Germany plans to dim the lights at night to save insects

Germany plans to ban floodlights at dusk for most of the year. The decision was taken as part of the government’s attempt to combat the sharp decline in insect populations. In the AFP bill under review, the country’s Ministry of the Environment has developed a number of new measures to protect insects, from a partial ban on floodlights to strengthening the protection of natural habitats.

Changes to the law include stricter controls on both lighting and insecticide use.

Insects play an important role in the ecosystem … but in Germany their numbers and diversity have declined dramatically in recent years.

The text of the bill

Insect light traps should be banned outdoors, and floodlights will be banned from dusk to dawn for ten months of the year.

The project also requires that any new street and other outdoor lights be installed in such a way as to minimize the impact on plants, insects, and other animals.

The use of weed and insecticide control products will also be prohibited in national parks and within 5 to 10 meters of major water bodies, while orchards and dry stone walls should be protected as insect habitats.

The proposed reforms are part of a broader German government’s insect control action plan, which was announced last September amid growing pressure from environmental and nature conservation activists.

Environmentalists welcomed the bill, but called on the Agriculture Ministry for further action.

We won’t stop insect decline if we get down to business.

Rolf Sommer, Director of the German chapter of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
The Ministry of the Environment’s proposals were “the starting point for strengthening insect control,” but he added that more reforms to pesticide regulations are needed.