SLU's knowledge bank

Scientists propose ten policies to protect vital pollinators

Last changed: 22 May 2019
Bumblebee pollinatng flower.

Pesticide regulation, diversified farming systems and long-term monitoring are all ways governments can help to secure the future of pollinators such as bees, flies and wasps, according to scientists. The article was published in November 2016 but the policies are still valid.

In an article published the journal Science November 2016, a team of researchers (among them Riccardo Bommarco at SLU) has suggested ten clear ways in which governments can protect and secure pollination services – vital to the production of fruits, vegetables and oils.

The ten suggested policies in full are:

  • Raise pesticide regulatory standards
  • Promote integrated pest management (IPM)
  • Include indirect and sublethal effects in GM crop risk assessments
  • Regulate movement of managed pollinators
  • Develop incentives, such as insurance schemes, to help farmers benefit from ecosystem services instead of agrochemicals
  • Recognize pollination as an agricultural input in extension services
  • Support diversified farming systems
  • Conserve and restore “green infrastructure” (a network of habitats that pollinators can move between) in agricultural and urban landscapes
  • Develop long-term monitoring of pollinators and pollination
  • Fund participatory research on improving yields in organic, diversified, and ecologically intensified farming

The global assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) confirmed that large-scale declines in wild pollinators are happening in north Europe and North America.

The ten policies report expands on its findings to provide clear suggestions on how to tackle the problem.

More information

The report from IPBES - pollnation assessment

Scientific article: Dicks, L., Viana, B., Bommarco, R., Brosi, B., del Coro Arizmendi, M., Cunningham, S., Galetto, L., Hill, R., Lopes, A., Pires, C., Taki, H., Potts, S. (2016). Ten policies for pollinators. Science 354, 975-976.