POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - POLITICS

Adverse agricultural practices

Environmental groups accuse Lux government



Luxembourg doesn’t do enough to protect its local biodiversity and thus goes against EU regulations, say environmental groups natur&emwëlt and Meco in the official complaint they co-signed.  Photo: Shutterstock

Luxembourg doesn’t do enough to protect its local biodiversity and thus goes against EU regulations, say environmental groups natur&emwëlt and Meco in the official complaint they co-signed.  Photo: Shutterstock

Luxembourg’s government doesn’t do enough to preserve the grand duchy’s biodiversity and nature when it comes to applying agricultural policies, say local environmental protection organisations natur&ëmwelt and Mouvement Ecologique (Meco), filing an official complaint against the government.

Citing the example of partridges, which saw their population decline to a mere four specimen couples over the last few decades, and lowland meadows--27% of their total surface has been destroyed in the last 9 years--, the two organisations co-signed an official accusation of the State.

They say: “The intensification of agriculture, the disappearance of shrubs and fallows, the high use of pesticides and fertilisers, the ‘box-cutting of hedges’, etc... deprives the grey partridge of its habitat, food source and makes it more vulnerable to predators,” adding that the destruction of many lowland meadows is to blame on inappropriate agricultural use.

Though the country’s biodiversity has been in decline for the last 40 years according to the ministry of environment’s official website, the site also lists measures to protect nature and natural resources on the national level. These range from legislation to ecological compensation plans, to evaluations of different spaces and incidents, as well as stricter regulation concerning namely the management of natural spaces in the agricultural sector.

Despite this, the co-signatories argue that the deterioration of the environment in Luxembourg is evidence that the government isn’t doing enough and is thus directly going against EU regulations. Indeed, the EU’s recently reformed common agricultural policy (CAP) requires countries to protect nature and safeguard biodiversity.

The complaint document contains a list of demands. Implementing extensive meadows, perennial flowering areas, or species-rich field margins on 30% of grassland and 25-30% of arable land, or a specific management plan for threatened habitats and species for each Natura 2000 site, are among the demanded changes. Restoring and conserving species-rich grassland over the next decade is also required, say the organisations.

Delano has reached out to the ministry of agriculture for a comment.