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An agricultural Model Good for Pollinators: the way forward Noa Simon Brussels, 6 Nov 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "An agricultural Model Good for Pollinators: the way forward Noa Simon Brussels, 6 Nov 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 An agricultural Model Good for Pollinators: the way forward Noa Simon Brussels, 6 Nov 2013

2 Bees - part of agroecosytems Apiculture and agriculture – have co-developed in synergy – must continue developing together = CHALLENGE Pollinator trends observed lately show that the balance/co- developoment in agricultural areas is broken or impossible Honey seeker depicted on 8000 year old cave painting near Valencia, Spain[1]cave painting near Valencia, Spain[1]

3 Why to question the agricultural model ? imbalance in the ecosystems and threats to ecosystem services, e.g. lack of pollinators, crashes in biodiversity (both species richness and population sizes) chemical residues in foodstuffs social and economical upheaval, e.g. decrease in the number of family farms, dependency of farmers on the agro- chemical/seed industry, soaring production costs This system has not solved worldwide hunger and food insecurity

4 Bees - assessing environmental sustainability linked to farming practices © UNAAPI

5 Agricultural tools allowing intensive agriculture Some examples: Pesticides Genetic modification of organisms New technologies: nanotechnology, interfering RNAs, etc. Double-edged weapons often presented as opportunities by their developers, which become counterproductive for sustainability WHY? Because their logic goes against life

6 Pesticides - Why to be concerned? TOXIC - more than 7 000 times more toxic to bees than DDT, effective at the level of nanograms/bee (0.000 000 001 g) – detection ? PREVENTIVE USE Chemical properties allow uses that enable WIDE DISTRIBUTION IN THE ENVIRONMENT – water, air, flowers... - HIGHLY PERSISTENT

7 Why to promote bee-friendly agricultural models? Because we need bees for our future They stimulate life (biodiversity and biodiversity stimulates their well-being) They ensure long-term sustainability of food production – FOR FREE !!

8 Agrochemistry → Growing movement to use agronomic practices What can be done? Be consistent with the EU legislation and ensure a coherent farming policy CROP PROTECTION - FROM ERRADICATION TO MANAGEMENT - Limit the use of pesticides (e.g. Integrated Pest Management, organic production, biological control, etc.) Elimination of preventive uses of chemicals Incentivise farmers for NOT using pesticides (e.g. Offer compensations in case o economic loss due to pests) Recover agronomical knowledge: Enabling farmers to base their practices on facts INDEPENDENT training programmes for farmers, agro- technicians, agronomists and researchers

9 What can be done? Create an effective platform to share information on alternatives Support and fund independent and participatory research: to build the scientific foundations for a transition to fair and sustainable agricultural systems Restrict the influence of pesticide producing industries Use of resistant crop varieties (e.g. Multi-resistant wheat) Return of agronomic practices: Crop rotation, multi-cropping, stimulation of beneficial insects Crops attractive to bees (e.g. pulses) No authorisation of techniques that cannot be adequately monitored or evaluated

10 EBC proposes A charter – For Sustainable Agriculture and Countryside - For Pollinator- friendly Farming: How can we 'Bee the change'? Proposals – Report « Pollinator friendly farming is possible »

11 Thank you very much for your attention! Bee-Life - European Beekeeping Coordination

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