Five major French cities - Paris, Lille, Nantes, Grenoble and Clermont-Ferrand - simultaneously announced on Thursday the ban on the use of pesticides on their territories, in hopes of " changing the law " on this subject, at heart of a controversy in the country.
This decision amplifies the movement of slingshot launched by dozens of small rural French communities, who recently decided to ban the use of pesticides near homes, reproaching the government for its inaction in this area. " We know the legal status of such decrees but it is for us to engage a concerted approach to change the law and contribute to the safeguarding of the invaluable heritage of biodiversity in our territories and the health of our fellow citizens ", wrote the five municipalities in a joint statement.
In the case of large cities and not rural communities housing cultures, this action is largely symbolic. The law already prohibits since 2017 the use of chemicals by communities to maintain green spaces and roads. Even ban since January for private individuals and gardeners who can only use plant protection products of natural origin.
With the cities of @lillefrance, @ClermontFd, @nantesfr and @VilledeGrenoble, we decided together to ban the use of pesticides on our territories. A strong and responsible commitment to the environment, biodiversity and the health of citizens! #StopPesticides pic.twitter.com/en9QElrsvLAnne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) September 12, 2019
SNCF in the line of fire
Remains mainly the green spaces of co-ownership and companies, including the railway company SNCF, large user of glyphosate to weed his tracks and their immediate surroundings.
Faced with the revolt of rural mayors, the government planned to set at 5 or 10 meters, depending on crops, the minimum distance between homes and pesticide application areas, arbitration denounced as minimalist by ecologists and associations.
A draft decree is in public consultation since Monday and until October 1st.
The Minister of the Ecological and Solidarity Transition Elisabeth Borne denounced for her part as a "coup de com" announcement by five major cities. " Thanks to these 5 municipalities for having confirmed that they will respect the law: since January 1, 2017 the use of pesticides is already prohibited in public areas, and since January 1, 2019 at home ... #coupdecom " , the minister wrote on Twitter after the announcement.
Thanks to these 5 municipalities to have confirmed that they will respect the law: since January 1, 2017 the use of pesticides is already prohibited in public areas, and since January 1, 2019 at home ... #coupdecom https: //t.co/R7vGLRJj9KElisabeth BORNE (@Elisabeth_Borne) September 12, 2019
( AFP )