With this petitition, I am proposing to the Riigikogu with the Estonian Greens and the signatories of this petition to ban the use of synthetic pesticides in the territory of the Republic of Estonia.
Our biodiversity is under greater threat than ever before, which is why the European Commission has set a 50% reduction in pesticide use in the European Green Agreement. Agricultural policies that were unilaterally aimed at increasing yields through the ever-expanding use of toxic agrochemicals have brought ecosystems to the brink of collapse. Day by day, the biodiversity that underpins our food systems is being destroyed - putting the future of our food, livelihoods, health and the environment at extreme risk. The consequences for nature are catastrophic: bees, butterflies and other insects are disappearing from our landscapes, and previously widespread birds have stopped singing in our fields. Our streams and rivers are polluted and we are exposed daily to a cocktail of synthetic pesticides that reaches us through food. The future direction of Estonia should be an eco-organic country, where both people and nature are protected and we would no longer poison ourselves and other species.
Synthetic pesticides are Organophosphorus pesticides affect the nervous system by interfering with the neurotransmitter, an enzyme that regulates acetylcholine. Most organic phosphates are insecticides. They were developed in the early 19th century, but their effects on insects, similar to those on humans, were discovered in 1932. Some of them are very toxic (they were used as neurotoxins in World War II). Carbamate pesticides affect the nervous system by breaking down the neurotransmitter, an enzyme that regulates acetylcholine. The effect of the enzyme is usually reversible. There are several subgroups within carbamates. Organochlorine insecticides have been used in the past, but many have been withdrawn from the market due to their health and environmental effects and persistence (eg DDT and chlordane). Pyrethroid pesticides were developed as a synthetic version of the naturally occurring pesticide pyrethrin found in chrysanthemums. They have been modified to increase their stability in the environment. Some synthetic pyrethroids are toxic to the nervous system.
Pesticide residues disrupt ecosystem services and cause malformations in animals, especially amphibians and fish. When such fish are caught and eaten, small amounts of pesticides can also enter the human body. Often without a person's own knowledge, damaging their health. In addition, pesticides kill insects, which are an important part of the ecosystem and food chain. The destruction of insects would also destroy insect-pollinated plant species, insect-feeding animal species and insectivorous animal species. In addition to extinctions, the number of species feeding on them would decrease. This would lead to the destruction of communities and ecosystems, through the extinction of animals. And also to the loss of genetic (differences in the genome of the same species), biological (different species) and ecological (different habitats and communities). Quality of life, economic competitiveness, employment and security depend on biodiversity. Biodiversity is crucial for the so-called 'ecosystem services', ie the services provided by nature: climate regulation, water and air, soil fertility and the production of food, fuel, fiber and medicine. It is essential for the long-term viability of agriculture and fisheries and is the basis for many industrial processes and the production of new medicines.
Farmers need to be supported in the transition to agro-ecology. Preference must be given to small, diversified and sustainable farms, the expansion of organic farming and the support of research and development into pesticide- and GMO-free agriculture. Such an agricultural model conserves natural resources, prevents the destruction of soils, increases soil fertility and thus contributes to climate protection by sequestering more greenhouse gases than it emits. Such an agricultural model is the only possible response to the growing challenges of biodiversity and climate crises, and is therefore best placed to secure the world's food supply for future generations.
In Sweden, the use of plant protection products in public parks and gardens and other public areas was banned in order to protect the environment and protect human health. Plant protection products must not be used in playgrounds, parks, lawns around residential buildings, kindergartens and schoolyards, etc. They must also no longer be used to spray houseplants in public places. The decision came into force on October 1, 2021.
Between 2013 and 2019, one or more pesticides were detected each year that exceeded the exposure limit values for groundwater or surface water, or both. Exceedances of one or more pesticides were detected in 3–7% of groundwater monitoring sites.
The pesticides that most often cause exceedances in surface water are the insecticides imidacloprid and malathion and the herbicides MCPA, melolachlor and metachlor, all of which were approved for use in plant protection products during the monitoring period, although some are no longer approved. In groundwater, the herbicide atrazine and its metabolites are the most likely to cause exceedances. Atrazine was not approved for use as a plant protection product during the monitoring period. Despite the restriction on the use of atrazine since 2007, it is still present in groundwater because it is very persistent.
Losses from pesticide use can vary significantly from year to year, depending on, for example, the type of crop and the weather, while the frequency of pesticide monitoring in surface water can be limited to one year per three years. Changing the status of approved pesticides will affect their use and release into the water, which may lead to difficulties in interpreting trends over time. Therefore, the changes between years may not be significant. The trend is expected to emerge in the coming years. The new EEA figure shows that levels of pesticides in excess of the limits were measured in a quarter of all European surface water monitoring sites in 2019. Between 2013 and 2019, this share ranged from 13 to 30%. The share of groundwater with exceedances was significantly lower, 3-7%.
There are still significant gaps in the data reported voluntarily by countries and it is too early to identify a stable trend in pesticide pollution in European waters.
Pesticides differ from many other contaminants in that they are designed to affect organisms such as plants, insects and fungi and can therefore affect the environment. Pesticides are regulated in the EU on the basis of high standards of protection for human health and the environment, and are only permitted after a thorough scientific risk assessment. However, contamination of surface and groundwater with pesticides can occur and affect aquatic fauna and flora.
Eea aims to update this indicator next year and is part of a wider set of indicators to monitor the progress of the European Commission's zero-emission efforts, Farm to Fork and biodiversity strategies as part of the European Green Agreement.
The second and final "water status" assessment by the European Environment Agency
showed that, despite some positive progress, the vast majority of European waters are still failing to meet the EU 's minimum objective of good ecological status. According to recent reports from all 28 EU Member States and Europe, around 47% of monitored lakes, rivers, transitional and coastal waters were in good chemical status in 2016, with concentrations of priority substances not exceeding EU standards. We must step up our efforts to ensure that our waters are as clean and resilient as they should be, on which our own well-being and the health of our vital aquatic and marine ecosystems depend. This is critical to the long-term sustainability of our waters and our long-term goals of living well within our planet. https://roheline.ee/paastame-mesilased-ja-talunikud/
Save bees and farmers! Save bees and farmers
The using of glyphosate must be banned in Estonia
health damage caused by pesticides PESTITSIIDIDE TERVISERISKID - TERVIS - 2021 (ncmhcso.org) pesticide residues in organisms Pestitsiidide jäägid ja organismid (maheklubi.ee) Conference 2018 - Human and Biodiversity. How to move forward together? Konverents 2018 - Inimene ja Elurikkus. Kuidas koos edasi minna? Biodiversity - European Environment agency Bioloogiline mitmekesisus — Euroopa Keskkonnaagentuur (europa.eu) Swedish government ban using of pesticides in public parks and gardens and other public areas https://www.facebook.com/EmbassyOfSwedenInTallinn/posts/4308495925849902 Pesticides in European waters New indicator on pesticides in European waters — European Environment Agency (europa.eu) Pesticides in European rivers, lakes and groundwater Pesticides in rivers, lakes and groundwater in Europe (europa.eu)