Europe and Central Asia
26 Jan 2015

Tens of thousands march on Berlin to demand nature friendly farming

© NABU/E. Neuling
By BirdLife Europe

 “Wir haben es satt!” (“We are fed up!”) could be heard in the streets of Berlin on Saturday 17 January. The slogan was chanted by tens of thousands of people who marched on the city for the fifth consecutive year to express their concern that modern farming practices fail to respect the environment. As in previous years, members of NABU (BirdLife in Germany) were well represented in the procession.

Agricultural policy and the loss of biodiversity in our agricultural landscapes were major themes for the demonstration, as NABU-President Mr. Olaf Tschimpke explained in his speech to the participants.

He declared: “Future agricultural policy can no longer just be a policy of farmers for farmers. It should first and foremost satisfy societal needs such as respect for nature and consumer protection.”

He continued: “More and more people are fed up that the billions of Euros coming out of Brussels are simply flowing back into ‘business as’ usual farming. This keeps a status quo of huge monoculture maize fields, pesticide use and intensive animal production which is harming our environment.”

The march showed that many people care about the environment and believe that agriculture has an important role to play in protecting nature.

Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) might have just concluded, but environmental NGOs and EU citizens are already envisioning a future policy which will seriously tackle the intensification of farming and the continued loss of diversity in our agricultural landscapes as well as the loss of highly biodiverse grasslands.

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