Analysis of German regulations for protected areas
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Analysis of German regulations for protected areas regarding GMO relevant provisions Ruth Brauner, Katja Moch Second European GMO-free Regions Conference Berlin, 14-15 January 2006. Framework. commissioned by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.

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Analysis of German regulations for protected areas regarding GMO relevant provisions

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Analysis of german regulations for protected areas regarding gmo relevant provisions

Analysis of German regulations for protected areas

regarding GMO relevant provisions

Ruth Brauner, Katja Moch

Second European GMO-free Regions Conference

Berlin, 14-15 January 2006


Framework

Framework

  • commissioned by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.

  • analysis of the regulations of 52 nature conservation areas in Germany, of the 15 German national parks and of the 14 German UNESCO biosphere reserves.

  • concerning provisions, prohibitions or rules how to deal with genetically modified organisms within and next to nature conservation areas. This was done from a biologists perspective.


Framework1

Framework

The selection criteria to choose 52 sites out of more than 7,000 German nature conservation areas were:

  • ongoing agricultural use in the area

  • representation of a wide range of habitats and areas of different sizes from all “Länder”

  • regulations dating from different times

  • most nature conservation areas selected are NATURA 2000 sites (pSCI and / or SPA, following the EU habitats or birds directive), but some of them are not


Results on gmo relevant provisions

Results on GMO relevant provisions

  • two regulations with an explicit ban of GMOs

  • common restrictions not to destroy, damage or change the protected areas

  • scientific research option

  • restrictions on the use of herbicides

  • prohibition of killing wild animals

  • prohibition of introduction of plants or pieces of plants

  • restrictions on feeding wild animals

  • problems not addressed so far


Explicit ban of gmos

Explicit ban of GMOs

  • mostly the evaluated regulations for German nature conservation areas, biosphere reserves and national parks do not refer directly to genetically modified organisms

  • two of 81 regulations refer directly to genetically modified organisms and exclude their use from the areas

  • both are located in Schleswig-Holstein


Common restrictions not to destroy damage or change the protected areas or parts of it

Common restrictions not to destroy, damage or change the protected areas or parts of it

  • the regulations give a broad flexibility for interpretation

  • “damaging”, “change”, “sustainable disturbance”, “considerable” intervention or “agriculture in the usual way”: need of a common interpretation of terms

  • completion of this analysis from a legal point of view to clarify what may be covered by these terms


Scientific research option

Scientific research option

  • sometimes scientific research options are a second aim besides nature conservation

  • a few prohibitions on damaging objects of scientific value (claim for leaving the area in its original state): threatened by the introduction of GMOs

  • ongoing discussion on the options to use protected areas for a general monitoring on natural development or to have a baseline for the monitoring according to 2001/18/EC


Restrictions on the use of herbicides

Restrictions on the use of herbicides

  • in more than half of the areas the use of pesticides is forbidden

  • in these areas the use of herbicide tolerant plants would be worthless

  • only few regulations tackle the use of pesticides just next to the sites, so that there are barely restrictions for the use of genetically modified herbicide tolerant plants next to the sites


Prohibition of killing wild animals

Prohibition of killing wild animals

  • most of the regulations ban killing of wild animals within the protected sites without making a distinction between pests and other animals

  • as aconsequence planting of insect resistant plants (producing a toxin and killing the pest) can not be accepted in these areas


Prohibition of introduction of plants or pieces of plants

Prohibition of introduction of plants or pieces of plants

  • the introduction of plants or pieces of plants is prohibited by most of the regulations in one way or another, sometimes only “plants and pieces of plants that can reproduce”

  • need of a legal assessment and clarifications on some terms like “introduction”

  • need of clarification for pollen

  • sometimes allowance of “native” plants or introduction in the “previous manner and amount”


Restrictions on feeding wild animals

Restrictions on feeding wild animals

  • rather sophisticated rules on the circumstances allowing feeding of wild animals

  • very often involvement of regional or local nature conservation authorities required in each case of feeding or in each change of feeding facilities

  • possibility of avoidance of genetically modified feed, if wanted


Problem not addressed so far

Problem not addressed so far

  • some areas are crossed or bordered by streets and other ways of transport

  • no prohibitions are in force concerning an unintentional loose of genetically modified plants from these, e.g. rape seed from open lorries etc. as traffic can pass by with no restrictions


Outlook

Outlook

  • consequences of provisions concerning the use of GMOs in protected areas depends on the interpretation of terms like “damage”, change” and the “hitherto existing agricultural practice”

  • need of a study involving lawyers to clarify what may be covered by these terms

  • study can be use as an overview of options how to include GMO-related provisions into regulations for protected areas

  • study highlights relevant provisions; thus competent authorities can use this knowledge to adopt it for their local situation (e. g. pay attention to the kind of feed)


Analysis of german regulations for protected areas regarding gmo relevant provisions

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