The European Commission presented Tuesday a series of recommendations to the countries of the European Union to stop in 2030 the insect decline pollinators before the decline in bee, butterfly or wasp populations, posing a threat to biodiversity and agriculture in the EU.
“Little things can make big changes in the world.. In the case of pollinators, these small insects can define the future of nature and the long-term food security“, declared at a press conference the European Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevicius.
The Community Executive has transferred to the Member States of the EU a document with a series of recommendations to “improve conservation and appease the causes of decline” that reinforces a first communication issued in May 2021, after the Court of Auditors of the EU will underline in 2020 that Community actions to protect these insects had been ineffective.
Specific, Brussels proposes several lines of action focused on wild pollinators, and especially on the 2,000 species of bees registered in the EU. These include better conserving species and their habitats, restoring their living environments in agricultural landscapes, or mitigating the impact of pesticide use.
“Half of the crops in the EU that depend on pollinators suffer from a deficit. Reducing and replacing chemical pesticides is absolutely necessary,” said European Commission Vice President for the Green Deal, Frans Timmermans.
The European Commission, which ensures that the EU already has “one of the strictest regulatory systems in the world regarding the approval of pesticides”, estimates that the contribution of pollinators to the reproduction of crops and wild plants has an impact of “at least 5,000 million euros a year” in the Community agricultural sector, so its decline poses “a direct risk to agricultural productivity,” said the Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Woijciechowski, in a statement.
“Where harmful impacts to pollinators are detected, legal measures will be taken to restrict or prohibit the use of the pesticides involved,” says the community Executive.
Brussels, which already addresses the problem through different tools, some already in use such as the Habitats and Birds Directives, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) or cohesion, research and innovation policies, wants to reinforce this work.
The Commission encourages the 27 to improve pollinator habitats in urban areas and that they protect them from threats such as climate change, invasive species or the light pollution.
Brussels also asks capitals to work to increase public awareness and also intends to improve knowledge about the problems that cause the decline of these insects, such as the creation by 2025 of a map of pollination areas in the EU.
The European Commission advanced that later it will present another package of recommendations on pollination specifically aimed at agriculture, in response to the citizen initiative “Save bees and farmers”.
Contact of the Environment section: [email protected]