Germany drafts law to help save insects

Germany drafts law to help save insects

Germany drafts law to help save insects

A draft law has been drawn up to try to fight the decline of the insect population in Germany. The law would see the banning of floodlights from dusk as well as increased controls on the use of weed killers and insecticides.

Saving the insects in Germany

The new draft law notes that "insects play an important role in the ecosystem... But in Germany their numbers and their diversity has severely decline in recent years." In a bid to fight this, therefore, the law will look at protecting natural habitats and introduce stricter controls on the use of nighttime lighting and insecticides. 

Some of the proposed measures include banning insect light traps outdoors, as well as flood lights between dusk and dawn for 10 months of the year. Any new outdoor lights, like streetlights, would also have to be installed in a way that would minimise the effects on plants, insects and other animals.

The draft law, which the country’s environmental ministry (BMU) hopes to be approved in October, is part of the German government’s so-called “insect protection action plan”. It will also ban the use of insecticides and weed killers within five to 10 metres of water bodies in the country’s national parks.

Reducing pesticides

Pressure is now building on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to make good on promises regarding the reduction of the use of pesticides. Last year, Germany announced it would phase out the herbicide glyphosate as part of its insect protection plan. The German Nature Conservation Association (DNR) has called on the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, to deliver on the promise of stopping the use of glyphosate by 2023.

Environmentalists have welcomed the reforms put forward in the new draft law but have joined calls for further action from the agriculture ministry. “We will not stop insect decline with tinkering alone,” said Rolf Sommer, director of the German chapter of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). He added that the new draft law was a starting point for the continued protection of insects, but more reforms were needed in regards to pesticide regulations.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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