Lower Saxon Environment Minister Christian Meyer has called for “decisive action” as he expressed his concerns regarding the ongoing loss of pollinator habitats.
The Green Party politician said: “I’m worried about the reduction of insect habitats such as hedges, shrubs and flowery meadows.”
Meyer – who took office last November – said biodiversity but also food supply and the economic stability of Lower Saxony’s agricultural firms are at risk if the number of insect species keeps declining.
The 47-year-old social economist pointed out: “Pollinators are of immense importance to all of us.”
Meyer – who recently attended a conference of beekeepers in Celle – claimed any measures that support domesticated honeybees are also beneficial to the hundreds of solitary bee species that exist across Germany.
The minister explained: “One in three bee and butterfly species that once existed in the European Union have disappeared. We must take decisive action.”
Germany is home to more than 33,000 insect species, according to figures provided by the Lower Saxon environment ministry.
Around 85 per cent of the country’s 3,000 crops and plants are depending on the activity of pollinators.
Meyer appealed to the agricultural enterprises of Lower Saxony – which is located in northwestern Germany – to reduce the amounts of pesticides they are applying.
Speaking about potentially helpful projects, the minister mentioned an initiative which encourages farmers to turn a comparably small patch of their estate into an untouched flower strip.
There are around 263,000 farming businesses in Germany.
None of the 15 other German states has a busier agriculture sector than Lower Saxony where farmers achieve an annual production value of EUR 13 billion (GBP 11.5 billion).