EU initiative for wild pollinating insects: Measures necessary to combat the causes

European Business & Biodiversity Campaign - News

EU initiative for wild pollinating insects: Measures necessary to combat the causes

The European Commission is responding to calls from the European Parliament for measures to protect pollinators and their habitats: an EU initiative has been launched beginning of June to counteract the decline in wild pollinators and coordinate measures to tackle their causes.

Every tenth pollinator insect species is threatened with extinction and one third of all bee and butterfly species have declining populations. This is a serious cause for concern as pollinators are an important factor for healthy ecosystems.

Combine existing activities
The initiative presented by the European Commission at the beginning of June to protect pollinator insects aims to effectively combine the existing instruments and activities of the EU and its member states.

According to the working paper, the Commission focuses on three aspects:
  1. 1. Improving knowledge of pollinator decline, its causes and consequences
    2. Tackling the causes of pollinator declin
    3. Raising awareness, engaging society-at-large and promoting collaboration
The different causes of the decline in pollinators require measures to reduce pollution in different sectors and policy areas. The Commission stresses that policy makers and authorities cannot meet this challenge alone; EU citizens and business must also be involved. The LIFE programme will in particular play an important role in this regard.

The EU Platform Business @ Biodiversity invites companies to present their contribution to the protection of insects. Good examples of business practice can be submitted to the Commission. Further information at:

The initiative "Biodiversity in Standards and Labels for the Food Industry", funded by the EU LIFE programme, of Global Nature Fund and six other European partners is aimed at standards and labels as well as companies with their own requirements for producers and suppliers in order to improve the biodiversity performance of the food industry. The project partners have published a report with "Recommendations to Improve Biodiversity Protection". Standard organisations and companies can use the recommendations to revise their criteria to reduce the negative impact of agriculture on ecosystems, biodiversity and agrobiodiversity.

A joint project initiated in 2010 by REWE Group, Obst vom Bodensee Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH, Bodensee-Stiftung and beekeepers shows how effective the measures taken to improve the living conditions of wild bees can be: a total of 117 wild bee species have been identified in the current survey of wild bees in the cultivated areas and in support measures such as flowering areas and nesting aids.

Other actions under the EU initiative include a pollinator insect indicator, a new red list for hoverflies, a list of important habitats, a pesticide monitoring pilot project, a central online platform for data, workshops, and many more.