Nav: Home

Pollinators need people

March 11, 2019

A global study has concluded that people are essential to conserving the pollinators that maintain and protect biodiversity, agriculture and habitat.

"There's increasing awareness of the importance of pollinators to our quality of life," lead researcher Rosemary Hill said.

"That discussion is often reduced to how to protect bees, and how to expand the amount of land managed as conservation reserves.

"What we found is that the best way to protect pollinators is to support those people whose cultural, spiritual and economic lives are tied to them."

While pollinators can range from weevils to monkeys, and from tiny shrimps to birds and bats, bees are the main pollinators of our food, and the key focus of the investigation.

Associate Professor Hill, a human geographer at CSIRO and James Cook University in Cairns, worked with colleagues from 15 nations to investigate pollinator conservation in 60 countries, on every continent except Antarctica.

"Where people have cultural and religious beliefs about pollinators, perhaps identify them as their totems, and have taboos and other practices that protect them, they will protect and foster not just the pollinators but their habitats," she said.

"Where local communities rely on bees as a source of honey and wax, they will not just protect the bees, their habitat and their nectar sources, they will also acquire detailed knowledge of their biology and ecology that will contribute to long-term, sustainable management of those resources."

The researchers have formulated policies that will support what they call biocultural conservation, which they recommend for government agencies, natural resource managers and world heritage managers.

"There is almost always, in some part of the world, a conflict involving government, conservation, and indigenous and local communities as to the best way to protect significant tracts of land," Associate Professor Hill said.

"Two current examples would be the disputes in Myanmar and Northern Thailand, where conservationists are critical of traditional land use, and indigenous peoples fear losing their traditional land to national parks.

"Our research indicates that the best way to protect pollinators, which underpin the long-term health and productivity of natural environments, is to keep people on their land."

The policies recommended are:
  • Requiring prior informed consent (from traditional owners) for conservation and development
  • Securing customary tenures
  • Strengthening indigenous and community-conserved areas and other traditional governance that supports pollinators
  • Supporting knowledge co-production activities
  • Promoting heritage listing
  • Fostering livelihoods based on beekeeping
  • Promoting food sovereignty.
-end-


James Cook University

Related Conservation Articles:

Targeted conservation could protect more of Earth's biodiversity
A new study finds that major gains in global biodiversity can be achieved if an additional 5 percent of land is set aside to protect key species.
Conservation endocrinology in a changing world
The BioScience Talks podcast (http://bioscience.libsyn.com) features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.
Marine conservation must consider human rights
Ocean conservation is essential for protecting the marine environment and safeguarding the resources that people rely on for livelihoods and food security.
Mapping Biodiversity and Conservation Hotspots of the Amazon
Researchers have used remote sensing data to map out the functional diversity of the Peruvian Andes and Amazon basin, a technique that revealed hotspots for conservation.
Mapping biodiversity and conservation hotspots of the Amazon
Researchers have used remote sensing data to map out the functional diversity of the Peruvian Andes and Amazon basin, a technique that revealed hotspots for conservation.
Internet data could boost conservation
Businesses routinely use internet data to learn about customers and increase profits -- and similar techniques could be used to boost conservation.
Why conservation fails
The only way for northern countries to halt deforestation in the South is to make sure land owners are paid more than it costs them to conserve the forest.
Visitors to countryside not attracted by conservation importance
Countryside visitors choose where to go based on the presence of features such as coastline, woodland or abundant footpaths, rather than a site's importance to conservation, according to new research.
In communicating wildlife conservation, focus on the right message
If you want people to care about endangered species, focus on how many animals are left, not on the chances of a species becoming extinct, according to a new study by Cornell University communication scholars.
New partnership to boost Asia-Pacific conservation
The University of Adelaide and global organization Conservation International (CI) today announced a strategic partnership that will help boost conservation efforts in the Asia-Pacific region, including a global conservation drone program.

Related Conservation Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".