Building on IPBES Assessment: 10 Concrete Government Policy Priorities Suggested to Protect Pollinators

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Bonn (IPBES News) – Twelve experts on pollination and its links to human well-being have used groundbreaking results from a major scientific assessment to suggest to Governments ten specific policies to protect pollinators and their value to people.

Writing in the 25 November edition of Science, one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed academic journals in the world, the authors of “Ten policies for pollinators”, make the point that: “With high-level political commitments to support pollinators in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France […] and the issue on the agenda for next month’s Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)”, there is now a significant opportunity for global-scale policy change.

Lead author, Dr. Lynn Dicks from the University of East Anglia, said: “This work builds on the outcomes of the first thematic assessment by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which earlier this year confirmed evidence of large-scale declines in wild pollinators in parts of Europe and North America, as well as the urgent need for better monitoring of pollinators around the globe. The IPBES report makes it very clear that pollinators are important to people everywhere – economically and culturally. Governments understand this, and many have already taken substantial steps to safeguard these beautiful and important animals, but much remains to be done. The policy priorities we suggest will help governments to support and protect pollinators, as part of a sustainable and healthy future.”

Representing institutions from the UK, Sweden, the United States, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and Japan, the authors identify ten priority Government policy options to reduce risks, increase farming sustainability, promote biodiversity and the benefits of nature to people, as well as to improve the state of knowledge about pollinators and pollination services.

Grounded in, but going beyond the IPBES report, the specific policy options suggested range from raising the standards for pesticide regulation, to support for diversified farming systems, developing insurance schemes to help farmers benefit from ecosystems services rather than agrochemicals, and restoring ‘green-infrastructure’ to help nurture pollinators in urban and rural areas.

Speaking about the wider significance of the article, the Chair of IPBES, Sir Robert Watson said: “IPBES exists to inform better policy through the best science. We welcome the identification of priority policy options that build on IPBES assessments, because the stronger the dialogue between science and policy, the better our chances of ensuring improved lives for people and a more sustainable planet.”

Echoing the conclusions of the IPBES assessment, the Science article also highlights substantial gaps in knowledge around the world about the status of pollinators and the effectiveness of steps being taken to protect them. Dr. Dicks added: “We need Governments to drive national-level pollination strategies – and to allocate the funding for better monitoring, reporting and analysis.”

The abstract of the Science article may be accessed at: https://goo.gl/FNQm80

The authors (with the location of their respective institutions) are: Lynn V. Dicks (UK), Blandina Viana (Brazil), Riccardo Bommarco (Sweden), Berry Brosi (USA), María del Coro Arizmendi (Mexico), Saul A. Cunningham (Australia), Leonardo Galetto (Argentina), Rosemary Hill (Australia), Ariadna V. Lopes (Brazil), Carmen Pires (Brazil), Hisamoto Taki (Japan) and Simon G. Potts (UK).

IPBES is an independent intergovernmental body, established by member States in 2012. It provides policymakers with objective scientific assessments about the state of knowledge regarding the planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems and the benefits they provide to people, as well as the tools and methods to protect and sustainably use these vital natural assets. To some extent IPBES does for biodiversity what the IPCC does for climate change.

To access the full report and the Summary for Policymakers of the IPBES Assessment on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production, go to https://goo.gl/5GTK7U

 

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