Today, representatives of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) “Save Bees and Farmers” met with Pope Francis in Rome. South-Tyrolean organic farmer and beekeeper Annemarie Gluderer handed the message to the Holy Father and he thanked her and gave his blessing.
In his earlier Laudato Si in Care for our common Home in 2015 Pope Francis said: “Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity“.
This is the last leg of a tour which started on August 30th from Goldrain, in the Venosta Valley, and touched a number of cities across Italy, including Bologna, where the team visited the Ramazzini Institute, where research on glyphosate and links to carcinogenicity is currently being carried out. The tour also made a stop in Florence, where, in collaboration with Navdanya International, the team met local producers and visitors at the Genuino Clandestino farmers’ market.
The bee caravan tour has been led by Annemarie Gluderer, representative of the Italian alliance, an organic farmer from Val Venosta who knows very well the problems and dangers of coexisting with pesticides.
“Save Bees and Farmers” is the name of an ambitious European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) aimed at collecting 1 million signatures across Europe by September 30, 2021 to make our agriculture more sustainable. The three main objectives are:
- Phase out synthetic pesticides by 2035: Phase out synthetic pesticides in EU agriculture by 80% by 2030, starting with the most hazardous, to become 100% pesticide free by 2035.
- Restore biodiversity: Restore natural ecosystems in agricultural areas so that farming becomes a vector of biodiversity recovery.
- Support farmers in the transition: Reform agriculture by prioritising small scale, diverse and sustainable farming, supporting a rapid increase in agroecological and organic practice, and enabling independent farmer-based training and research into pesticide- and GMO-free farming.
Already 750.000 Europeans have signed this formal call. If the 1 Million is reached by September 30th the EU Commission will be obliged to put forward a proposal to the European Parliament.
Navdanya International is part of the European alliance of civil society organisations promoting the European Citizens’ Initiative Save Bees and Farmers, and, along with all other partners, invites all EU citizens to sign the call at www.savebeesandfarmers.eu before the 30th of September 2021.
Photo Credits: Francesco Alesi