UK National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (NAP)

The best opportunity in a generation to better protect the health of both people and wildlife from harmful pesticides…

In December 2020, the Government launched a crucially important three-month consultation on UK pesticide use. The consultation called for opinions on the draft revised UK National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides – referred to as ‘the NAP’ – which sets out how pesticides are allowed to be used across the UK for the next five years.

During the consultation period, PAN UK mobilised thousands of members of the public and a diverse range of civil society organisations to submit responses to the Government calling for a reduction in pesticide-related harms. Thank you so much if you made your voice heard during this crucial time.

We are now waiting for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to publish the final version of the NAP. Then the hard work begins to ensure that the measures outlined in the NAP are implemented in the best way possible in terms of protecting human health and the environment from hazardous pesticides.

What’s in the draft NAP?

The high-level aim of the NAP is to “minimise the risks and impacts of pesticides to human health and the environment, while ensuring pests and pesticide resistance are managed effectively.” It covers all uses of pesticides (agriculture, amenity and gardening) and a wide array of pesticide-related issues. While the draft NAP contained some good measures, it was also woefully inadequate in other areas and so risks being yet another missed opportunity to tackle the harms from pesticides.

PAN UK and our allies called for the following measures to be included in the final draft NAP:

  • Increased support for farmers and other pesticide users to reduce their use and adopt nature-based Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  • Better monitoring of pesticide use and the associated impacts on human health and the environment.
  • Targets, metrics and indicators needed to drive a reduction in both pesticide use and pesticide-related harms.
  • Measures to ensure that pesticides users can access the independent advice, research and training they need to reduce their use and adopt non- chemical alternatives.
  • Improved enforcement, compliance and inspections aimed at ensuring that pesticide users are sticking to the rules.
  • A phase out and ultimate ban of non-agricultural pesticides which are used in urban areas, on sports pitches and around infrastructure such as roads and train tracks.