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Pollinators need people

Participants in global dialogue Indigenous and local knowledge about Pollination and Pollinators associated with Food Production, Panama City. Photo: Phil Lyver

A global study has concluded that people are essential to conserving the pollinators that maintain and protect biodiversity, agriculture and habitat.

“There’s increasing awareness of the importance of pollinators to our quality of life,” lead researcher Rosemary Hill said. “That discussion is often reduced to how to protect bees, and how to expand the amount of land managed as conservation reserves. What we found is that the best way to protect pollinators is to support those people whose cultural, spiritual and economic lives are tied to them.”

While pollinators can range from weevils to monkeys, and from tiny shrimps to birds and bats, bees are the main pollinators of our food, and the key focus of the investigation.

EarthLab’s Sara Breslow contributed to these discussions, and helped shape a recently published paper in Nature Sustainability about the importance of biocultural approaches to pollinator conservation. You can read more about the group’s process in Behind the Paper on the Nature Sustainability website.

Read more on Eureka Alert