swarms, between prohibitions and fears, spring has come, a season which knows no restrictions and red areas. We need it, perhaps above all because of its symbolic strength. Spring, rebirth: flowers that bloom and become fruits. Despite everything, seasons continue to alternate.

And here is the first hitch. Because not everything we take is for granted, as these days teach us, transformed into a winding obstacle course. The blossoming of flowers, the birth of fruits, just to give an example, is intimately linked to the survival of bees. Which today is more and more uncertain. 78% of the species of wild flowers and 84% of the species cultivated in the European Union - just to give a first reference data - depend entirely or in part on pollinating insects, mainly bees. Yet their survival is highly at risk: an increasingly steep inclined plane.

As the alarm raised by the scientific journal Biological Conservation informed us, the extinction rate of insects is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. For thirty years, the annual rate has been 2.5%: a frantic race that could make them disappear within a century. Pollinators included: one in ten bee species in Europe is at risk of extinction. In Italy, it is the alarm that the president of FederBio Maria Grazia Mammuccini launches, "in the last five years we have lost 200,000 hives".

But who is the killer? First of all, let's abandon the singular and use the plural because the one we are dealing with is a real criminal gang. There is a bit of everything: climate change, pollution, loss of biodiversity which (please, grasp the not too thin thread that binds everything) is also among the main causes of the spillover, of the Covid-19 "jump" between animals and humans . Returning to the risks for bee survival, the main accused remains an agricultural model focusing on intensive land exploitation and synthetic chemistry. Pesticides can target pollinators directly (insecticides and fungicides) and indirectly (herbicides), which is why reducing pesticides is "a top priority," says the European Parliament.

And we must look to Europe to break a mechanism oiled to perfection, and which risks also having very heavy economic repercussions: European agricultural production, made possible thanks to pollinators, is worth 15 billion euros.

So the time to reverse the course is short and we got to get crackin’. There is a way that allows us to be bearers of this cause. Comfortably seated on the sofa. What needs to be done is to sign a petition, the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) "Save Bees and Farmers! Towards a bee-friendly agriculture for a healthy environment ". The signature collection is also promoted by the Italian “Cambia la Terra”, the project commissioned by FederBio and supported by Legambiente, Lipu- Birdlife, Doctors for the Environment and WWF. The request is clear: to completely eliminate synthetic pesticides from the fields by 2035 starting from the most dangerous substances, with a first step of 80% by 2030. Restore natural ecosystems in agricultural areas so that agriculture can become a driving force for the recovery of biodiversity. Reform the sector by giving priority to organic and small-scale, diversified and sustainable, agriculture.

The goal may be achieved with the collection of one million signatures in at least seven different countries of the Union. "The multiple crises we are going through on a global level, environmental, climatic and  health crises, are sides of the same coin, mostly a consequence of our impact on natural ecosystems, crises leading us to one emergency after another", still underlines Grazia Mammuccini. For this reason, also in agriculture "it is urgent to aim at the recovery of ecosystems and to overcome an intensive model based on the use of pesticides that endanger the survival of bees and many other species. This is the main challenge for the future, and the recent establishment of a European network of research centers for pesticide-free agriculture is the clearest sign that innovation and research for the future of agriculture are going in this direction".

It is worth remembering that the "World Week of Action against Pesticides" is starting on 20 March , a date traditionally coinciding with the first week of spring, a period in which there is an increase in the use of pesticides. In short, 2020 will pass like spring without picnics, but now it is possible to use the "rediscovered" time to sign the European petition, save the bees and make sure that the next ones will be springs full of flowers.

Click HERE to sign the petition

Source: Cambia La Terra