We have been noting increasing stories about loss of pollinators in the USA and Europe, and especially notice how seriously this problem is taken in the UK. Solutions? Not so obvious. But we are on the lookout each day for innovations in both the public and private sectors. This UK governance procedure seems a promising mechanism for getting citizens aware of, then involved finding solutions for environmental challenges such as the alarming loss of pollinators nationwide:
A consultation on the National Pollinator Strategy: for bees and other pollinators in England
Defra is seeking views on a proposed national pollinator strategy for bees and other pollinators in England. The strategy sets out proposals to safeguard these important insects given their role in pollinating many food crops and wild plants and their contribution to our food production and the diversity of our environment…
All the pages on this government agency’s website seem user friendly, intuitive and designed to get citizens involved:
…Bees and other pollinators face a wide range of environmental pressures and some species are threatened. Examples of pressures are: intensification of land-use and habitat loss both leading to loss of their food sources and shelter; pests and diseases; invasive species; use of pesticides; and, climate change. There are growing concerns that these pressures are leading to declines in the number, diversity and geographical ranges of individual species.
Available evidence on these concerns is set out in the independent report on the ‘Status and value of pollinators and pollination services’ (‘the Status Report’) which Defra commissioned in 2013 to help inform development of the Strategy. The Status Report is published with this consultation document.
Through the proposed Strategy, the government’s aim is to set a new direction to safeguard and support our pollinators, building on many current initiatives and drawing on the skills, experience and enthusiasm of all interested parties. It is a shared plan with the other interested organisations who have worked with us on it over the last six months. We will continue to work with these organisations during implementation. We also want to inspire action at all levels by many other organisations and individuals, guided by the strategy’s vision, aims and actions.
The proposed strategy has three main elements:
- Evidence-gathering on pollinator status and impacts of pressures. The strategy proposes 12 evidence actions to provide a sound base for future policies to support pollinators, including developing and implementing a sustainable monitoring programme on pollinators.
- Priority policy actions. The strategy proposes 18 priority actions for Government and for others to implement from 2014. They reflect current evidence and in some cases build on and expand current initiatives to refocus on the essential needs of pollinators.
- A commitment to review and refresh the strategy’s aims and actions as additional evidence becomes available. From 2016, we will have new evidence from the monitoring programme and other evidence projects. In addition, we will have lessons from the effectiveness of the policy actions and from the partnerships and collaborations we build during 2014 to 2016. Using this evidence, we will work with other interested parties to review the Strategy’s aims and to identify any necessary additional policy actions or ways of working to strengthen our response by 2019.
Why We Are Consulting
Defra is inviting views on the proposed Strategy from stakeholders through this public consultation. In particular, this is an opportunity to engage with a wider audience before we finalise the Strategy. It also provides a further opportunity for input from those organisations and groups who have already helped us over the last six months. The main purpose of this consultation is to gather further evidence and information to help finalise the details of the Strategy and to guide its implementation.
We welcome your views and comments on the proposals. We would prefer you to give us your answers to the consultations questions using the online survey. If you are unable to do so, we will accept responses via email to the consultation mailbox:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, postal responses should be addressed to:
National Pollinator Strategy Team
Responses should be received by 2nd May 2014.