Simon Popy, President of France Nature Environment, FNE, Languedoc-Roussillon, provides an update on the State Council’s decision to ban or limit pesticides in the Natura 2000 region, in response to the FDSEA, the administrative federation of agarwood operators’ farms.
We want to continue exchange and dialogue, including with agricultural associations, on agricultural issues but do not allow ourselves to be caricatures. We are also rural people, citizens who have the right to speak about agricultural policy, we are also accredited associations for the protection of nature whose responsibility is to go to court to enforce existing texts”, says Simone Bobby, President of France Nature Environment, FNE, Languedoc-Roussillon. He wants to respond On the FDSEA in Aude and its president accusing the EPA of “tracking farmers.” “It must be remembered that the goal of reducing pesticides does not belong to the FNE. This is a goal that France has set for itself, at least in theory. In practice, we see that the results are not always very convincing. It makes sense, for us, to prioritize the areas with the biggest stakes in protecting nature, and thus the Natura 2000 areas, before caring for the rest.” And to remember that previously, FNE was interested in limiting pesticide use near waterways.” Who is going after whom? When we express ourselves about agricultural activity and its impact on nature and human health, we are often threatened, insulted and intimidated. FNSEA and the state have entered into a partnership to create a Demeter Cell. The State Council recently recognized the illegality of his ideological repression missions. National Evangelical Front fighters were concerned about the activists’ non-violent actions. If we add to this the FDSEA coalition, the fishermen as well as the local elected officials who mostly follow the FNSEA, we are very stressed when we are environmental activists. What posed a problem for us was the fact that we had not transmitted a European directive for more than 10 years. It seems legitimate for us to ask questions; We use access to justice, always, as a last resort. We are with legal action in a democratic republican framework. American city dwellers eager to freeze farmland for our entertainment? I just want to remind you that FNE is a federation of associations for the protection of nature with members from all over France and mostly rural associations; We have in our bodies farmers, agronomists, ecologists… We are not the caricature that FDSEA wants to make of us.”
Simon Bobby evokes La Piège. We have heard the peasants warn. It’s a project like us, but we don’t want to be a scapegoat for the consequences of La Piège’s liberal agricultural policy and economic misery. We understand there are concerns about pesticide regulation, but today FNE has only held the government to account and the ball is in their court.” Back to Natura 2000 “It is the EU’s main biodiversity policy, which has been in place for 30 years. Its goal is to reconcile biodiversity with human activity. It is not a matter of putting things under a bell but of protecting the wonderful natural heritage and continuous human activity. This never means the complete absence of restrictions for this one. As early as 2009, the European Union issued this directive asking member states to generally restrict or ban the use of pesticides in protected areas. This includes, in France, the Natura 2000 regions. And this comes as no surprise to anyone. For 13 years, this was never implemented. We gave time. Let’s hope the government takes advantage of this to promote another agricultural model that’s less chemistry-based. This means that it must propose an appropriate and fair regulatory text and accompanying measures.”