Turkish ministry bans three pesticides to save bees
Zeynep Bilgehan - Istanbul
Turkey’s Agriculture and Forestry Ministry banned the use of three dangerous chemicals utilized in the agriculture sector with a decree coded “urgent” on Dec. 22 after daily Hürriyet reported that the pesticides were killing hundreds of thousands of bees.
Turkey is home to almost 8 million beehives. Around 150,000 of them, however, have been destroyed because of chemicals used in agriculture, namely pesticides.
Hürriyet on Oct. 28 reported that beekeepers were calling for a “ban on these pesticides in accordance with EU standards.”
After the report, Greenpeace also initiated a campaign under the slogan “we are all in the same beehive” and called for the ban of the three pesticides which damage the nervous system of bees and cause mass deaths. The campaign drew support from over 150,000 signatories in four months, while 11 NGOs supported the initiative in a joint statement.
The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry later sent a decree to the authorities of all provinces across Turkey, issuing the ban on the pesticides along with a schedule for action. The decree said “the decision was made on the reports of mass deaths of bees due to the use of these poisonous chemicals and also according to the legal standards of the EU.”
Greenpeace’s head of Mediterranean agriculture and food project, Berkan Özyer, welcomed the decision and said, “This decision was made thanks to the efforts of tens of thousands of people and beekeepers all around Turkey. We look forward to the implementation of this decision and developments on the ground.”