Building capacity related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP MEAs 3)

Strengthening regulations to better protect pollinators from pesticides – ACP MEAs 3 involvement in past and future events

Pollination is fundamental to plant reproduction, agricultural production and maintaining terrestrial biodiversity. Almost 90% of the world’s flowering plants are pollinated by insects such as bees, beetles, flies, wasps and butterflies, and it is estimated that about one-third of globally produced food benefits from animal pollination. Insect pollinators face increasing pressure from the effects of intensified land use practices, including the use of pesticides. This poses a serious threat to the critical ecosystem service they provide. FAO works to increase knowledge of the impact of pesticides on pollinators, and to help pesticide regulatory authorities and policymakers minimize potential harm and protect them better.

To this end the FAO webinar Policies and legislation on the use of pesticides, organised jointly with the Promote Pollinators coalition of countries and observers, saw over 140 participants exchange experiences on the impact of pesticide use on pollinators and on the importance of policies and regulations to better protect pollinators from pesticides. ACP MEAs 3 Regional Coordinator for Africa Ivy Saunyama highlighted FAO’s capacity building work in strengthening pesticide registration systems and pesticide legislative frameworks in Eastern and Southern Africa.

"The common conclusion that arose from the different presentations is that action on several fronts is needed to better protect pollinators from pesticides," said Saunyama. "Participants said that strengthening pesticide regulatory systems, promoting safer alternatives to pesticides and mainstreaming ecosystem-based approaches and practices in agriculture, including Integrated Pest Management, are key areas of work."

As part of ACP MEAs 3  efforts to support countries in developing an institutional and policy environment conducive to the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity in agriculture, FAO will organise a virtual global seminar on strengthening regulations to protect pollinators from pesticides on 23 and 24 February 2022. The seminar will address the state of knowledge of pesticide risks to pollinators, present global reviews of existing legislation and risk assessment methods, and foster discussion between policymakers, regulators and scientists from a wide range of countries.

Leading up to the global seminar, a series of topic-specific regional working group meetings will be held to give regulators, policymakers and relevant experts an opportunity to discuss the main findings of the global reviews and assessments and to share experiences. The first series of meetings in September 2021 will address the status and trends in existing legislation to protect pollinators from pesticides.

Building on FAO’s work to support the implementation of the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management and its global strategy on mainstreaming biodiversity across agricultural sectors, the outcomes of the seminar and its preparatory meetings are expected to help accelerate the transition to greener food systems and to achieving, in particular, FAO’s goals of "better production" and a "better environment".

Should you wish to stay informed about the global seminar, please email:  [email protected]