Pollinators and Global Food Security: the Need for Holistic Global Stewardship

Over the past decades, both wild and domesticated insect pollinators are in dramatic decline, which puts at stake the existence of species, ecosystem resilience and global food security. Globally, 87 of major food crops depend on animal pollination. Together these account for 35 % of the world food production volume. Pollinator mediated crops are indispensable for essential micronutrients in the human diet. Many ornamental plants as well as crops for fibre, fodder, biofuels, timber and phytopharmaceuticals also depend on insect pollinators. This article aims to map the current situation of pollinators worldwide, with a focus on the critical role of pollinators in the human food chain and ecosystem sustainability, their intrinsic and extrinsic value, as well as the causes of their declines and the interventions needed to conserve them, in order to develop an argument for the importance of conserving and restoring pollinator populations and diversity. The present pollinator crisis threatens global and local food security, can worsen the problems of hidden hunger, erodes ecosystem resilience, and can destabilise ecosystems that form our life support system. An integrated approach that simultaneously addresses the key drivers is needed. This includes creation and restoration of floral and nesting resources, a global phase out of prophylactic use of neonicotinoids and fipronil, improvement of test protocols in authorisation of agrochemicals, and restoration and maintenance of independence in regulatory science. The authors argue that an international treaty for global pollinator stewardship and pollinator ecosystem restoration should be initiated in order to systemically counteract the current crisis.

Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Impact of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosystems

The Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Impact of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosystems (WIA) has examined over 800 scientific studies spanning the last five years, including industry sponsored ones. It is the single most comprehensive study of neonics ever undertaken, is peer reviewed, and published as free access so that the findings and the source material can be thoroughly examined by others.

Present scales of use of neonicotinoid pesticides put pollinator services at risk

Scientists urge transition to pollinator-friendly agriculture
Utrecht & Tokyo, 7 June 2013
Honeybee disorders and high colony losses have become global phenomena. An international team of scientist led by Utrecht University synthesized recent findings on the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees. Scientists conclude that owing to their large scale prophylaxic use in agriculture, their high persistence in soil and water, and their uptake by plants and translocation to flowers, neonicotinoids put pollinator services at risk.

Grootschalig gebruik neonicotinoïden zet bestuiving op het spel

Wetenschappers dringen aan op transitie naar bijvriendelijke landbouw
Utrecht & Tokyo, 7 juni 2013
Wereldwijd kampen imkers met abnormaal hoge volksterfte en verzwakte bijen. Een internationaal team van wetenschappers geleid door Universiteit Utrecht bracht de recente wetenschappelijke stand van kennis in kaart over de effecten van neonicotinoïde insecticiden op bijen. Grootschalig preventief gebruik in de landbouw, in combinatie met hoge persistentie in bodem en water en opname door planten die het gif doorgeven aan hun stuifmeel en nectar, leiden tot substantiële risico’s. De wetenschappers concluderen dat de bestuiving van bloeiende planten en landbouwgewassen op het spel staat.

Partij voor de Dieren wil onmiddellijk verbod op gevaarlijke bestrijdingsmiddelen

[PERSBERICHT partij voor de dieren]
Neonicotinoïden brengen bijen in gevaar
Partij voor de Dieren wil onmiddellijk verbod op gevaarlijke bestrijdingsmiddelen

Den Haag, 16 januari 2012 - Na een jarenlange discussie over de oorzaken van bijensterfte concludeert ook de Europese Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit dat neonicotinoïden, een zeer giftig landbouwgif, een acuut en ernstig gevaar zijn voor de gezondheid van bijen. De Partij voor de Dieren wil dat deze middelen per direct van de markt worden gehaald.

EPA Faces New Push To Closely Assess Neonicotinoids' Risks To Wildlife

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) says preliminary results of a study it is conducting show that EPA is underestimating the aquatic toxicity to birds and other wildlife of the controversial neonicotinoid class of insecticides, adding pressure to the agency to more strictly regulate those products amid concerns over their pollinator risks.

"Based on . . . preliminary results, we have reason to believe that EPA has underestimated the aquatic toxicity of the entire class of neonicotinoid insecticides," Cynthia Palmer, pesticide programs manager at ABC, says in Nov. 14 comments to EPA regarding the agency's registration review dockets for two of the neonicotinoids -- acetamiprid and thiacloprid.

Even low doses of insecticides put honeybees at risk

Scientists in France have discovered that honeybees are at a higher risk of dying from infection by Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae) when they are exposed to low doses of insecticides. The results, presented in the journal PLoS ONE, support the theory that combining more N. ceranae with a high pesticide content in beehives could contribute to colony depopulation.

Exposure to Sublethal Doses of Fipronil and Thiacloprid Highly Increases Mortality of Honeybees Previously Infected by Nosema ceranae

ABSTRACT: The honeybee, Apis mellifera, is undergoing a worldwide decline whose origin is still in debate. Studies performed for twenty years suggest that this decline may involve both infectious diseases and exposure to pesticides. Joint action of pathogens and chemicals are known to threaten several organisms but the combined effects of these stressors were poorly investigated in honeybees. Our study was designed to explore the effect of Nosema ceranae infection on honeybee sensitivity to sublethal doses of the insecticides fipronil and thiacloprid.

Overzicht gewassen en teelten waar neonicotine insecticiden in Nederland zijn toegelaten

De voor bijen zeer schadelijke insecticiden uit de neonicotine-groep (ondermeer imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidine en thiacloprid) zijn in Nederland zeer ruim toegelaten. Een overzicht van de gewassen en teelten waar het wordt gebruikt is hier te vinden:

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