For years, the population of insects in Germany and their diversity has declined greatly. Recognizing the vital importance of insects to the country’s ecosystem, Germany’s environment ministry has drawn up a number of new measures to protect insects, ranging from partially outlawing spotlights to increased protection of natural habitats.
The changes put forward in the law include stricter controls on both lighting and the use of insecticides. Light traps for insects are to be banned outdoors, while searchlights and sky spotlights would be outlawed from dusk to dawn for ten months of the year. The draft also demands that any new streetlights and other outdoor lights be installed in such a way as to minimize the effect on plants, insects, and other animals.
The use of weed-killers and insecticides would also be banned in national parks and within five to ten meters of major bodies of water, while orchards and dry-stone walls are to be protected as natural habitats for insects. The proposed reforms are part of the German government’s more general “insect protection action plan”, which was announced last September under growing pressure from environmental and conservation activists.