Integrated Pest Management – the Way Forward to Sustainable Agricultural Production

Brussels

Today the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association (IBMA), the Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe) and the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) organised a conference on “Integrated Pest Management – the Way Forward to Sustainable Agricultural Production”. The uptake of environmentally friendly crop protection methods is a major element of making agriculture more sustainable, and highly relevant for the entire debate on the EU 2020 growth debate on resource efficiency as well as on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

2012 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of the book The Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1). 2012, is also the year when member states need to develop a National Action Plan and inform theEuropean Commission about how they intend to reduce their use and impact of pesticides (2).

With this conference we aim at drawing attention to the importance of the implementation of the European Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides (SUD) and to make sure that the SUD is being fully integrated into the Common Agricultural Policy.

According to the SUD all EU farmers need to apply Integrated Pest Management (IPM) from 1 January 2014. This means that each farmer as from 2014 needs to uptake integrated use of a suite of different preventive agronomic means and non-chemical methods, and use chemical crop protection products only as a last resort.

With this conference is it clearly proven that IPM is both an effective and an economic approach towards crop protection. This is real innovation that contributes to the future of European agriculture! Able to provide on food security without harming the environment, public health, and biodiversity.

Not only dowe hope to inspire European Member States to develop sufficiently ambitious National Action Plans for the implementation of the SUD. We also hope to show that a serious move towards real Integrated Pest and Disease Management is an essentialkey to ensure smart, sustainable and inclusive growth of European agriculture (all key topics in the EU 2020 debate) as it is able to respond to the challenge of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on "Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability" by addressing the challenges of "not only how to produce more, but also how to produce better".

“Our 22-year experiment measuring Corn and Soybean Yields in a system with and without pesticides, where pesticides were replaced by two years rotation, cover crops, delivered exactly the same yield, increased the employment 35%, but due to the lower use of inputs at the same time were able to reduce costs., and at the same time meant 33% reduction in fossile energy and reduced soil erosion. Sustainable agricultural practices is a key in reducing pesticide dependency“ Professor David Pimentel, distinguished invited speaker at the Conference.

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Further information

For further information please contact:

Henriette Chistensen (PAN): henriette [at] pan-europe.info mobile : +32-473.375.671
Karel Bolckmans (IBMA): kbolckmans [at] koppert.nl, mobile : +31-6-51.41.00.46.
Franz Bigler (IOBC): franz.bigler [at] art.admin.ch, mobile +41-079-278.50.40

Note to editor
(1) Rachel Carson, , published in 1962 The Silent Spring, see: http://www.rachelcarson.org/

(2) In 2009 the EU agreed on Directive 128/2009 establishing a framework for Community actions to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:309:0071.... This Directive should have implemented into national law by November last year, while member states have until November 2012 to develop so-called National Action Plans to reduce their pesticide dependency by November this year; and as part of this to illustrate how they intend to ensure that all EU farmers apply IPM as from 1 January 2014.

Who we are:
IOBC is an International Organisation of progressive European researchers and other knowledgeable people investigating the use of sustainable, environmentally safe, economically feasible socially acceptable control methods of pests and diseases of agricultural crops. Therefore IOBC encourages collaboration in the development and promotion of Biological and Integrated Pest Management. IOBC fosters research and practical application, training and information exchange, especially of all methods including biological control within an integrated pest management context. IOBC produces guidelines for integrated production of agricultural crops, collaborates with different stakeholders to develop sustainable agricultural production systems and standardises methods of testing effects of pesticides on beneficial species with the aim to foster biodiversity and ecological services as a natural resource.

IBMA is the association of biocontrol industries producing solutions : microorganisms, macroorganisms, semiochemicals and natural products for plant protection. Based on long years of intensive research and development, the "Biocontrol industry" is now growing fast and can offer safe and cost- effective solutions to the entire food chain. IBMA was created in 1995 to represent the views of the developing biological control manufacturers, which are mainly SME’s with limited resources, research organisations, extension services, consultants, distributors, contributing to the development of biocontrol and participating in IBMA activities.

PAN Europe is an NGO working to minimise negative effects and replace the use of hazardous chemicals with ecologically sound alternatives. Our network brings together public health, and environmental organisations and women's groups from across 19 European countries. We work to eliminate dependency on chemical pesticides and to support safe sustainable pest control methods.

© PAN Europe, Rue de la Pacification 67, 1000, Brussels, Belgium, Tel. +32 2 318 62 55

PAN Europe gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the European Union, European Commission, DG Environment, Life+ programme. Sole responsibility for this publication lies with the authors and the funders are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.