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chapter two

Figure 1. Global pollination benefits across sub-national scales. “Values are given as US dollar per hectare for the year 2000. The values have been corrected for inflation (to the year 2009) as well as for purchasing power parities. The area we relate yields to is the total area of the raster cell.” Reproduced from Lautenbach et al (2012). “Spatial and Temporal Trends of Global Pollination Benefit.” PLoS ONE 7(4): e35954, under Creative Commons Attribution License.

Overall, the scientific research emphasises the urgent need to protect our insects and the essential pollination services they carry out: “Given the monetary value of the pollination benefit, decision makers should be able to compare costs and benefits for agricultural policies aiming at structural diversity. Therefore, the information provided in the map should be used when considering modifications of agricultural policies such as the common agricultural policy in the EU.” (Lautenbach et al, 2012).

“The benefit from pollination is high enough in a large part of the world to seriously affect conservation strategies and land-use decisions if these values were taken into account.” – Lautenbach et al, 2012 “Since 2001 the costs of production for pollinationdependent crops have also risen significantly, indeed far faster than the prices of non-pollination-dependent field crops such as rice, grains or maize. For the researchers this is an indication that the intensification of agriculture is reflected in a global price increase for pollinationdependent cultures. When fields are sprayed with more pesticides, more fertilisers are applied and valuable agricultural structural elements, such as hedges and rows of trees, are transformed into fields, the insects vanish.” – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), 20123.

3 Press release dated 27 April 2012 about the study from Lautenbach et al, 2012.

20 Bees in Decline Greenpeace Research Laboratories Technical Report (Review) 01/2013

Bees in Decline  

A review of factors that put pollinators and agriculture in Europe at risk