Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
June 2 — About a sixth of the world's pollinator species are being driven toward extinction by pressures caused by human actions, a scientific body linked to the United Nations said in a study that recommends reducing pesticide use and adopting sustainable agriculture methods.
“Under threat are over 20,000 species of wild bees, in addition to varied species of butterflies, moths, wasps, beetles, birds and other animals that contribute to pollination,” said Anne Larigauderie, executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
Larigauderie spoke last week at the Second Session of the UN Environment Assembly conference in Nairobi, Kenya, where IPBES released an advance copy of recommendations that were based on two years of study on pollinators globally.
“More than three-quarters of the world's food crops rely at least in part on pollination by insects and other species in the animal kingdom,” said Simon Potts, a professor of biodiversity and ecosystem services at the University of Reading in the U.K.
Vera Imperatriz Fonseca, a professor of ecology at University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, said the volume of agricultural production dependent on animal pollination has increased by 300 percent in the last 50 years. “Unfortunately, the pollinator-dependent crops now show lower growth and stability in yields compared to crops that do not depend on pollinators,” said Fonseca, Brazil's appointee to the IPBES team studying pollinators.
Developing countries in tropical and subtropical regions are likely to suffer the most from pollinator declines, as many rely heavily on pollinator-dependent cash crops, Fonseca said.
Some of the most important crops in this category include cocoa, coffee, maize and a wide range of tropical fruits.
“Already the decline of cecidomyiid and ceratopogonid midges that are essential to pollination of cocoa have resulted to reduced production of chocolate,” said Fonseca.
A draft summary for policymakers of the assessment report of the IPBES on pollinators, pollination and food production made available to the delegates at the conference showed that wild pollinator numbers have declined in every region globally.
The report found that 16.5 percent of vertebrate pollinators are threatened with global extinction, citing statistics from the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Regional assessments indicate high levels of threat for some bees and butterflies. “In Europe, populations for bees have declined by 37 percent and butterflies by 31 percent,” said the report.
The decline in pollinator pollinator populations is due to radical changes in land use associated with intensive agricultural practices and pesticide use, said Robert Watson, vice chairman of IPBES. “Alien invasive species, diseases, pests, environmental pollution and climate change have also increased threats to pollinators and the entire pollination processes,” said Watson.
The study's recommends include using agricultural practices that minimize environmental damage and limiting the use of pesticides.
To contact the reporter on this story: Wachira Kigotho in Nairobi at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org
The advance copy of Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services's recommendations on pollinators is available at http://bit.ly/26gtgEI.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)