The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment launched a public consultation on 11 January 2018 to collect European views on the decline of pollinators.
The consultation, in the form of a multiple choice questionnaire, focuses on the role of pollinators, the causes and consequences of their decline and the solutions to implement.
This consultation is open to all, individuals and professionals alike and available in 23 languages until 5 April 2018.
Pollination, an essential action for ecosystems balance
Pollination is the basis of plant reproduction. More precisely, it is the transport of pollen contained in the stamen (male organ) to the pistil (female organ). Pollen reaches the pistil in several ways: by water, wind, self-fertilization and animals.
Animals are very important in this process, especially pollinating insects. The most known and effective are bees and bumblebees, but wasps, ants, flies, butterflies or even beetles also participate in this action. Besides insects, birds, bats and some mammals can also play this role.
Our food safety at risk
In 2016, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) published a two-year study by 80 researchers highlighting the importance of natural pollination for agricultural production and the decline of pollinators.
In particular, it concludes that more than 40% of pollinating insects (especially bees and butterflies) are in danger of extinction, while about 80% of crops are pollinated by animals.
The decline of pollinators is therefore very worrying, because in addition to impacting biodiversity and natural environments, it severely threatens agricultural yields and therefore our food safety.
Pollinators are essential for fruits, oilseeds, vegetables and forage production. 35% of what we eat every day comes from pollinating insects.
Pesticide use, intensive agriculture, degradation of the natural environment, diseases and global warming are the main factors explaining the decline of pollinating insect populations.
If we want to ensure our food safety, it is necessary to find solutions to the decline of pollinators. Take advantage of this public consultation to give your opinion and show your interest in this issue.
To welcome and protect pollinating insects in everyday life
To fight the decline of pollinators at home, you can welcome them into your garden by setting up insect huts so they can shelter and by growing a variety of plant species rich in nectar and pollen.
The Museum of Natural History and the Office for Insects and their Environment have created a photographic monitoring site (Spipoll) where everyone can contribute to increase the data collected on pollinating insects.