COMMONS

Committee Chair reacts to National Pollinator Strategy

04 November 2014

Reacting to the publication of the Government's final National Pollinator Strategy today, the Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Joan Walley MP has said:

"I welcome the final NPS's inclusion of many of the key recommendations in the Environmental Audit Committee's report on the draft version in July. It sets out work to build a baseline for monitoring bee and pollinator populations in future, and I welcome the strong emphasis on citizen science and public engagement.

The CAP environmental stewardship schemes could help pollinators, as we urged, although the emphasis is still very much on a voluntary approach by farmers. The NPS also schedules future review points, as we recommended, to continually update it as research on pollinator declines progresses.

However, I am disappointed that the Government seems stubbornly determined to keep open the possibility of challenging the EU ban on the neonicotinoid pesticides, that have been linked to pollinator declines.

They are right to propose more research aimed at developing further field-trial data, but I believe DEFRA should acknowledge that the balance of evidence available from lab tests and other field-trials already clearly demonstrates the need for the ban on the precautionary principle."

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