With its Action Programme for Insect Protection, the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) aims to improve living conditions for insects and enhance biological diversity in Germany in order to tackle insect decline.
The German government adopted the key issues paper on the Action Programme for Insect Protection on 20 June 2018. The paper includes nine areas of action in which measures for the protection of insects and their diversity will be taken:
- Supporting insect habitats and structural diversity in the agricultural landscape
- Restoring and connecting insect habitats in other landscape areas
- Enhancing protected areas as insect habitats
- Reducing the use of pesticides
- Reducing inputs of nutrients and pollutants in soil and water
- Reducing light pollution
- Intensifying research – strengthening knowledge – closing gaps
- Improving financing – creating incentives
- Promoting civic engagement
Based on the key issues paper, the BMU has drawn up proposals for concrete measures in these nine areas of action. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze presented the proposals for measures at the 9th National Forum on Biological Diversity on 10 October 2018. The event touched off and was also part of a public discussion phase, during which all stakeholders – including individual citizens – had the opportunity to evaluate the proposals and participate in the further development of the catalogue of measures by contributing their own ideas.
The level of participation in the online dialogue was very high. In terms of numbers, it has been the most successful open, online public dialogue run by the BMU to date. Citizens provided over 27,500 evaluations, 1,075 comments on measures and more than 320 new proposals for measures. In addition to the dialogue, talks on the BMU proposals were held with associations and the Länder, and a simulation game was conducted with young people.
The results of the public discussion phase were analysed and have been used to inform the overall draft of the Action Program for Insect Protection, which will be presented to the other German ministries for coordination. The programme should be adopted shortly by the German cabinet.