Germany Bans Floodlights to Save Insect Population

Germany announced a ban on floodlights from dusk for a major part of the year in an effort to curb the dramatic decline in its insect population
In a draft law, Germany announces ban on floodlights post sundown
In a draft law, Germany announces ban on floodlights post sundown

Researchers all around the globe have noticed a worrisome pattern while studying some insect populations. They are seen to have declined by a large number in the past few years. Scientists link this problem to increasing light pollution. The bright, artificial lights in cities interfere with the natural metabolism of insects. In its bid to curb the dramatic decline in insect population, Germany has announced a ban on floodlights and light traps from sundown for much of the year.

In a draft law seen by Agence France-Presse (AFP), the environment ministry of Germany has strategised various protective measures ranging from partially outlawing spotlights to increased protection of natural habitats. "Insects play an important role in the ecosystem...but in Germany, their numbers and their diversity has severely declined in recent years," reads the draft law, for which the ministry is seeking cabinet approval by October. 

The law puts forward changes which includes stricter control over lighting as well as the use of insecticides. This includes banning light traps outdoors, while searchlights and spotlights are prohibited post sundown for 10 months in the year.

The draft also demands that any new installation of streetlights and other outdoor lights should be done in a way that they have minimum effect on insects, plants and other animals.

Weed killers and insecticides are also being banned from being used in national parks within 5 to 10 metres from a major water body, while orchards and dry-stone walls are to be preserved as natural habitats of the insects. 

The proposed changes and protective measures are a part of the German Government's &lsquoInsect Protection Action Plan&rsquo which was announced earlier last year in the month of September under increased pressure from environmentalists and conservation activists.

Further attention has also been drawn towards the agriculture industry for it is also under pressure to reduce the overall consumption of insecticides and pesticides. 

Most notably, Germany said last September that it would ban the overall use of the controversial weed killer glyphosate as a part of its insect protection action plan. &ldquoWe will not stop insect decline with tinkering alone,&rdquo Rolf Sommer, a director at the German chapter of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), told the media.

The German Nature Conservation Association (DNR) further demanded that environment minister Julia Kloeckner deliver her promise on imposing the ban on glyphosate by the year 2023. 

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