People Are Now Essential To Conserving Pollinators10 months, 2 weeks ago
Posted on Mar 11, 2019, 11 p.m.
A global study involving almost every continent has concluded that people are key to conserving pollinators that maintain and protect agriculture, biodiversity, and habitat.
There is a growing awareness to the importance of pollinators on quality of life, in such discussion time is most spent on how to protect bees and expand the amount of land managed as conservation reserves. Researchers have found the best way to protect pollinators to be supporting those whose cultural, spiritual, and economical lives are tied to them.
Pollinators can range from being monkeys to weevils, and from shrimp to bats, ants and birds, but bees are the main pollinators of our food and were the main focus of this investigation. Internationally from 15 nations colleagues worked in collaboration with Associate Professor Rosemary Hill to investigate pollinator conservation in 60 countries from every continent except Antarctica, to formulate policies that will support biocultural conservation which they recommend for government agencies, natural resource managers, and word heritage managers.
Areas where there are religious and cultural beliefs about the pollinators, people/communities may identify them as totems, or have other taboos and practices to protect them, not only will they protect and foster the pollinators but their habitats as well. Communities that rely on bees protect the bees, their habitats, and their nectar sources; they also obtain detailed knowledge of their ecology and biology that contributes to long term and sustainable management of these resources.
In some parts of the world there is always a conflict involving government, conservation, indigenous and local communities in regards to the best way to protect significant parcels of land. Current example would be the disputes in Northern Thailand and Myanmar where in conservationists are critical of any land use and indigenous people fear losing their traditional land to national parks.
Research indicates the best way to protect pollinators that underpin long term health and productivity of natural environments is to keep people on their land. The policies recommended are: promoting heritage listings; promoting food sovereignty; fostering livelihoods based on beekeeping; securing customary tenures; requiring prior informed consent from traditional owners; strengthening indigenous and community conserved areas and other traditional governance that supports pollinators; and supporting knowledge of co-production activities.
Without pollinators life as the world knows it will end. People are needed to protect these rather precious pollinators around the world, and to help educate those who are not aware of how important they are to life. Facts are without pollinators the human race and all of Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems would not survive, the simple truth is we can’t survive without them.
Materials provided by James Cook University.
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Rosemary Hill, Guiomar Nates-Parra, José Javier G. Quezada-Euán, Damayanti Buchori, Gretchen LeBuhn, Marcia M. Maués, Petina L. Pert, Peter K Kwapong, Shafqat Saeed, Sara J Breslow, Manuela Carneiro da Cunha, Lynn V. Dicks, Leonardo Galetto, Mary Gikungu, Brad G. Howlett, Vera L. Imperatriz-Fonseca, Phil O’B. Lyver, Berta Martín-López, Elisa Oteros-Roza, Simon G. Potts, Marie Roué. Biocultural approaches to pollinator conservation. Nature Sustainability, 2019; 2 (3): 214 DOI: 10.1038/s41893-019-0244-z