FoEM calls upon Malta to take a strong stand for the protection of bees and all pollinators against pesticides.

On the occasion of World Bee Day, Friends of the Earth Malta is calling upon the Minister for Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Animal Rights to take immediate steps to protect the livelihood of bees, pollinators, human and ecosystem health as well as the numerous beekeepers on the island.

Friends of the Earth Malta Director Martin Galea De Giovanni said that from information it received, EU Member States will be convening soon to agree on the level of protection to be afforded to bees – this will involve a decision by each state on whether it is ready to sacrifice 7%, 12% or a high 25% reduction of colony size after 1 pesticide exposure. Considering that 76% of food production in Europe depends on pollination, the wrong decision could spell disaster and its implications may determine the future survival or otherwise of pollinators, ecosystems and the whole food system in Europe.

Friends of the Earth Malta thus calls on Maltese authorities to adopt a strong position on voting for a maximum reduction in honey bee colony size of 7% or less and to support a national ban on outdoor uses of the pesticides sulfoxaflor, cypermethrin and benfluralin which the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has identified as being of high risk to bees. Not supporting the ban will violate the principle of the EU-pesticide regulation that pesticides may only be authorised if they do not have an unacceptable impact on the environment.

As a member of the European Citizens’ Initiative1 Save Bees and Farmers, we are very concerned about the evolving situation which seems to be taking place behind closed doors and FoE Malta therefore call upon the Ministers concerned to state their position on the matter.

On World Bee Day FoE Malta is also reaching out to all residents of Malta to sign the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) Save Bees and Farmers petition to the European Commission to protect bees and people’s health, propose legal acts to phase out synthetic pesticides by 2035, to restore biodiversity, and to support farmers in the transition: Sign the petition below or click link: www.foemalta.org/beesaver

1 The European Citizens Initiative (ECI) Save Bees and Farmers gathers over 200 organisations throughout the EU. An ECI is a tool of participatory democracy in the EU that aims at collecting over 1 million validated signatures throughout the Union in order to trigger a political and democratic discussion in the European Commission and the European Parliament around the demands of the citizens. Our demands are 1. To phase out the use of synthetic pesticides by 2035, 2. To restore biodiversity in agricultural areas and 3. To support farmers in the transition towards agroecology. Our campaign has collected up to now around 600 000 signatures and will run until 30 September 2021.