A list of the top ten ways countries can save pollinating insects, vital for food production, has been released by an international research team.
Dr Saul Cunningham, one of its co-authors, said these insects are extremely important for Australia’s high-value agriculture industry which produces fruits, nuts and seeds.
The list’s recommendations include improving pesticide regulations, retaining habitat on farms and establishing long-term monitoring programs.
The newly appointed director of the Fenner School of Environment and Society at The Australian National University (ANU) said Australia was doing well in some areas, but falling behind in others.
“To date, we have been very effective at keeping bee diseases out of Australia and limiting the expansion of exotic bumblebees, but we need to stay vigilant if we aim to retain these wins,” he said.
While Australia is a world leader in biosecurity, Dr Cunningham believes we could be doing better when it comes to land care strategies and education.
He said bees and pollinators benefit from policies such as fence-line plantings, scattered trees and grassland patches, which protect habitat and allow the insects to move through the farming landscape more easily.
“The opportunity is with us now to help Australian farmers to be productive, and at the same time help support healthier ecosystems,” Dr Cunningham said.
You can read more of Dr Cunningham’s comments here. Story credit: Australian National University newsroom.
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