What YOU can do
Get active, get writing
Write to the Government to support the suspension of neonicotinoid pesticides
Neonicotinoid pesticides have been linked to the massive declines in Bees and pollinators across the world. On April 26th there will be a vote on a proposal by the European Commission to temporarily suspend three neonicotinoids for two years. Representatives of EU Member States will be voting on this and it is vital that it succeeds.
The UK government is likely to abstain due its total disregard for independent studies showing the harm the neonicotinoids can do to pollinators and it's over reliance on non peer reviewed, inaccesible pesticide industry data. Once again the UK is going to find itself out of step with the rest of the EU on a vital environmental issue.
Please write or email the Defra Minister Owen Paterson and urge him to support the Commission proposal when the vote comes. The UK position as it stands flies in the face of scientific evidence, the opinion of the majority of EU Member States, the opinions of organisations such as PAN UK and public opinion.
We have drafted a sample letter you can use by downloading here, or you can write your own one. Make sure you send a copy to your own MP and ask them to raise the issue with Owen Paterson too. You can find out who your MP is and how to contact them here: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/
Mobilise in your local community
You can make a real difference for bees and other pollinator species by taking positive action in and around your own home and in your local community. Some very small simple actions could really help to make a difference. The following are a few suggestions for practical and effective things that you can do. We are sure there are other things that you can think of, if you do please don't be shy, we want to hear about them and add them to the suggestions here.
- Don't use products that contain neonicotinoids in your home and garden. There is a list of all the products containing neonicotinoids that are currently availble in the UK on the Pesticide Action Network UK website
- Plant bee friendly plants in your garden. More information on this is available at the Bee Guardian website
Influence the retailers
We are calling for a ban on the sale of home and garden products that contain neonicotinoids - we believe that there is simply no need for them whatsoever. A number of large retailers have voluntarily taken such products off their shelves following concerns about the effect they are having on pollinators. We want to see others follow suit. If your garden centre is selling products containing neonicotinoids ask them to stop. A full list of which products contain neonicotinoids is available here.
Another key audience we are trying to influence to make positive change is the retailers that supply our food. Due to their position and influence with government any positive actions that they take in reducing pesticides either being used or being sold could have immense knock on effects with our decision makers. And, of course, retailers are influenced by what their customers tell them. So either write to them and tell them what you want or vote with your feet.
In the first instance we would like to see all UK food retailers taking action to remove the use of neonicotinoid and other bee toxic pesticides from use in their global supply chains. Some UK supermarkets are taking a pro-active approach to reducing their use of pesticides and others are doing far less. PAN UK published a report in November 2011 on what supermarkets are doing on pesticides, including actions on bees, which is available to read here: http://www.pan-uk.org/supermarkets/2011-supermarket-comparison
We would also like to see supermarkets and other retailers such as B&Q and Homebase stop selling bee-toxic home and garden pesticides. We believe that these products are unnecessary and the pests that they are designed to combat can be dealt with in other non-toxic ways. Again we urge you to write to them and tell them what you think.
Support the people campaigning for change
On April 26th Pesticide Action Network UK is joining forces with Avaaz, Buglife, Environmental Justice Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, RSPB, Soil Association and 38 Degrees for a peaceful demonstration in front of Parliament to pile the pressure on the Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs, ahead of a vital EU vote banning neonicotinoid pesticides on Monday 29th April.
It is called the March of the Beekeepers and we really need you to come along and show your support for the bees and your outrage at the way the UK government is ignoring the scientific evidence on the harmful effects of neonicotinoid pesticides.
For information on the event please visit:
The March of the Beekeepers
10.30am for 11am start. Ends 12.30 / Friday 26th April 2013
Parliament Square, Westminster, London
Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) and the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) have launched a joint campaign to protect the UK’s bees and pollinators and the ecological and economic services they provide through an end to the use of harmful pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids, and through the promotion of habitat protection.
While there is no single explanation for the dramatic declines in populations of bees and other pollinator species in the last decade consensus is growing that neonicotinoid pesticides are a key piece in this complex puzzle. For this reason the first and most urgent major step should be a precautionary ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
PAN UK and EJF are calling for the development of a UK Pollinator Action Plan, which includes:
- A near term ban on neonicotinoid pesticides
- Government incentives and support for adoption of pollinator-friendly farming practises and restoration of bee habitats
- Government funded independent research in declining bee populations and the role of pesticides
For more information please visit: http://www.ejfoundation.org/bees