Today Greenpeace launched a solutions report, Plan Bee - living without pesticides. It illustrates concrete ways to protect our bees and agriculture and proves the large-scale feasibility of ecological farming. Only ecological farming is the solution for the global pollinators- and agriculture crisis.
In Europe, honey bees have declined by 25% between 1985 and 2005, and this has led to a global "pollination crisis".
Our toxic industrial agriculture is mostly to blame because we know that pesticides and monoculture are increasing the destruction of natural habitats for bees, wild bees, and other pollinating insects.
Alright, so this is understood. But how do we get rid of pesticides?
Greenpeace has been exposing the causes of the bees' decline for months, but we also wanted to demonstrate that solutions exist and that there are other ways to produce food without harming them. In this report Greenpeace shows that ecological farming is the only way out of our industrial agricultural crisis. As it stands, farmers, scientists and eco-entrepreneurs are currently championing modern ecological agriculture all across Europe. These heroes are truly protecting bees on the long term.
This report reviews the scientific studies on ecological farming practices which allow farmers to prevent pests, without using pesticides. Research and existing ecological farming practices confirm that we don't need pesticides to produce healthy food.
We also wanted to show through concrete examples that ecological farming methods do exist and work. Through farmers' stories, scientists' inputs, research institutes and companies from several european countries, we've noticed that it is possible to get amazing outcomes using ecological farming techniques. These include areas like flower strips to increase biodiversity inside and around fields, crops rotation, all working with the forces of nature not against it.
Meet our heroes of the Greenpeace video project.
We need to change our agricultural model! It is possible, and farmers across Europe are moving towards ecological farming. It is a profound change, but a necessary one to remove dead-end industrial agriculture with its widespread use of toxic chemicals.
Ecological farming is the solution to save the bees and to ensure healthy food for today and tomorrow. You can be part of this change. Act now and sign the petition on sos-bees.org
Matthias Wüthrich is an Ecological Farming campaigner and European bees project leader at Greenpeace Switzerland.