After the “first major climate trial in France”, is it time for the first major trial for biodiversity? While the country was condemned for the first time in February for not having respected its commitments to reduce greenhouse gases between 2015 and 2018, the associations Notre affaires à tous and Pollinis are launching, Thursday, September 9, an unprecedented legal action against the State for failure to meet its obligations of protection of living things. An announcement made from Marseille, where environmental protection actors from around the world are gathered for the congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Unlike the action for the climate “The affair of the century”, which concerned the inability of the authorities to achieve their major objectives in the fight against global warming, this procedure has a more restricted dimension: the appeal for faulty failure. aim them failures in the authorization and marketing process for pesticides. “On biodiversity, there are still very few binding quantified commitments, explains Chloé Gerbier, spokesperson for the association of jurists Notre affaires à tous, at the origin of “The affair of the century” alongside the NGOs Greenpeace, Oxfam and the Nicolas Hulot Foundation. Our injunction and our requests are much more specific. “
A world first
With this procedure, supported by the director and environmental activist Cyril Dion, the two associations intend to recognize France’s responsibility in the catastrophic erosion of biodiversity. “Despite all the talk, and in defiance of national, European and international laws and conventions, the French state has failed to set up a pesticide approval system that truly protects pollinators and wildlife in general”, says Nicolas Laarman, general delegate of Pollinis.
“By its scope and its aim, this remedy constitutes a world first”, adds Cécilia Rinaudo, general coordinator of Our Everyone Affair. In May, the League for the protection of birds (LPO) sued not the state, but Bayer and Nufarm, the two main producers in France of imidacloprid, the most widely used neonicotinoid insecticide in the agricultural sector.
Pesticides are increasingly presented by scientists as one of the major causes of the biodiversity crisis, and in particular of the disappearance of insects. “While it is difficult to prioritize the factors of pollinator decline, there is a consensus on the role of pesticides in this decline, confirms Rémy Vandame, researcher in bee ecology in Mexico and co-chair of the IUCN group of specialists on wild bees. In particular, there is a temporal correlation between the decline in their populations and the marketing of neonicotinoid insecticides in the 1990s. “
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