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Insect pollinators: linking research and policy. Workshop report.

Vanbergen, Adam J.; Ambrose, Nick; Aston, David; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C.; Bourke, Andrew; Breeze, Tom; Brotherton, Peter; Brown, Mike; Chandler, Dave; Clook, Mark; Connolly, Christopher N.; Costigan, Peter; Coulson, Mike; Cresswell, James; Dean, Robin; Dicks, Lynne; Felicioli, Antonio; Fojt, Otakar; Gallai, Nicola; Genersch, Elke; Godfray, Charles; Grieg-Gran, Maryanne; Halstead, Andrew; Harding, Debbie; Harris, Brian; Hartfield, Chris; Heard, Matt S.; Herren, Barbara; Howarth, Julie; Ings, Thomas; Kleijn, David; Klein, Alexandra; Kunin, William E.; Lewis, Gavin; MacEwen, Alison; Maus, Christian; McIntosh, Liz; Millar, Neil S.; Neumann, Peter; Ollerton, Jeff; Olschewski, Roland; Osborne, Juliet L.; Paxton, Robert J.; Pettis, Jeff; Phillipson, Belinda; Potts, Simon G.; Pywell, Richard; Rasmont, Pierre; Roberts, Stuart; Salles, Jean-Michel; Schweiger, Oliver; Sima, Peter; Thompson, Helen; Titera, Dalibor; Vaissiere, Bernard; Van der Sluijs, Jeroen; Webster, Sarah; Wentworth, Jonathan; Wright, Geraldine A.. 2012 Insect pollinators: linking research and policy. Workshop report. UK Science & Innovation Network . (CEH Project Number: C04320)

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Abstract/Summary

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  Pollinators interact with plants to underpin wider biodiversity, ecosystem function, ecosystem services to agricultural crops and ultimately human nutrition. The conservation of pollinators is thus an important goal.  Pollinators and pollination represent a tractable example of how biodiversity can be linked to an ecosystem service. This represents a case study for exploring the impacts of various policy instruments aiming to halt/reverse the loss of ecosystem services.  There is a need to understand how multiple pressures (e.g. habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation, climate change, pests and diseases, invasive species and environmental chemicals) can combine or interact to affect diversity, abundance and health of different pollinator groups.  Decision makers need to balance consideration of the effects of single pressures on pollinators against the suite of other pressures on pollinators. For instance, the threat from pesticide use (with its high public and media profile) also needs to be considered in the context of the other threats facing pollinators and balanced against the need for food security. An independent review of the balance of risks across pollinator groups from pesticide use would help synthesise current knowledge into an accessible form for decision makers.  To manage or lessen these threats to pollinators (wild and managed) and pollination requires improved knowledge about their basic ecology. We still need to know where and in what numbers different pollinator species occur, how they use different environments, how they interact with each other through shared plants and diseases and how wild pollinator abundance is changing.  Decision makers need clear factual evidence for i) the relative contribution of different managed and wild pollinator groups to wildflower and crop pollination and ii) how this varies across different land-uses, ecosystems and regions.  Addressing these basic and applied questions will improve our ability to forecast impacts on pollination service delivery to agricultural crops arising from current and future environmental changes, pesticide use and emerging diseases.  The development of a long-term, multi-scale monitoring scheme to monitor trends in pollinator (wild and managed) population size and delivery of pollination services (ideally tied to data collection on land-use, pesticide applications and disease incidence at relevant spatial scales) would provide the evidence base for developing the effectiveness of policy and management interventions over time.  Such a monitoring scheme would benefit from including research council organisations (e.g. CEH), governmental departments (e.g. Fera), universities, museums and NGOs (e.g. BBKA,SBA, Bumblebee Conservation Trust etc) Insect Pollinators: linking research and policy Workshop Report | 5  In the context of agricultural intensification and conservation we need to establish what type, quality and quantity of interventions (e.g. agri-environment schemes, protected areas) are needed, where to place them and how they can sustain different pollinator populations and effective pollination services.  Current monitoring of the risks from diseases and pesticides requires broadening to consider other insects aside from honey bees, unless we can demonstrate that honey bees are good surrogates for all other pollinators.  There is a need to increase confidence in regulatory risk assessments pertaining to pathogens and pesticides by incorporating other pollinator species, investigating chronic exposure to multiple chemicals and using field relevant dosages (specific to regions, not using other data sources as surrogates).  At present the effects of spatial, social and temporal scales on the benefits stakeholders receive from pollination services are only beginning to be understood.  Economic valuation of pollination services can help optimise the cost-effectiveness of service management measures and offer new opportunities to incentivise action or raise awareness among stakeholders.  Novel tools and instruments (e.g. education and training) are needed to translate broad international (e.g. CBD, EU Biodiversity Strategy) and national (e.g. England‟s Biodiversity Strategy) policies into local actor (e.g. beekeeper, farmer, citizen scientist) contributions to meet biodiversity commitments  Refocusing some public funding to link basic science to development of practical solutions (e.g. better crop protection products, improved disease resistance or treatment) could help science deliver better-targeted evidence for pollinator protection.  Scientists need to make more use of opportunities (e.g. POSTnotes1; practitioner guides) to transfer knowledge to a broad audience in order to better influence decision maker and practitioner behaviours.  Improved knowledge exchange between scientists and decision makers is important to combating threats to pollination. Central to this is improved understanding of the respective positions of policy makers and scientists. For instance, policy-makers usually need to be presented with a range of options to balance against other areas of policy. Science does not always arrive at a consensus due to uncertainties in data or models. Policy-makers need to understand that scientists are communicating the “best available knowledge at present” and that consequently it is not always possible to give a definitive answer.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 3 - Managing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Environment > BD - 3.4 - Provide science-based advice ...
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 3 - Managing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Environment
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity
CEH Sections: Pywell
Watt
Funders/Sponsors: Science Innovation Network , UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK Department of Business Innovation and Skills
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Workshop held Church House Conference Centre, Dean’s Yard, Westminster, London, 14 February 2012
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Economics
Health
General > Science Policy
Agriculture and Soil Science
Zoology
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 24 Apr 2013 11:25 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/501459

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