Two popular initiatives to reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture were used by the Swiss National Council in June. Both charges were ultimately rejected by the Grand Chamber. However, the good nine-hour debate that preceded made it clear that the initiatives hit a nerve and that the issue is not taken lightly. The latter would probably not be appropriate. According to the Federal Office of the Environment, the limit value for pesticides and their degradation products is exceeded at 20% of measuring stations, against 70% in agricultural areas. Liechtenstein also has limits for pesticide contamination. They are defined in the ordinance on the protection of water and the ordinance on drinking water and are subject to annual control. For this, explains Elija child of the office
for the environment, samples were taken from all groundwater pumping stations and sent to the Interkantonale Labor (IKL) in Schaffhausen for analysis. Traces of pesticides and their degradation products have only been found until now, as the environmental engineer claims. For example, in 2018, a "considerably refined measurement method" was used. However, compared to the results of Switzerland, the values are low, he said. "Therefore, we can not talk about increased pollution of groundwater." The same is true for drinking water, which is obtained equally in Liechtenstein from groundwater and spring water. "The traces of pesticides detected are well below the limits set in the Drinking Water Ordinance, which means that a health risk is excluded," Kind said.
A set of regulations and measures
The fact that the values recorded in Liechtenstein are much lower than those of Switzerland has a lot to do with the local situation in the eyes of the civil servant. "How much arable land is there? Which crops are grown? What distinguishes groundwater conditions? Despite the "favorable" starting position, there are also a number of regulations in the Principality, some of which are identical to those in Switzerland, to limit the use of pesticides. "The law on agriculture and its regulations require targeted selection and use of pesticides," says Kind. Therefore, only funds authorized by the Ordinance on plant protection products in Switzerland must be used. The ecological performance certificate (ÖLN), which must be provided by agricultural enterprises, is also mentioned per child. This further limits the use of certified phytopharmaceutical products. In addition, continues the environmental engineer, there is a program to promote the abandonment of fungicides and insecticides, and the law on water protection and its regulation contain new bans and restrictions.
Use prohibited on terraces
Overall, Liechtenstein should be well placed with this portfolio of measures and rules. Nevertheless, the child recognizes that there is room for improvement. Above all, he still has to make people aware: "Many people, for example, do not know that the use of pesticides on terraces, courtyards, trails, etc., is prohibited. substances enter the water table quickly without being first trapped and degraded in the soil. "A common problem, according to Kinder, is the non-compliance with the instructions for use, particularly with regard to the quantity used. . In addition, in another remote area of agriculture and amateur gardening, there was still a lot of educational work, as he notes: "Herbicides and fungicides used in building materials – facades, roof waterproofing, etc. – are too little taken into account. "(Bo)