Commune of Mals fights for agriculture without pesticides

++ South Tyrolean commune has been campaigning for a pesticide ban for six years ++ Insecticides, herbicides, etc. are putting the living conditions of people, animals and plants at risk ++ To be honoured with the EuroNatur Award 2020 ++

<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

Rural idyll in front of an alpine panorama. The majority of people in Mals would like to see this kind of agriculture.

© Alex Filz
<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

Pesticides? No, thanks! Organic farming? Yes please! "Operation Sunflower" in Mals

© Hollawint

Radolfzell. The whole of Europe is spraying its farmland, meadows and orchards with industrially produced pesticides. The whole of Europe? Not quite! A small village in the Vinschgau is refusing to give up its stand against the massive use of glyphosate and other pesticides. In recognition of the courage and tenacity of many of the people of Mals, the South Tyrolean commune is to be honoured, on 8 October, with the EuroNatur Award 2020.

South Tyrol is the largest apple growing region in Europe; around one in ten apples is harvested in the valleys around the Dolomites. This intensive cultivation is accompanied by an extremely high use of pesticides. In apple orchards - unlike in cereal fields - it is not just the soil that is chemically treated, trees are also sprayed at a height of up to two metres. With this spraying method, drift is a significant problem because fine droplets of pesticide are blown everywhere by the wind, even into residential areas.

Many of the citizens of Mals were no longer willing to accept this and, in 2014, they initiated a referendum. 76% of the population opted for a future without pesticides. However, the remaining quarter did not accept the outcome of the referendum and, to date, legal actions have prevented the pesticide ban from being implemented. But that is not the end of the story: the commune of Mals is continuing to strive to make the wishes of the majority of its citizens a reality.

“The widespread use of pesticides in the fruit growing region of the Vinschgau is a threat to human health. At the same time, it is leading to the extinction of entire insect populations in the region. The fact that the majority of the commune of Mals is so resolutely opposed to the poisoning of its environment and is thus campaigning for a different, biodiversity-friendly agriculture should serve as an example for all communities in Europe”, said EuroNatur President Thomas Potthast, explaining the rationale behind this year's EuroNatur Award decision.


Background information
EuroNatur award: Previous prize winners include Dr. Mario F. Broggi, Jonathan Franzen, Dr. Luc Hoffmann, Gudrun Steinacker and the „brave women of Kruščica“. It is only the second time that a commune has received this award. It is an award without prize money, recognising exceptional achievements in nature conservation which takes account of both people and nature. The 2020 EuroNatur award is to be awarded on the island of Mainau on Lake Constance on 8th October 2020 at 17.00, but this may change according to the situation with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Further enquiries:
Christian Stielow, Email: christian.stielow(at)euronatur.org, Tel.: +49 (0)7732 – 92 72 15

How you can help

Donation

Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to a more livable environment.

Newsletter

Twice a month, EuroNatur provides you with the latest campaign and project information about Europe's natural heritage free of charge and at first hand.

News

A first for Croatia: a person appears in court accused of poisoning wild animals

At the beginning of the year there were several cases of wild and domestic animals being poisoned in Croatia. Now a 52-year old has appeared in court,...

Commune of Mals fights for agriculture without pesticides

++ South Tyrolean commune has been campaigning for a pesticide ban for six years ++ Insecticides, herbicides, etc. are putting the living conditions...

Fishes in Mediterranean region endangered due to hydropower boom

++ New study confirms: hydropower plants have a devastating impact on fish populations in rivers around the Mediterranean ++ Numerous species are...

Failure of lead ammunition ban caused by Julia Klöckner's ministry

The Europe-wide ban on hunting with lead ammunition failed to gain approval last week – due to opposition from the Federal Ministry of Food and...

Tackle illegal logging or face court, Commission warns Romanian Government

The European Commission has demanded today that Romanian authorities take immediate action to stop illegal logging of old-growth and primary forests...

More than 122,000 people are demanding the protection of the Romanian virgin forests

++ A petition with more than 122,000 signatures has been handed to two State Secretaries of Romania’s environment minister ++ Demand for comprehensive...

Success for nature conservation: construction freeze for hydropower projects

++ Parliament imposes historic decision for rivers in Bosnia & Herzegovina ++

Triumph for European rivers

The European Water Framework Directive is to be kept in its current form. This has been confirmed by Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for the...

Ulcinj Salina: One year of nature conservation - few things happened

One year ago, Ulcinj Salina was designated as a nature reserve – a great success for us and our partners. While it sounds good on paper, in practice...

Boom in illegal trade in animals in Albania

Despite a ban on hunting, numerous wild animals are being killed or traded in Albania; stuffed Balkan lynx, brown bears in cages, wild game on the...

The "Brave Women of Kruščica" must fight again

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the women residents of the village of Kruščica are once again preparing to blockade their river. Investors have announced...

Artists speak up for Balkan Rivers

++ On the occasion of the World Music Day on 21 June 40 artists support the Blue Heart campaign for the protection of Balkan Rivers ++

Pesticides: No thanks! The EuroNatur award to the commune of Mals

++ The EuroNatur award 2020 goes to the commune of Mals in South Tyrol ++ It has gained national prominence through its campaign to ban pesticides in...

At long last a clear statement: EuroNatur welcomes the biodiversity strategy for the EU

++ European Commission presents biodiversity strategy ++ In future 10% of the land surface area should be placed under strict protection ++ To...

Europe's largest river protection area on the verge of gaining approval

Europe's largest river protection area could soon be created along three rivers - the Danube, the Drava and the Mur. On 7 May, after also receiving...

By using our services, you agree that we use cookies. Data protection