FoE Malta collecting 4500 signatures for bee-friendly agriculture and a healthy environment
Friends of the Earth Malta together with 90 organisations from across the EU have recently launched a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI)1 with the aim to collecting at least one million signatures2.
Bees all over the world, including Malta – where more than 100 bee species can be found in the wild – are in trouble. Right now, they need us almost as much as we need them. The decline in bees’ diversity and abundance would have a serious impact on how our natural world functions. This includes our food crops. Bees pollinate much of the food that makes our diets healthy and tasty – from the apple in our lunchbox, to the tomatoes on our pizza.
We are facing an emergency with nature disappearing at an unprecedented rate. We are launching this campaign to show that the public supports decision-makers to take much bolder steps to transform our agriculture, save nature and support sustainable farmers that protect our countryside.
This campaign stands shoulder-to-shoulder with farmers and farm workers. We are demanding a just transition for farmers to support them through the switch to the pesticide-free, sustainable farming we need for our future. It comes at a time when millions of farmers are being squeezed out by unfair prices, the lack of political support and big corporations. Four million small farms disappeared between 2005 and 2016 in the EU3.
Citizens want a system that no longer damages biodiversity and ecosystems or puts consumer health at risk, but instead ensures the livelihood of bees and farmers alike and is healthier for people. With our initiative4, we are committed to making this kind of agriculture a reality throughout Europe
1 – The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is an important instrument of participatory democracy in the EU, allowing one million citizens residing in one quarter of the Member States to invite the Commission to submit a proposal for a legal act to implement the EU Treaties. Since the application of a 2011 Regulation establishing detailed procedures for the ECI, four initiatives have been successfully submitted to the Commission. Through this mechanism, European Citizens get a greater say in the policies that affect our lives. The European Citizens’ Initiative is a unique way for citizens to help shape the EU.
2 – Sign the petition: https://foemalta.org/beesaver
3 – The rapid decline of both small farms and wildlife is deeply rooted in our current model of agricultural food production that heavily relies on big scale monocultural farming and the use of synthetic pesticides. To make things worse, the EU actively funds this form of agriculture through its current agropolitical agenda and its system of subsidies that favours mass production over small scale and eco-friendly farming. http://www.foeeurope.org/sites/default/files/publications/nyeleni_eca_-_more_farmers_better_food_25.03.2019_0.pdf
4 – The ECI calls on the European Commission to introduce legal proposals to:
- Phase out synthetic pesticides by 2035: Phase out synthetic pesticides in EU agriculture by 80% by 2030, starting with the most hazardous, to become 100% free of synthetic pesticides by 2035
- Restore biodiversity: Restore natural ecosystems in agricultural areas so that farming becomes a vector of biodiversity recovery
- Support farmers in the transition: Reform agriculture by prioritising small scale, diverse and sustainable farming, supporting a rapid increase in agroecological and organic practice, and enabling independent farmer-based training and research into pesticide- and GMO-free farming