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Pressure on aquatic life from crop protection agents

The ‘pressure on aquatic life from crop protection agents’ indicator weights the quantity of the active substance in each crop protection agent sold each year in terms of its toxicity for aquatic organisms and persistence in the environment, and is expressed as the sum of the dispersion equivalents (Seq). It is therefore a measure of the risks for aquatic life associated with the use of crop protection agents. The Seq indicator was applied to the period 1990-2010.

 

In 2013, the Seq indicator was modified in three respects to bring it more in line with reality. First, the method of application was taken into account. Three-dimensional tree spraying, for example, poses a greater environmental risk than two-dimensional field spraying. Second, the method used to calculate the usage figures was modified. The use of crop protection agents in agriculture is no longer calculated on the basis of sales figures, but on the basis of the results from the Agricultural Monitoring Network (LMN) of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Monitoring and Study Division (AMS). These data are extrapolated based on the agriculture census (Directorate General Statistics and Economic Information, ADSEI), allowing a picture to be built up for the whole of Flanders. The data for non-agricultural applications for private and public entities are determined on the basis of sales figures and data obtained via Phytofar and VMM respectively. Finally, also the most recent toxicity data are incorporated into the calculations. This new indicator, Seq+, was determined for the usage years from 2009 onwards.
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D P S I R

Figures

Pressure on aquatic life from crop protection agents (Seq, Flanders, 1990-2010)

Source: UGent, FOD VVVL
Data in Excel.


Progress

Target reached

The MINA plan 3+ (2008-2010) anticipated a reduction of 50 % in 2010 with respect to 1990. The MINA plan 4 (2010-2015) envisages a further decrease in the period 2010-2015.
In 2010, the indicator value was more than 60 % lower than in 1990. The MINA plan 3+ (2008-2010) target was thereby achieved.

The pressure on aquatic life has decreased more than the total use of crop protection agents. In addition to the causes that explain the change in total use (see Use of crop protection agents), there is of course the federal policy which is aimed at taking the most toxic substances out of circulation. In the decrease from 2001 to 2002, for example, the banning of lindane (an insecticide) played a major role. Also the phasing-out of diuron (a herbicide) has had a noticeable effect on the total indicator value. The decrease from 2007 to 2008 has a lot to do with the banning of paraquat (a herbicide). The decrease in 2010 is to be attributed mainly to a decrease in the use of flufenoxuron (an insecticide) and fenoxycarb (an insecticide).

The total Seq value is determined mainly by a limited number of active substances. In 2010, three substances accounted for more than half of the total: flufenoxuron (25 %), aclonifen (an insecticide, 16 %) and chlorpyrifos (an insecticide, 14 %). In 2010, the contribution of horticulture, arable farming and non-agriculture to the pressure on aquatic life amounted to 59 %, 35 % and 6 % respectively.

In spite of the short period over which Seq+ was determined, a marked decrease appears to have already taken place between 2009 and 2011. This decrease can be attributed mainly to the sharp decline in the use of endosulfan, an insecticide whose use has in fact been banned since June 2007. In 2011, agriculture accounted for almost 96 % of the total Seq+. The Seq+ of horticulture exceeds that of arable farming by a factor of almost 3. The contribution of non-agriculture was almost 4 %.

DPSI-R (de verstoringsketen)

De verstoringsketen is een veelgebruikt analysekader in de internationale milieurapportering. De keten schematiseert de oorzaken tot en met de gevolgen van de milieuproblemen.

Schakel 1 Driving forces (Maatschappelijke activiteiten) de onderliggende oorzaken van de milieuproblemen (productie, consumptie, transport, recreatie, enz.)
Schakel 2 Pressure (Druk) de directe oorzaken van de verstoringen brongebruik (energie, water, ruimte, grondstoffen) emissies (lozingen naar lucht, water en bodem, afval)
Schakel 3 State (Toestand) de resulterende toestand in lucht, water en bodem
Schakel 4 Impact (Impact) een inschatting van de negatieve gevolgen van de milieukwaliteit voor mens, natuur en economie
Schakel 5 Response (Respons) het (beleids)antwoord op deze verstoringen

Indicators



DPSIR-chain

The DPSI-R chain is a frequently used analysis framework in international environmental reporting. The DPSI-R chain outlines the causes to the impacts of environmental problems.

Link 1 Driving forces the underlying causes of environmental problems (production, consumption, transportation, recreation, etc.)
Link 2 Pressure the direct causes of the disturbances from resource use (energy, water, space, materials) and emissions (discharges to air, water and soil, waste)
Link 3 State the resulting state in air, water and soil
Link 4 Impact an estimate of the negative effects of the environmental quality for man, nature and economy
Link 5 Response the (policy) response to these disturbances

Indicatoren

positieve evolutie Positieve evolutie, met de doelstelling binnen bereik, of gunstige toestand.
onduidelijke evolutie Geen of beperkte evolutie, maar onvoldoende om de doelstelling te bereiken, of neutrale toestand.
negatieve evolutie Negatieve evolutie, verder weg van de doelstelling, of ongunstige toestand.
onvoldoende informatie beschikbaar Onvoldoende informatie.
De toekenning van smileys is geen exacte wetenschap maar veeleer een expertoordeel. Het 'oormerken' van indicatoren houdt onmiskenbaar het gevaar in van te sterke vereenvoudiging. Daarom wil de smiley de lezer vooral aanzetten om de bijhorende indicatorbeschrijving te lezen.

Indicatoren

positieve evolutie Positieve evolutie, met de doelstelling binnen bereik, of gunstige toestand.
onduidelijke evolutie Geen of beperkte evolutie, maar onvoldoende om de doelstelling te bereiken, of neutrale toestand.
negatieve evolutie Negatieve evolutie, verder weg van de doelstelling, of ongunstige toestand.
onvoldoende informatie beschikbaar Onvoldoende informatie.
De toekenning van smileys is geen exacte wetenschap maar veeleer een expertoordeel. Het 'oormerken' van indicatoren houdt onmiskenbaar het gevaar in van te sterke vereenvoudiging. Daarom wil de smiley de lezer vooral aanzetten om de bijhorende indicatorbeschrijving te lezen.

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