Flowering areas, but the right way! Expert discussion for insect-promoting regions reaps encouragement
 

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Flowering areas, but the right way! Expert discussion for insect-promoting regions reaps encouragement

– In mid-July, a guided tour of flowering areas took place in the Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve as part of the project "LIFE Insect-Responsible Sourcing Regions".
– Representatives of agriculture, authorities and nature conservation discussed the possibilities and limits of flowering areas as an insect protection measure.
– Native wild plant species are an important component for the conservation of our native insect diversity.

© Global Nature Fund
Bonn, 28 July 2022: Within the framework of the EU funded project "LIFE Insect-Responsible Sourcing Regions", the Global Nature Fund (GNF) together with the Kirchheimerhof and the Biosphärenzweckverband Bliesgau invited to a guided tour of flowering areas with expert discussion in mid-July. 20 participants from agriculture, nature conservation and authorities discussed the possibilities and limitations of flowering areas as an insect protection measure.

Richard Schreiner, the lead farmer, reported: "This year, I have implemented a total of 7 hectares of flowering areas together with various partners and on my own initiative. The flowering areas were sown with both annual crop mixtures and perennial wild plant mixtures." It is precisely these perennial mixtures with native wild plants that offer insects a food supply and thus a chance of survival in the agricultural landscape, as Jenja Kronenbitter, GNF project manager, explained: "Many native insects have specialized in the course of evolution on certain plants that are also native. If these food plants disappear, so do the adapted insects. Flowering areas, along with other measures, can contribute to the preservation of plant diversity in the agricultural landscape."

For flowering areas to have this effect, the framework conditions for the measures must be right. Currently, there are still many bureaucratic hurdles, and farmers repeatedly lack attractive financing for perennial flowering areas with native wild plants - after all, no agricultural production takes place on a flowering area. Farmers want to be paid fairly for this loss of income and for the costs of planting and maintaining the area. In the LIFE Insect Supporting Regions project, project partner Nestlé ensures this.
As the event showed, there is a great deal of interest in flowering area measures, agricultural practice in the creation and maintenance of flowering areas, and implementation that makes sense from a nature conservation perspective. The discussion between agriculture, nature conservation and authorities helps everyone to get on track together for the sustainable protection of our native insects.

Background

Next to climate change, biodiversity loss is the greatest environmental problem of our time. For example, 48 percent of wild bee species in Germany are considered endangered or have already become extinct. According to the World Biodiversity Council, around one million species worldwide are acutely threatened with extinction. The EU LIFE pilot project Insect-Responsible Sourcing Regions is intended to provide insights into how the agriculture of our future could look so that it provides sufficient habitat for pollinators. On the flowering areas of the EU LIFE project, mainly annual crops such as buckwheat, phacelia or sunflower bloom in the sowing year. From the second year on, the areas are dominated by native wild plants. The wild bees that are present on these flowering areas in the Bliesgau biosphere reserve and benefit from the measure will be monitored during the project. The project partners are the Lake Constance Foundation, the Blossoming Landscape Network, the Schwäbisch Hall Farm Producers' Association and Nestlé. Other pilot regions include Lake Constance, the Allgäu, Hohenlohe, the Northern Upper Rhine, the Saxon Loess Valley and the Wendland. The findings from the pilot projects are transferable to regions throughout Europe.

Learn more about our EU LIFE project Insect-Responsible Sourcing Regions

 
Contact
 
Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Bonn Office
Stefan Hörmann, Project Manager
Phone: +49 228 184 86 94 11
E-Mail: hoermann@globalnature.org
 
Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Bonn Office
Jenja Kronenbitter, Project Manager
Phone: +49 157 33085788
E-Mail: kronenbitter@globalnature.org
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