Pollinator populations have been on the decline for the last 30 years and as twenty percent of the UK cropped area is made up of pollinator dependent crops this is worrying news for the UK‘s economy.
The Minister decided that prompt action was needed and at the Royal Welsh Show in July set out his intention to produce an Action Plan for Pollinators in Wales, a UK first.
Since then the Welsh Government has produced a report to draw out the key issues around pollinator populations and to gather evidence of population decline.
To progress this work further the Welsh Government is now holding a workshop at Aberystwyth University which will be attended by key partners including Friends of the Earth Cymru, the Welsh Bee Keepers’ Association and Wildlife Trusts.
The Welsh Government will use the workshop to share the findings of its report with key partners and will seek their views on what the priorities and scope of the Action Plan should be.
The Minister said:
“With twenty percent of the UK cropped area made up of pollinator dependent crops and the value of the pollinators to UK Government being conservatively estimated at £430 million, it is hard not to be concerned by the decline in pollinator populations.
“In July I announced that Wales would produce an Action Plan for Pollinators. Since then a review has been undertaken in Wales to look at the reasons for the population decline and the impacts that such a decline will have upon our society.
“We now want to share this report with our relevant partners and take their views on how we can protect this vitally important eco system service. Their views and expertise will be crucial is helping to shape this Action Plan which is the first of its kind in the UK.”
The action plan will be developed along with key partners and might include things like:
- Changes to the planning system that will help to make development ‘pollinator friendly’
- More “pollinator friendly” planting across the public estate, including on railway embankments and road verges
- Joint working with local authorities on the management of parks and other public green spaces
- Encouraging nurseries to sell “pollinator friendly” plants and provide advice to consumers
- Building an evidence base on the impact of pesticides through joint working with the National Botanic Garden of Wales and other agencies
- Close working with Welsh Bee Keepers Association and other voluntary groups.
The Welsh Government hopes to launch its Action Plan for Pollinators in spring 2013.