Newswise — The EU project Safeguard released its first policy brief with study-based policy recommendations as part of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

Safeguard’s policy brief was distributed at a side event of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and was showcased at the EU commission's stand. The side event – titled “Pollinator protection: strengthening policies, knowledge exchange and engagement” – took place on 10 December, Saturday, and provided an overview of pollinator-related projects and initiatives that support the implementation of the International Pollinator Initiative

Globally, pollinators play a key role in human survival. 75% of crops are dependent on animal pollination (Klein et al. 2001), including many nutrient-rich food crops (Chaplin-Kramer et al. 2019). But beyond just the immediate threat to food security and health, pollinators play an essential role in helping to achieve global policy targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Post-2020 biodiversity targets, and those outlined in the International Pollinators Initiative.

In this complex context, the EU-funded research project Safeguard (Grant agreement No. 101003476) is dedicated to expanding current assessments of the status and trends of European wild pollinators and contributing to Europe’s capacity to reverse the losses of wild pollinators. As part of this effort, the project issued its first policy brief providing policymakers with concrete research-based recommendations on the consideration of pollinators. Created under the leadership of project partner University of Reading (UREAD) with the valuable support of external Safeguard advisory board members, the policy brief provides a short introduction to a study the UREAD partners did to map the importance of pollinators to the SDGs and vice versa. The policy brief presents some preliminary results from an expert elicitation exercise that involved 17 pollinator experts from around the world and identifies five recommendations policymakers should consider to support pollinators and help achieve the SDGs. For example, to help restore the terrestrial ecosystems, related policies should support concrete actions to protect and enhance diverse pollinator assemblages.

The brief also gives insights on the direct relationship between pollinators and a few of the indicated in the study SDGs - Zero Hunger (2), Life on Land (15), Clean Water and Sanitation (6), No Poverty (1) and Responsible Consumption and Responsible Production (12). Furthermore, the policy brief highlights the most relevant targets linked to those SDGs.

Read the full policy brief here.