"Biodiversity is on everyone's lips"

On August 22, the discussion of the biodiversity podium organized by the regional group Greenpeace Biel was held in St. Paul's Church. The guests were Regina Ammann, Syngenta Switzerland Public Relations Manager, Franziska Herren, Initiator of the Drinking Water Initiative, Philippe Schenkel, Greenpeace Switzerland Campaigner for Sustainable Agriculture Peter Schwab, farmer, and Hans Stöckli, councilor of the canton of Bern (SP). Moderation was chaired by Martin Schwab of the Greenpeace regional group in Biel. In the room, about fifty participants listened to the exchange of views of each other, politically correct and a little overrated, from Switzerland, a conversation that slowly warmed up to finally let some emotions pass.

"Biodiversity is on everyone's lips," said Martin Schwab, at least since the IPCC report last October, which analyzed the effects of global warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era .

Franziska Herren complained that personally exemplary behavior in relation to the purchase and consumption of food exclusively from organic production was not enough to guarantee poison-free drinking water, as long as our Taxpayers subsidize intensive farming with the massive use of pesticides and antibiotics in industrial farming. The initiative requires that only farms receive subsidies that allow them to do without pesticides and the preventive use of antibiotics.

Peter Schwab, farmer, felt that the eight-year transition period mentioned in the initiative was very short. The problem is that it is expected as a producer of quality vegetables, in sufficient quantity and at the right time. He could not sell carrots or twisted vegetables with insect bites. As a child, he and his grandfather brought potatoes out of the water, which would be unimaginable today. How it produces, with or without pesticides, nobody cares about it. Farmers would not spray pesticides for joy and always feel guilty. However, the products made by Swiss farmers determine the company they demand, and this also applies to meat production. Nevertheless, it has significantly reduced its use of pesticides in recent years.

Philipp Schenkel, Greenpeace activist, said the first man mass murdered was underway. In addition to the already extirpated species, about one million species are threatened with extinction. Intensive agriculture with its high consumption of water, pesticides and mineral fertilizers plays a major role in this regard. High yields can only be achieved with these additives, which are inefficient and associated with high greenhouse gas emissions. 14.5% of organic farms have enough evidence to be able to dispense with mineral fertilizers and pesticides. With traditional organic production, 30 to 50% of greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced. mt