Germany plans to dim lights at night to save insects

In a draft law seen by AFP, the country’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.

“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 hopes to get cabinet approval by October.

a city at night: Sundown could mean bright lights must go out in future for German cities like capital Berlin. © David GANNON Sundown could mean bright lights must go out in future for German cities like capital Berlin.

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 minimise 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 metres 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.

Source: Germany plans to dim lights at night to save insects