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Why are bees and other pollinators declining?  (graphics) |  News

Why are bees and other pollinators declining? (graphics) | News

In recent years, beekeepers have reported a decline in colonies, Especially in Western European countries Such as France, Belgium, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. However, many other parts of the world, including the United States, Russia and Brazil, bear witness to the same problem, so the issue is undoubtedly global.

Pollinator extinction risk

This topic has captured the public’s attention, as bees and other pollinated insects are essential to our ecosystem and biodiversity. Fewer pollinators mean that many plant species are at risk of shrinking or even disappearing, along with the organisms that depend on them directly or indirectly. Reductions in both numbers and diversity among pollinators also affect food safety with potential crop losses.

To address the problem and complement efforts at EU and national level within the framework of environmental, agricultural and public health policy, the European Commission presented in 2018 the “EU Initiative on Pollinators”. It is the first coherent EU-wide initiative, focusing on wild pollinating insects. The purpose is to increase knowledge about reduction, address causes, and raise awareness.

In a June 2021 vote on the new Biodiversity Strategy to 2030, members called for an immediate review of European Union Initiative on Pollinators. The revised initiative should include an EU-wide framework for monitoring pollinator stocks with robust actions, clear and time-bound targets and indicators, including impact, as well as necessary capacity building efforts. They also agreed on the Commission’s goal of reducing the use of hazardous and chemical pesticides by 50%.

Who are the pollinators?

Few plants are self-pollinating: the vast majority depend on animals, wind or water for reproduction. In addition to bees and other insects, a large number of animals, from bats, birds and lizards to monkeys, rodents and squirrels, can be pollinators. With bee numbers declining, farmers in some parts of the world, such as China, have begun to manually pollinate their orchards.

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