National Action Plan for Sustainable Use of Pesticides
The MCCAA publishes a consultation document on Malta’s National Action Plan for Sustainable Use of Pesticides
The MCCAA launched a public consultation on a revised national action plan (NAP) with the aim of strengthening the framework for community action to achieve a sustainable use of pesticides in Malta.
The revised NAP covers the period 2019 to 2023, and has been developed while taking into consideration social, economic and environmental impacts of former measures, in addition to the health of the public. It focuses on generating an efficient tool to support the sustainable use of pesticides in Malta.
The main objectives of the plan outline measures to reduce the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment and also to encourage integrated pest management and alternative techniques to reduce the dependency on the use of pesticides. These main objectives are supported by various measures such as training, the provision of information and awareness raising, to both professional users and distributors amongst applicable stakeholders, and the general public. This plan put focus on measures of control such as inspections on pesticide application equipment in use and controls on handling, storage and disposal of plant protection products (PPPs) to reduce the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment.
The comprehensive plan aims to ensure the reduction of pesticide use in specified areas such as protected areas, conservation areas, protected natural habitats, as well as areas used by the general public, including public parks and gardens, sports and recreation grounds, school grounds, children’s playgrounds, and areas in the close vicinity of healthcare facilities. The plan also supports specific measures to protect the aquatic environment and drinking water.
This plan will support alternative low-pesticide-input pest management strategies, giving, whenever possible, priority to non-chemical methods so that practice and products with the lowest risk to human health and the environment are selected, whilst promoting integrated pest management, as well as organic farming.
Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Rights, Public Cleansing and Support for the Capital City Deo Debattista said, “Consumers today are much more aware of the quality of food they eat and the risks to human health and the environment related to plant protection products. The NAP, in fact, addresses both actions aimed at farmers, to distributors of these products, as well as to the public, among other stakeholders whilst recognising the importance of education and information in this field.”
During his address, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights Clint Camilleri said that “the educational campaign on the correct and sustainable use of pesticides will involve surveys with farmers to identify the most common problems related to the use of pesticides that farmers themselves encounter.” Camilleri explained that a brochure aimed at educating farmers on how to apply pesticides to their crops will later be published, and this will in fact help farmers to save money as it reduces overspray that is not need on surfaces. Parliamentary Secretary Camilleri concluded by saying that at Għammieri there will also be a facility for farmers to calibrate their spraying pumps.