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|05-06 June 2012|
At his keynote speech, Francois Wakenhut, Head of Biodiversity Unit of DG Environment, mentioned the link between biodiversity and the consequences to the bees’ losses. The EC funds studies for the bee decline as it has economic impact on the agricultural production. The EU 2020 biodiversity policy focuses on green infrastructure which is very important initiative for pollinators.
The director of OPERA, Professor Ettore Capri, presented the proposals of OPERA to improve biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems. OPERA suggestions for biodiversity indicators and the use of multifunctional landscapes were described. Furthermore, Prof. Capri highlighted the importance of biodiversity for the bee health and the major causes from its loss. Finally, he proposed Integrated Crop Management and the use of multifunctional landscapes as practices that increase the ecological value of farmland alongside productive agriculture.
The results of several research projects in European and national level regarding to bee health were presented with traditional bee pests and pathogens and the wrong bees’ management to compose the most important reasons for bee losses. Furthermore, it was highlighted the need of further testing on the pesticides’ use. The stop of pesticides’ use is impossible but farmers should be aware of their correct use, Astrid Lulling said.
Luis Capoulas Santos, MEP and member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, said that as rapporteur of the Common Agricultural Policy reform he always keeps in mind the bee health as a very important element.
Representing the EC, Iman Boot, Head of the Environmental Group of the DG Agri, stated that biodiversity and food security are the main issues of the reform of the CAP. The reform of the CAP is not a biodiversity policy but biodiversity is one its objectives.
Some of the causes for biodiversity loss in the case of bees appear to be the habitat degradation; the pollution; the invasive species and pests and diseases, like Varroa destructor.
Concluding, the MEP Theodoros Skylakakis mentioned that the application of regulations; the pricing of biodiversity goods and services are the some instruments with which the policy makers can protect biodiversity.