On the 4th of September, the German federal cabinet adopted the Action Programme for Insect Protection. It is the most comprehensive package of measures for the protection of insects and their diversity adopted by the German government so far.
The German Environment Minister, Svenja Schulze, stresses the importance of taking action to protect pollinators: “Insect decline has taken on dramatic levels, and there are several causes for this development. However, if we take the right measures in various areas we will be able to reverse the trend.”
The Action Programme for Insect Protection addresses all essential causes of insect decline with concrete measures in nine areas of action. Through the Action Programme for Insect Protection, the German government commits to:
- significantly limiting and eventually banning the use of glyphosate as early as European law allows, in 2023
- stepping up the funding of insect protection by 100 million euros per year, consisting of 50 million euros for a special framework plan for insect protection in the context of the Joint Task for the Improvement of Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection, 25 million euros for concrete insect protection projects in non-agricultural landscapes and another 25 million euros for research and establishing a nationwide insect monitoring system
- strengthening protected areas and protecting habitats that are particularly important for insects by expanding legal protection to the biotopes of species-rich grassland and meadow orchards, completely banning the use of herbicides and insecticides that are harmful to biodiversity for large parts of protected areas, increasing the minimum distance to water bodies for the use of pesticides, and adopting an act on insect protection and corresponding ordinances within this legislative period to make these provisions binding and amend nature conservation law, plant protection law, fertiliser law and water law accordingly
Other measures of the action programme are geared towards protecting and restoring insect habitats in rural and urban areas, reducing light pollution, reducing the input of nutrients and pollutants in insect habitats and supporting commitment to insect protection across the whole of society.