Ensuring a strong evidence base to protect wild pollinators

AUTHORS: Giulia Costa Domingo – Evelyn Underwood

Building on its extensive work on pollinator conservation, IEEP is joining forces with 25 organisations to contribute to reversing the decline of wild pollinators in Europe.

Wild pollinators provide a wide range of benefits to crops, wild plants, and human wellbeing – but they are declining in numbers and diversity in Europe and around the world, due to climate change, land use and habitat loss. The full extent of their decline, its complex causes and the most effective ways to respond to it are still not well understood.

It is in this context that IEEP is excited to be joining the newly funded EU Horizon-2020 project Safeguard. With a consortium of 25 organisations from 14 European countries and China, Safeguard will contribute to reversing the loss of wild pollinators across Europe by expanding our current assessment and understanding of their status and trends. The IEEP team is buzzing with energy and ambition to bring the vast pollinator knowledge and important insights of the project into policy decision-making in the EU and beyond.

Evelyn Underwood, Area lead for IEEP’s Biodiversity team and Project leader for Safeguard, said:

“‘I am excited to be planning an ambitious four-year policy engagement in support of the EU Pollinators Initiative. As the European Commission is currently renewing the EU Pollinators Initiative, this is a crucial time to ensure that a strong evidence base is available to support its implementation. To this end, we will aim to align Safeguard activities and outputs to the objectives of the EU Pollinators Initiative. The buzz on pollinators will be growing louder at next week’s EU Pollinators Week, with a series of key policy debates, and, coming soon, the public consultation for everyone to contribute to the renewed EU Pollinators Initiative.”

This project allows IEEP to build on the expertise gained from previous work on pollinator conservation in the EU. IEEP was involved in supporting the European Commission in their implementation of the EU Pollinators Initiative. IEEP’s contribution to the EU’s efforts to halt pollinator declines included evaluating how pollinator conservation can be integrated into the Common Agricultural Policy and the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive. IEEP also produced fiches summarising current actions for pollinators across Member States, and guidance documents for different stakeholders on actions for wild pollinators.

By joining forces with our Safeguard partners, we hope to strengthen the impact of the EU Pollinators Initiative to 2030 by feeding the project’s findings directly into EU, national and international policy relevant to pollinators, and to provide rapid policy responses to emerging issues.

For more information on the Safeguard project, visit the project’s website and stay updated by following Safeguard on Twitter and Facebook.

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