A EU Initiative for Pollinators – Your Expertise is Needed

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The European Commission is running a Public Consultation on the EU initiative for pollinators (running until 5 April 2018), to collect views on the decline of pollinators. The questionnaire covers the causes and consequences of pollinator declines, potential mitigation measures and the EU dimension to the problem. 

In Europe, pollinators are primarily insects like bees, hoverflies, butterflies, moths, beetles and other fly species. Their rapid decline throughout recent years is alarming, almost 4 out of 5 wildflowers need animal pollination and the majority of crops benefit from it.

Research especially led by European Red List of bees and butterflies increased awareness and knowledge about the reasons and dimension of the threat posed by the decline of pollinators as it leads to the loss of animal pollination.

European Red List of Bees

The IPBES* report on pollinators, pollination and food production, the first global assessment of pollinators unveils the need for a strategic intervention across different sectors.

According to the IPBES report,

direct threats to pollinators include land-use change, intensive agricultural management and pesticide use, environmental pollution, invasive alien species, pathogens and climate change.

There is (yet) no specific policy on pollinators at the EU level. So far the issue is mainstreamed throughout various legislation and policies:

  • environment and health policies, in particular the Birds and Habitats Directives and EU legislation on pesticides
  • Common Agricultural Policy
  • Cohesion policy
  • Research and Innovation policy

Steps towards a EU Pollinator Initiative

European Commission, DG Environment is currently pushing forward to set up a targeted Initiative to tackle the decline of pollinators. The following milestones are part of the process:

  • Improving knowledge on pollinators
  • Tackling the causes of the decline of pollinators
  • Raising awareness and improving collaboration and knowledge sharing

To involve as much expertise and provide as much transparency and options for stakeholder involvement the Commission is running a Public consultation on the EU initiative for pollinators. Citizens, scientists, environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs), farmers, farmers’ associations and farm advisors, beekeepers, rural communities, the agro- and food industry, landscape architects, educational institutions and public authorities are asked to provide their inputs until 5 April 2018.

Have your say and take 20 minutes of your time to fill in the online form in your mother tongue.

The Commission published on 1 December 2017 a Roadmap for the EU Pollinators Initiative.

More background information on the EU Pollinators Initiative can be found at DG Environment website.

* IPBES is the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services