Calls for EU to protect insects from the effects of farming

The destruction of wildlife has been an ongoing concern for the public, with calls on the EU to adjust its policies to protect the species most at risk. In particular, the rate at which insects are being destroyed has become alarming, and there is now fresh pressure for them to be protected.

In a recent study, it was found that 40% of insect types are at risk. These species are facing a sharp decline in numbers. It was also pointed out during the study that, as the rate of extinction is up to 8 times faster than most mammal species, in the next hundred years they could die out altogether.

The decline of insects has, according to scientists, been an alarming trend which has been going on for at least the last century. One of the main causes are believed to be the destruction of suitable habitats; suitable habitats should have limited noise, light, and human interruption.

Martin Husemann, an entomologist at the University of Hamburg explained: “There are studies showing that there are fewer insects in some regions with a lot of arable land than in cities. And this applies to all insect groups.”

In light of this, the German environment ministry has announced that it plans to introduce strategies to prevent this scenario. Additionally, farmers across the EU are pushing for more incentives to help them do this.

For example, there has been a growing resistance from the  German Farmers’ Association, and there have been petitions across other member states. Other environmentally focused political parties, as well as activists, have criticised the German government for its lack of action.

The government has put together some key ideas as part of the “action plan for insect protection”. This would include an additional 100 million euros a year of funding, which would go towards monitoring and research.

If approved after its consultation, it could be made law later this year, with environment minister Svenja Schulze commenting: “Stopping the decline of insects is a key political task of our time.”


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