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Why We Need Bees as Indicators in the next CAP

As the EU is aiming towards a more sustainable agricultural system in the negotiations for the Common Agricultural Policy reform, BeeLife publishes its latest document on Why We Need Bees as Indicators in the Next CAP. We firmly state that a Pollinator Index can provide significant advantages to the results measurement. In collaboration with bees, we can more accurately measure the results of what we are doing in the field and how can we improve our agricultural system to make it more sustainable. As a vote on the CAP is coming up this April at the European Parliament, we ask concerned MEPs from COM AGRI to include the Pollinator Index to the agenda and to vote in its favour. Along with the integration of several efforts, including the Pollinator Initiative that the European Commission extensively advertised in 2018, the efforts to include pollinators in the agenda have not been scarce. Now, as the CAP reform is coming up, there is an outstanding opportunity to make use of DG ENVI's Pollinator Index to put bees, along with pollinators in general, on the table. Measuring the health of bees is one of the best ways to learn about the conditions on the environment and our impact on ecosystems.

The latest document by BeeLife mentions the immense potential of a Pollinator Index. It also presents how its development by the DG Environment is a work that we should exploit in Europe since it is a significant tool for responding to the objectives of the CAP. The importance of bees for pollination services of crops and their role in food security is already a critical argument to not only take care of bees but to improve our measurement on their condition. Besides, bee-dependant human activities are also fundamental to maintain rural activity, including beekeeping and beekeeping-related tourism, a growing sector in Europe.

BeeLife maintains that "bees are the link between nature and culture, a key agricultural agent which can provide essential insights to assess results of land management practices". Besides their essential value to agriculture, what bees can tell us through a Pollinator Index can also provide us with new opportunities to better respond to objectives of the CAP, to preserve a common ancient heritage of beekeeping, and improving political activities by showing a coherence with already established public engagements in the EU. In conclusion, we need the Pollinator Index in the next Common Agricultural Policy.

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