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Reports (Technical Expertise Report) Year : 2022

The impacts of plant protection products on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Summary of the collective scientific expertise

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Abstract

Each year, between 55,000 and 70,000 tonnes of plant protection product active ingredients, including those usable in organic farming and biocontrol, are sold in mainland France and its overseas territories. They are used for crop protection or the maintenance of gardens, green spaces and infrastructure (known in French as JEVI). At the same time, the report on the global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services established in 2019 by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has provided an alarming assessment of an unprecedented erosion of biodiversity. Chemical pollution generated by human activities, including plant protection products (PPP), has been identified as being among the causes of this erosion. This pollution is added to other pressures, such as habitat destruction caused by urbanisation, the intensification of agricultural and forestry practices and the consequences of climate change. Faced with this observation, European regulations on the marketing of PPP have aimed for a high degree of protection, in particular on the principle of avoiding any unacceptable effect on the environment. However, this objective has not been fully achieved, due in particular to insufficient consideration of the diversity of interactions as they occur in the environment (between substances, between organisms, and with a variety of physical-chemical factors etc.).. Against this background, the French Ministries respectively responsible for the Environment, Agriculture and Research asked INRAE and Ifremer to conduct an inventory of scientific knowledge relating to the impacts of PPP on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The previous collective scientific expert study (known as an ESCo) on Pesticides, Agriculture and the Environment was conducted in 2005. The present exercise consists of updating the results, extending them to the entire land-sea continuum and including PPP use in non-agricultural areas (JEVI). Unlike the 2005 study, this ESCo is positioned downstream of PPP use, dealing with the fate and impacts of these substances once introduced into the environment. It does not deal with agricultural practices or systems that reduce PPP use, nor with preventive strategies for regulating pests. These themes are the subject of other ongoing work, in particular another INRAE ESCo on the management of plant cover for the natural regulation of pests, the results of which are expected in autumn 2022. These two exercises are part of the Ecophyto II+ Plan, in addition to the Pesticides and Human Health expert study published by Inserm in 2021. The scope of this ESCo covers the various environments (terrestrial, atmospheric, continental and marine aquatic environments, with the exception of groundwater) in their continuity, from the site of PPP application to the ocean, in both mainland France and its overseas territories, from knowledge produced or transposable in this type of context (climate, PPP used, biodiversity present etc.). It includes all products intended for crop protection or the maintenance of JEVI, whether conventional PPP or biocontrol products or agents, when they are likely to be found in the environment due to current or past use. The analytical framework established considers biodiversity in its structural and functional dimensions, and it incorporates the issue of ecosystem services. Attention is therefore more particularly focused on work that documents the identification of risks and effects under realistic environmental conditions, and at levels of biological organisation (e.g. individual, population, community, ecosystem) likely to biodiversity as well as with ecosystem functions and services.
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hal-03775493 , version 1 (12-09-2022)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives - CC BY 4.0

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Sophie Leenhardt, Laure Mamy, Stéphane Pesce, Wilfried Sanchez. The impacts of plant protection products on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Summary of the collective scientific expertise. [0] INRAE; IFREMER. 2022, 14 p. ⟨hal-03775493⟩
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