DIRECTIVE 2009/128/EC, or The Sustainable use of Pesticides Directive (SUD), was adopted in 2009 with the aim of reducing the most hazardous chemical pesticides’ use and their negative impacts. The Farm to Fork Strategy includes a target of reducing the use of the most hazardous pesticides by 50% by 2030. The Directive’s first impact assessment concludes that it has had little effect on the most hazardous pesticides’ use. Some reasons for this are:
- Inconsistencies between EU Member States regarding the SUD’s transposition and monitoring, often lacking clear targets at the respective states’ level.
- The lack of EU-level obligations for Member States to document integrated pest management actions, hence the Member States’ inability to accurately report their adoption.
- Limited availability of alternatives to hazardous chemical pesticides and information on integrated pest management solutions or non-chemical and less hazardous products.
The public consultation ran from January to April 2021. The resulting feedback will help formulate policy options to better implement the Directive and progress towards the above target, probably including:
- Legally binding targets (at EU & Member State level) to reduce the use of synthetic chemical pesticides and their associated risks.
- Better monitoring of the SUD by Member States through explicitly defined rules on official controls and greater Commission oversight through audits.
- Specific restrictions on the use of chemical pesticides and additional record-keeping requirements on the use of pesticides and testing of pesticide application equipment.
SmartProtect & its partners’ work can fit in well with these objectives, as well as implement the policy options used to enforce the directive.