European Union’s ambitious draft law to restore nature
In its sixth assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has called for the urgent restoration of degraded ecosystems in order to mitigate climate change. Furthermore, according to the EU biodiversity strategy, which had a voluntary target of restoring at least 15% of degraded ecosystems by 2020, the European Union has not been successful in halting biodiversity loss between 2011 and 2020.
The new draft law proposal sets multiple binding restoration targets and obligations across a broad range of ecosystems.
- Biodiversity ecosystems include wetlands, forests, grasslands, rivers and lakes, and even dunes. On a large scale, everything will be improved and re-established.
- It aims, among other things, to demolish large dams and restore river flow. The proposal calls for restoring 25,000 kilometers of rivers to free-flowing status by 2030. The barriers that prevent or obstruct surface water connectivity will be identified and removed.
- The use and risk of chemical pesticides will be reduced by 50 % by 2030 to reverse the decline of butterflies, bees, bumblebees, hoverflies, and other pollinator populations.
- According to the proposal, all cities and towns must increase their tree canopy cover by at least 10%.
Pesticides are chemical compounds that are used to kill or repel pests like rodents (rodenticides), insects (insecticides), weeds (herbicides), and fungi (fungicides) that damage crop plants. They are used in public health management to eliminate disease-carrying vectors like mosquitoes.
- Harmful Effects on Farmers: Experts believe that chronic low-level pesticide exposure is associated with a broad range of nervous system symptoms such as headache, fatigue, dizziness, tension, anger, depression, impaired memory, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, among others.
- Harmful Effect on Consumers: Pesticides go up the food chain by working their way through the environment and into the soil or the water systems, after which they are eaten by aquatic animals or plants and ultimately humans. This process is called Biomagnification.
- Harmful Effect on Environment: In addition to killing insects or weeds, pesticides can be toxic to other organisms, including birds, fish, beneficial insects, and non-target plants.
- Regulatory Issues: Many pesticides are still being produced/ used in developing countries that have been banned in two or more countries in the world.
A potential way out
“Camo-cropping” trial – Scientists hope that patchworks of multi-colored crops will help hide them from pests “in plain sight” as a natural alternative to pesticides. At the farm, sugar beet fields have been dyed in various colors using food dye. Color and contrast between the plant and soil, as well as the use of dye, will effectively hide crops from pests such as aphids.”