Save the bees and the farmers

European agriculture is at an impasse, it is essential to save the bees and the farmers. Agricultural policies unilaterally focused on increasing yields through increased use of toxic agrochemicals have brought the ecosystem to the brink of collapse.

Day by day, the biodiversity that underpins our food systems is disappearing, seriously jeopardizing the future of our food, our livelihoods, our health and our environment.

The consequences for nature are disastrous: bees, butterflies and other insects are disappearing from our landscapes and the birds, once widespread, have ceased to sing in our fields. Our streams and rivers are polluted and we are exposed daily to a cocktail of synthetic pesticides through our diet.

Furthermore, the very survival of farming communities in Europe is also threatened by industrial agriculture. Over the past ten years, on average, a farm has had to shut down every 3 minutes! True to the motto “grow or die“More and more land is managed by fewer and fewer companies, focused on performance and sales rather than quality. On the other hand, small farms are struggling to survive. With its disappearance, European rural areas are losing jobs and their cultural heritage.

A different agricultural model is possible to save the bees

Humanity is facing the greatest challenge in its history. With global climate change at an alarming rate and the unprecedented loss of biodiversity we are facing, the global food supply and ultimately the survival of our species are at stake. independently by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, February 2019), the World Biodiversity Council (IPBES, May 2019) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and climate change (IPCC, August 2019).

Scientists have left no doubt that the main causes of this global crisis are man-made and that its solution requires rapid, profound and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. This includes a radical shift in global energy production towards renewable energy sources and a fundamental transformation in land use, especially in the way we produce our food.

The solution is agriculture that can thrive without toxic chemicals; an agriculture that, based on farming methods that respect biodiversity and the climate, guarantees adequate food for the population, not only today, but also in the future; an agriculture that preserves the inestimable diversity of natural environments, foods and rural traditions in Europe.

European citizens’ initiativeSave the bees and the farmers

save the bees, farmers, pollinators, agriculture, pesticides, biodiversity, food

Faced with this urgency, the European Citizens’ InitiativeSave the bees and the farmerswants to become a catalyst for the transformation of agriculture, towards a model based on agroecological principles and, therefore, promotes biodiversity. This agricultural model preserves natural resources, prevents soil degradation, increases soil fertility and thus contributes to climate protection by absorbing more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than it releases. This agricultural model is the only possible response to the growing challenges posed by biodiversity and the climate crisis, and is therefore also the most suitable for securing the world’s food supply for future generations.

Deadlock

European agriculture is at an impasse. Agricultural policies that were unilaterally geared towards increasing yields through increased use of toxic agrochemicals have brought the ecosystem to the brink of collapse. Day by day, the biodiversity that underpins our food systems is disappearing, seriously jeopardizing the future of our food, our livelihoods, our health and our environment.

More and more bees, butterflies and other insects are disappearing from European landscapes and birds – once so common – are less and less heard in the rural world. The rivers are polluted and the environment and the public are continuously exposed to a toxic cocktail of synthetic pesticides.

Strategies for us to save bees and farmers

Phasing out pesticides within 15 years is an ambitious challenge. The transition from our agricultural model to agroecology represents a challenge for all stakeholders, especially farmers, but with strong political will, the transition is within reach. In fact, the opportunity for slower change has long been lost.

In 2008, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), initiated by the World Bank, issued an urgent warning – in light of alarming predictions about the state of climate and biodiversity in the world – that “status quo is not an option“. The scientists’ recommendations included a shift to low external input farming methods, the promotion and development of agroecological methods, the biological substitution of agrochemicals, and investments in plant breeding to improve temperature and pest resistance. .

Unfortunately, these recommendations have largely gone unheeded. The status quo remains the main global agricultural policy, while the possibility of implementing measures to prevent another ecological collapse is dwindling. Today, we must recognize that our generation is the last with the power to act effectively to stop species extinction and climate change. Whether we do this or not will determine whether the planet that allowed the development of our civilization will offer the same conditions of life to future generations. It is our responsibility to guarantee it. With the European Citizens’ Initiative “Save the bees and the farmers“We want to contribute to solving the current crisis.

In short, to save the bees and the farmers it is necessary:

Eliminate synthetic pesticides

Phase out synthetic pesticides in EU agriculture by 80% by 2030, starting with the most dangerous, reaching 100% by 2035.

restore biodiversity

Restore natural ecosystems in agricultural areas so that agriculture contributes to the recovery of biodiversity.

Supporting farmers in the transition

Reform of agriculture by prioritizing: small scale, diversity, sustainability and agroecological practices, as well as training and independent research in the field of agriculture without pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms.

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