03 April 2019

Bavaria legislates "save the bees" into law

Bavaria has announced that it will pass into law a popular “save the bees” petition that promises drastic changes in farming practices – without putting it to a referendum first.

The landmark move comes amid increasingly alarming warnings from scientists that nearly half of all insect species are in rapid decline – a third of the crucial pollinators threatened with extinction.

The petition launched in February to seek better protection of plant and animal species had become the most successful in the southern German region’s history, garnering 1.75m signatures.

The proposal set a target for 20% of agricultural land to meet organic farming standards by 2025, before reaching 30% by 2030.

Ten per cent of green spaces in Bavaria would have to be turned into flowering meadows, and rivers and streams better protected from pesticides and fertilisers.

Rather than putting the petition to a referendum, Bavaria’s state premier, Markus Söder, announced it would simply be written into law, passing through parliament.

We are taking the text of the referendum word for word,” said Söder, leader of the conservative CSU party which governs the state in a coalition majority.
So, a petition is started in February, and in April the legislature decids no need to debate this, we'll just pass what you want.

Compare that with the United States:
A memo from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Thursday that the Trump administration rolled back an Obama-era ban on neonicotinoids, a group of synthetic chemical pesticides that are linked to the decline of wild bee populations around the world (August 2018)
*sigh*

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