New report calls for pesticide reduction to combat insect declines

Burnet moth. Photo: Essex Wildlife Trust

A new report by the Wildlife Trusts and Professor Dave Goulson, of the University of Sussex has called for the Government to set ambitious targets to reverse the decline in insects, and asked people to become "Insect Champions" to help stop pollinator declines.

The report follows the ‘Insect declines and why they matter’ report launched last year, which examined mounting evidence that insect populations are close to collapse and concluded if insect declines are not halted ecosystems will collapse, with profound consequences for human populations.

The report calls for:

  • Ambitious pesticide reduction targets, as good as, if not better than, the EU’s proposed target to reduce by 50% the overall use of chemical pesticides by 2030
  • No weakening of UK pesticide standards through future trade deals
  • Support for farmers to adopt insect-friendly farming practices.

To properly look after insects and other wildlife there needs to be more places where they can thrive – rich habitats that are free of pesticides and, crucially, linked up so that insect populations are not cut off and can move as the climate changes. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity calls for a commitment to at least 30% of land and seas to be covered by wildlife-rich habitat to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.

The report can be accessed via the Wildlife Trust's website here.