Pollinator conservation requires a stronger and broader application of the precautionary principle
Pollinator decline, and more broadly global insect decline, is increasingly recognised as an emerging global environmental risk urgently requiring an internationally coordinated and integrated policy response.
The paper “Pollinator conservation requires a stronger and broader application of the precautionary principle”, published on the Insect Science journal by Jeroen van der Sluijs and Lura Drivdal, from the University of Bergen, reviews the role of the Precautionary Principle (PP) in pollinator conservation.
The current research front is fragmented: the PP is briefly mentioned as relevant in literature on biodiversity conservation because of the scientific uncertainties regarding insect decline and their diverse drivers. A separate strand of literature contains studies on specific cases where the PP has played a role in the regulation of specific threats to pollinators: systemic insecticides and global trade in bees. Although limited to two significant threats to pollinator abundance and diversity, these studies provide important lessons on the challenges of implementing precautionary pollinator conservation policies and underline socio-political aspects of the ‘human-dimensions’ of pollinator conservation.
Within the RECIPES project, Jeroen P. van der Sluijs and Laura Drivdal conducted the case study on "Neonicotinoid insecticides", which outlines scientific uncertainties and ambiguities regarding the effects of neonics on pollinators.
A full overview of the RECIPES’s case studies can be found HERE.
Jeroen P. van der Sluijs, University of Bergen