The European Parliament on Wednesday (14 June) has endorsed a ban on the use of pesticides on environmental sensitive areas.
A group of MEPs in the European Parliament failed to block a European Commission proposal to ban the use of pesticides on ecological focus areas.
Under the approved legislation, farmers who receive subsidies from the bloc’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for improving biodiversity on land set aside for nature conservation will no longer be allowed to spray pesticides there.
Farmers with arable land exceeding 15 hectares must ensure that at least 5% of their land is set aside for nature improvement. This includes measures that affect biodiversity such as field margins, fallow land, buffer strips and hedges and trees.
It is up to national governments to draw up a list of ecological focus areas, based on a common EU definition, and taking national circumstances into account.
Before the final vote in parliament, 363 MEPs had backed a resolution seeking to dismiss the pesticide ban, just 13 short of the 376 required for a majority.