Sustainable use of pesticides
At the same time as the Regulation on PPPs was adopted, Directive 2009/128/EC establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides was also adopted.52 It currently only applies to pesticides that are PPPs, but an expansion of its scope to also include biocidal products is foreseen.53 The Member States are required to adopt National Action Plans (NAPs) setting up quantitative objectives, targets, measures, and timetables to reduce risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment and to encourage the development and introduction of integrated pest management and of alternative approaches or techniques in order to reduce dependency on the use of pesticides. ‘Integrated pest management’ refers to the careful consideration of all available plant protection methods and subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of populations of harmful organisms and keep the use of PPPs to levels that are economically and ecologically justified and reduce or minimise risks to human health and the environment. The NAPs shall also include indicators to monitor the use of PPPs containing active substances of particular concern. (Arts 3 and 4.)
Member States shall ensure that all professional users, distributors, and advisors have access to appropriate training. This shall include, inter alia, how to identify and control the hazards and risks associated with pesticides, integrated pest management techniques, organic farming principles, and biological pest control methods. Pesticide application equipment in professional use must be subject to inspections at regular intervals. (Arts 5 and 8.)
The use of pesticides is to be minimised or prohibited in certain specific areas, including areas used by the general public, such as public parks and gardens, school grounds and children’s playgrounds, and areas protected under the Water Framework Directive and Natura 2000 sites (Art 12).