The proposed strategy which was published today involves:
- 12 actions on evidence-gathering on pollinator status and impacts of pressures.
- 18 priority policy actions for Government and for others to implement from 2014 reflecting current evidence and in some cases building on and expanding current initiatives to refocus on the essential needs of pollinators.
- A commitment to review and refresh the strategy’s aims and actions as additional evidence becomes available.
Responses can be made here.
Friends of the Earth criticised the proposal which it says is weak and does not do enough to tackle intensive farming and pesticides' impact on bees.
But Guy Smith, vice president of the NFU which was involved in the creation of the strategy said: "As managers of agricultural and horticultural land and custodians of much of the wider countryside, farmers and growers have a huge amount to offer in terms of helping to tackle problems faced by pollinators.
"We need to encourage their involvement and part of this will rely on today’s farmers and growers getting due recognition that they are part of the solution for pollinators, rather than hit them again with the ‘agricultural intensification’ stick and blame them as the cause of the problem.
"Farming can and does continue to deliver real benefits for pollinators, through continuing development of Integrated Pest Management techniques across the industry and uptake of positive management to provide food and a home for pollinators, such as the voluntary measures promoted in the Campaign for the Farmed Environment.
"The NFU realises that pollinators are an incredibly emotive subject which is why, throughout, our main aim was to ensure that this consultation was balanced and based on sound science and evidence."
The NFU will now be liaising with its membership before responding in detail to the consultation which closes on May 2 2014.
"A key part of our approach is to address the current lack of evidence so we can better understand what future action may be necessary."