The SAFEGUARD project is a Horizon 2020 project set to begin in 2021 that will provide a comprehensive re-assessment of the status and trends of European wild pollinators.
This includes their diversity, abundance, plant-pol- linator network structures, habitats, and conser- vation status. The end-goal is that this work will fill major knowledge gaps around the conserva- tion status of species, which for the most part are lacking important data, as well as characterise re- cent trends of these pollinators in light of global change.
SAFEGUARD also seeks to predict the impacts of drivers and pressures in the long-term as well as their cumulative impacts, with a special focus on multiple interacting pressures at the population, community, and interaction levels, and across spatial scales. In turn, this significantly enhances the ecosystem understanding, from a mechanis- tic point of view, of the cumulative and interactive effects of environmental pressures on pollinators and plant-pollinator interactions. Furthermore, this will also serve as a foundation to generate model scenarios of global change.
The project will also quantify the multiple values, co-benefits, and contributions to natural capital associated with shifts in pollinator communities. These include the economic, social, cultural, and wider biodiversity and ecosystem service values. This will provide key information for an integrative socio-ecological impact assessment of ongoing
pollinator declines, and more importantly future potential benefits of restored pollinator diversity.
The loss of wild pollinators across Europe is a significant global challenge with prospective con- sequences potentially being felt across humanity. Without pollinators, entire ecosystems, crops, and eventually life on Earth would collapse. This pro- ject will hopefully “SAFEGUARD” the future from catastrophe. The project is just beginning, and will run through until 2025. If you would like to get in- volved in the project and help us save the world, please let us know.