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Pollinators are having a hard time, here’s what we can do about it

Posted on 08-12-2016 by Rebecca Reurslag


Bees and other pollinators, such as bats and lizards and thousands of species of insects, are essential for our well-being.

They provide a wide range of benefits to society in terms of contributions to food security, farmer and beekeeper livelihoods, social and cultural values, as well as the maintenance of wider biodiversity and ecosystem stability.

Now, pollinators face numerous threats including changes in land-use and management intensity, climate change, intensive agriculture, pesticides, pathogens, and invasive alien species. There are well-documented declines in some wild and managed pollinators in several regions of the world. However, many effective policy and management responses should be implemented to safeguard pollinators and sustain pollination services. This is according to a Review published in Nature, with contributions of Prof. Dr. Koos Biesmeijer, researcher at Naturalis and the University of Amsterdam.

They explain factors that have led to the decline of pollinators in several parts of the world and highlight policy and management interventions that could help reverse these trends. Koos Biesmeijer: “One of the big changes that is needed is move towards sustainable nature-inclusive farming systems. However, we can all help by creating flower-rich green spaces and gardens and improve management of semi-natural habitats. Another way to help pollinators is educating farmers and the public about to importance of pollinators and on how to reduce risks to pollinators, e.g. by reducing reliance on pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals.” The authors also encourage coordinated collaborative action and knowledge sharing to strengthen the establishment and implementation of the effective policy and management responses identified here to safeguard pollinators and pollination services for the long term.

Link to the paper

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