Dear Friends of ELIANT,
The European citizens initiative "Save bees and farmers" aims to collect a million signatures in support of the retention of species diversity and to promote an ecologically focused EU agricultural policy. ELIANT is supporting this initiative together with its partner organisations.
With a million signatures gathered in at least seven European countries we, as civil society, oblige the EU Commission to consider our demands in accordance with the EU constitutional contract. Signatures must be gathered within one year.
The demands are:
- To reduce synthetic pesticide use incrementally by 80% in EU agriculture by 2030 and completely prohibit it by 2035 in order to protect bees and species diversity.
- To transform agriculture into a driving force for the re-establishment of biodiversity.
- To support farmers both professionally and financially in making their vital transition towards a bee friendly and ecological form of agriculture.
A re-allocation of agricultural subsidies is needed urgently
Nearly 40% of the entire EU budget – 300 billion Euros – goes to the large industrial farms. This means that 20 percent of all farms receive 80 percent of the subsidies. It is precisely the small, medium sized and organic farms which are mostly likely to enhance biodiversity, that are being systematically neglected.
Within a period of ten years 4 million of these smaller farms in the EU have been forced to close, while the area and market share of the large industrial farms has correspondingly increased. This has resulted in the number of farms falling from nearly 15 million to less than 11 million. It means that across the EU we have lost 400,000 farms per year, more than 300,000 per month and more tht 1000 per day! While small and medium-sized farms in the EU have been closing down, large industrial farms have been increasing in area and market share.
The causes of species loss and the closing of farms are, at least in part, closely connected with the current model of industrial agriculture which is shaped by the application of pesticides, pressure of global competition and the practice of monoculture.
With many thanks for your signature!