On 24th January, the Commission presented 'A New Deal for Pollinators' to tackle the alarming decline in wild pollinating insects in Europe, revising the 2018 EU Pollinators Initiative. Citizens have been increasingly calling for decisive action against pollinator loss, also through the recent successful European Citizens' Initiative ‘Save Bees and Farmers'. The renewed initiative sets out actions to be taken by the EU and the Member States to reverse the decline of pollinators by 2030 as today, one in three bee, butterfly and hoverfly species are disappearing in the EU. It complements the Commission's proposal for a Nature Restoration Law of June 2022 and is a key part of the Biodiversity Strategy 2030, the Farm to Fork Strategy and the European Green Deal.
Small things can drive big changes in our world. In the case of pollinators, these small insects will define the future of nature and long-term food security. We need immediate, targeted actions to save pollinators because they are invaluable for our ecosystems, societies, and economies. This New Deal for EU Pollinators is a decisive step forward not only for the EU, and can inspire similar action in the entire world. Let's make it happen before it's too late.
Reversing decline of pollinators by 2030
The revised EU Pollinators Initiative sets objectives for 2030 and actions under three priorities. The key priority is improving pollinator conservation and tackling the causes of their decline. This will be done through:
- Better conservation of species and habitats – for example, the Commission will finalise conservation plans for threatened pollinator species; it will identify pollinators typical of habitats protected under the Habitats Directive which Member States should protect; and the Commission jointly with Member States will prepare blueprint for a network of ecological corridors for pollinators, or ‘Buzz Lines'.
- Restoring habitats in agricultural landscapes – notably through more support for pollinator-friendly farming under the Common Agricultural Policy.
- Mitigating the impact of pesticide use on pollinators – for example through legal requirements to implement integrated pest management or through additional test methods for determining the toxicity of pesticides for pollinators, including sub-lethal and chronic effects. As the excessive use of pesticides is a key driver of pollinator loss, reducing the risk and use of pesticides as per the Commission's Sustainable Use of Pesticides proposal will be critical.
- Enhancing pollinator habitats in urban areas.
- Tackling the impacts on pollinators of climate change, invasive alien species and other threats such as biocides or light pollution.
The initiative will also focus on improving knowledge of pollinator decline, its causes and consequences. Actions include establishing a comprehensive monitoring system, supporting research and assessment for example by mapping Key Pollinator Areas by 2025, and targeted actions to promote capacity-building and dissemination of knowledge.
A final priority is mobilising society and promoting strategic planning and cooperation. The Commission will support Member States to develop national pollinator strategies. The Commission and Member States shall also help citizens and business to act, for example by raising public awareness and supporting citizen science.
The full list of actions can be found in the Annex to the Communication 'A New Deal for Pollinators'.