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MILJØFORSK-Miljøforskning for en grønn samfunnsomstilling

Pollinator-friendly agricultural landscapes: Solutions for management of habitats under pressure

Alternative title: Pollinatorvennlige kulturlandskap: Løsninger for forvaltning av leveområder under press

Awarded: NOK 13.9 mill.

Wild pollinators are threatened which has consequences for both biodiversity and food security. In WINGS we will develop solutions for creating pollinator-friendly agricultural landscapes. Pollinators, such as bees and hoverflies, are essential for plants that reproduce through seed setting. This also includes many of our crops. Around 30% of the food we eat is directly or indirectly dependent on pollinators. One of the main threats to wild pollinators is the loss and reduced quality of important habitats such as semi-natural grasslands, coastal heathlands and speceis rich road verges. Land use changes, including intensification of agriculture, is the main reason for pollinator habitat loss. The main aim of WINGS is to support wild pollinators by developing solutions for the management and restoration of pollinator-friendly agricultural landscapes. These solutions will consider different interests across involved sectors, including agriculture, area management authorities, food businesses and NGOs, as well as the variation in the composition of Norwegian agricultural landscapes. The sub-objectives of the project are to: (i) identify and mobilise existing data on the distribution of important resources for pollinators in the agricultural landscape, (ii) assess the quality of pollinator habitat across production types and landscape contexts, (iii) improve existing agri-environmental schemes to support pollinators, (iv) create sustainable solutions for pollinator-friendly agricultural landscapes and (v) communicate pollinator-friendly solutions to society. WINGS is a collaboration between research institutions, nature management authorities, food industry and an NGO, all with an interest in safeguarding pollinators. The partners are NIBIO (project owner), Norsk Landbruksrådgivning, the County Governor in Nordland, Norsk Kylling, Sabima, NINA, NMBU and Aarhus University.

Globally, wild pollinators are under pressure due to the total impact of land use changes which has caused the loss, fragmentation and reduced quality of pollinator habitat. Successful implementation and uptake of management solutions aimed at protecting wild pollinators requires coordination between sectors that may have conflicting interests and goals. The main objective of WINGS is therefore to develop solutions for the management and restoration of pollinator-friendly agricultural landscapes that consider sustainability trade-offs across sectors and agricultural landscape contexts. To reach this objective, WINGS uses a transdisciplinary co-learning approach in which researchers from social, ecological, and mathematical sciences team up with agricultural advisors, food industry, NGOs and area management authorities. WINGS is organised into five integrated work packages (WPs) that address knowledge gaps about area-resource management, sustainability and ecology when safeguarding pollinators. WP0 will ensure the coordination and communication between WPs which is paramount to the success of the transdisciplinary backbone of WINGS. In WP1, we will mobilise and integrate data on area-based resources important for wild pollinators. In WP2, we will quantify pollinator habitat quality across agricultural landscapes. WP3 will identify solutions for improving agri-environmental schemes and their synergies. In WP4, we will develop and communicate sustainable solutions for management of pollinator-friendly agricultural landscapes. A variety of communication channels will be used to reach target audiences, including a national conference and farmer excursions. Close collaboration with partners from stakeholder groups will ensure capacity building and outreach across sectors and society. WINGS will contribute both nationally and internationally to a broader understanding of how to safeguard pollinators as an integrated part of agri-environmental land use practices.

Funding scheme:

MILJØFORSK-Miljøforskning for en grønn samfunnsomstilling