Don’t touch our fools! – LPO (League for the Protection of Birds)

On May 23, the very day that the Prime Minister responsible for ecological planning, together with two ministers in charge of ecological transition and energy transition, received NGOs in charge of nature protection largest at the National Museum of Natural History, promising they would discuss any major decisions, seemingly official newspaper order to violate the ban on shredding wasteland during the nesting period of rare and endangered birds.

As such, the first document to be co-signed by the Minister in charge of ecological transformation and territorial cohesion, and the Minister in charge of agriculture and food sovereignty is an unnatural decision. And this is despite the very unfavorable opinion of the National Hunt and Wildlife Council meeting on May 13 and the meeting showed, which is rare enough to emphasize, that hunters and Ecologists unanimously denounce this deadly project to wildlife: “The draft decree is the subject of a unfavorable opinion of the National Hunt and Wildlife Council (16 opposed, 6 opposed, 1 abstained). Majority of the negative votes are motivated by risks to biodiversity (protected species and game species) while fallow land of which the text is concerned is of little interest in terms of gain in production agriculture “.

Pursuant to the third paragraph of Article L. 424-1 of the Environmental Code, aims to “prevent the destruction or promote the reproduction of all game species”, The decree of March 26, 2004 provides that “Where shredding or mowing is necessary to maintain frost-free plots in accordance with normal agricultural policy, these operations cannot be carried out for a period of forty consecutive days from May 1st. until July 15. “.

Given the tragic circumstances we are experiencing in Ukraine as of February 24, 2022, there is no way to justify the temporary suspension of this ordinance, the environmental impacts will be significant and at times irreversible for wildlife.

Such a goal of increasing output, set forth to create an incentive to supply, is unreasonable. In France, fallow land accounts for nearly 300,000 hectares, or just over 1% of productive agricultural area (26.7 million hectares) and almost 2% of arable land. Most of these fallows have very limited productive potential (poor or hard-to-reach land). As such, the suspension of the decree of 26 March 2004 would not significantly increase the agricultural production potential of the European Union.

The European Commission itself insists that the stability of food supplies to the EU is not threatened. What is clear, however, is that our great reliance on chemical inputs, as well as our raw material distribution system, which is particularly supportive of speculation, is largely responsible for the sharp rise in prices of agricultural commodities and inequality in access to these raw materials. Today, we waste 1/3 of our agricultural output (production, storage, processing, distribution, consumption, etc.), 2/3 of our grain is used as food. livestock and 10% of our grain production exits the food circuit. agricultural fuel production.

The proper maintenance and management of fallow land contributes fully to the achievement of the European environmental goals.

Global warming and the alarming loss of biodiversity we are witnessing leave us with no way to counter some of the rare environmental advances that have been made in the field. agriculture. In order to ensure our production capacity of tomorrow, Europe has set itself environmental targets, which the suspension of the decree of June 26, 2004 would seriously harm. These include the goals of the “Farm to forkthe agricultural composition of Green deals, implemented by the European Commission, specifically introducing a 20% reduction in the use of fertilizers and 50% of pesticides by 2030 – chemical elements whose use can be significantly reduced through fallow land . Or even a “biodiversity” strategy, another variation of the Green Deal, that aims to strengthen the areas needed to adapt to biodiversity.

The environmental services provided by fallow land are largely provided by science and are today recognized by public authorities. : biodiversity conservation, water quality improvement, erosion control, soil restoration, integrated crop protection, carbon sequestration… When they are well managed, these environments offer many advantages for wild animals.

Among the arable crops, the deciduous trees are also privileged spaces for ground-nesting birds, particularly the Sky Lark, Gray Partridge, or Screaming Curlew, 3 of which are in statehood. poorly preserved. These birds were on average 3 times more frequent during the breeding period in spots that included the developed ones. As a reminder, the number of birds of agricultural processions continues to decline at an alarming rate in France (-29.5% since 1989) and in the EU (-17% since 2000); These trends are most likely reflected in all agricultural taxa.

Likewise, censuses conducted in abandoned areas show that the density of hares, scarabs or even guinea pigs is five times higher there than in agricultural areas. strictly managed.

The stakes for the populations of the “plain game” are important because fallow land is a key factor in facilitating the permanence, survival, and reproduction of many settled or migratory species.

Therefore, since fallow lands are perennial and permanent refuges and feeding grounds for small animals, they contribute to their extent to offset the decline of small mammals and other habitats. birds that depend on agriculture, This is mainly due to the reduction of agro-ecological infrastructure and the intensification of agricultural practices (increasing plot size, system specialization, pesticide use, etc.) habitat. Falling can even help reduce major in-game damage to farm crops.

The decision to suspend this decree, which regulates the shredding of wasteland, relates to the deadly trapping of the biodiversity found there, especially in very sensitive areas, for example such as the Natura 2000 site, especially in the spring, is a particularly fragile period for the breeding of birds, and insects including wild pollinators.

This first decision caused the President of the Republic to lie, claiming that ‘this second mandate will be ecological or it will not be’. It questions the true will of the government to finally address the thorny issue of the fall of life. The prime minister in charge of ecological planning can still repeal this decree prepared before her government’s constitution. This is a condition for restoring trust and ensuring cooperative and constructive work. Meanwhile, and regularly, the LPO is studying the possibility of an appeal before the competent courts.

Allin Bougrain Dubourg
President of LPO

Click Contacts: Yves Verilhac

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