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Bee petition garners more than 5,000 signatures
Luxembourg

Bee petition garners more than 5,000 signatures

04.09.2014 From our online archive
A petition calling for urgent measures to protect the habitats of Luxembourg's bees was presented to the government on Thursday with a whopping 5,350 signatures.
(FILES) A bee collects nectar from a flower on April 24, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The European Commission said on May 24, 2013 that it will ban for two years beginning in December three pesticides blamed for killing the bees that pollinate food and fruit crops. The decision to ban the insecticides, made by chemicals giants Bayer and Syngenta, "marks another milestone towards ensuring a healthier future" for bees, EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR
(FILES) A bee collects nectar from a flower on April 24, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The European Commission said on May 24, 2013 that it will ban for two years beginning in December three pesticides blamed for killing the bees that pollinate food and fruit crops. The decision to ban the insecticides, made by chemicals giants Bayer and Syngenta, "marks another milestone towards ensuring a healthier future" for bees, EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR

A petition calling for urgent measures to protect the habitats of Luxembourg's bees was presented to the government on Thursday with a whopping 5,350 signatures.

Launched by conservation organisation nature & ëmwelt and Greenpeace Luxembourg, the petition was presented to Agricultural Minister Fernand Etgen and Environment Minister Carole Dieschbourg.

Under Luxembourg law, if a petition garners 4,500 signatures or more it will be discussed in parliament.

This means that the motions made in the petition will reach Luxembourg's political representatives.

The two organisations point out that bee populations have fallen dramatically in Luxembourg. From Autumn 2010 to Spring 2013, numbers fell by more than 40 percent. The demise of bee colonies is thought to be down to mites as well as the loss of habitat and use of pesticides in agriculture.

“Bee deaths are thus a direct consequence of the intensification of domestic agriculture,” said nature & ëmwelt president Roby Biwer.

During the presentation of the petition, the organisations urged both ministers to ensure the preservation of bee habitats and those of other pollinating insects and ban the use of what they describe as killer pesticides (imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin, fipronil, chlorpyriphos, cypermethrin and deltamethrin). They also want more funding for research into and promotion of organic farming.

“We don't just want a few cosmetic changes to agricultural policy. We appeal to the government for a long overdue shift towards sustainable agriculture in Luxembourg,” said Greenpeace Luxembourg campaigner Martina Holbach. www.savethebees.lu

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