IEEP's study contributes to a pesticide ban on EFAs

Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs), part of greening in the Common Agricultural Policy, are intended to safeguard and improve biodiversity on arable farms in the EU. The European Parliament has narrowly decided not to veto the Commission’s delegated regulation, which simplifies and changes some of the EFA rules, including a ban on all pesticide use on EFAs from 2018 onwards. IEEP’s EFA study for EEB and BirdLife was part of the evidence used by environmental groups to push for this regulation.

IEEP’s study looked at how EFAs are being implemented in the EU and what evidence there is in the published literature on the potential biodiversity impacts on farmland – taking into account how the areas are being managed. We pointed to the quite intensive use of insecticides and fungicides on peas and beans grown on EFAs, in contrast to EFA with legumes such as clover or alfalfa. There is also evidence that flowering crops such as beans take up pesticide residues from previous crops into their pollen and nectar.