PAN-UK delivers its Submission to the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into “the Future of the Natural Environment in the UK After the EU Referendum.”
Given our expertise, PAN UK’s submission focuses on the use and misuse of pesticides in UK agriculture and the impact on the natural environment. Here, we highlight opportunities to address these threats through changes to the current regulatory and subsidy systems once the UK leaves the EU.
PAN-UK would like to see Ecological Focus Areas including protection for permanent grassland and expanded crop rotation, stronger requirements of farmers for keeping the aquatic environment free from pollutants including pesticides and dedicated support for nature friendly farmers. This support should include incentives for reducing the use of pesticides, with the establishment of a proper monitoring system for pesticide application, plus increased support for farmer training, advice and experimentation in Integrated Pest Management methods. One of our key asks is that the UK Government provides much greater support for the organic sector in order to increase the area of land farmed organically.
It should be unacceptable to harm nature, but easy to help it. In the future, 100% of any public payment should be conditional on meeting higher standards of wildlife, soil and water stewardship: those farmers and land managers who get the most public money should be the ones who deliver the best environmental outcomes. We think the UK should maintain the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) framework, but develop a more robust UK National Action Plan and support it with policy measures and funding through the CAP replacement that encourages innovation in agroecological approaches and farmer group initiatives to deliver environmental public goods.
The full submission compliments our vision for UK agriculture post Brexit, which can be viewed here.
PAN-UK will be following the process diligently and will report back on any progress and developments along the way.