Scientists Unveil a Roadmap to Stop Insect Extinction Crisis

In 2019 we learned that the world’s insects are facing an extinction crisis: more than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered. When insects disappear, entire ecosystems suffer as a result. That’s why more than 70 scientists from around the world have put together a new “roadmap to insect recovery” that calls for comprehensive global action to protect insects like tacking GHG emissions and drastically limiting the use of pesticides and insecticides.

These are some of the high-level actions that scientists propose to combat insect extinction:

  • Taking aggressive steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Drastically reducing the use of fertilizer and pesticides
  • Reversing recent trends in agricultural intensification
  • Promoting the diversification and maintenance of locally adapted land-use techniques;
  • Reducing identified local threats such as light, water or noise pollution, invasive species
  • Prioritizing the import of goods that are not produced at the cost of healthy, species-rich ecosystems;
  • Funding educational and outreach programs/ investing in capacity building to create a new generation of insect conservationists and providing knowledge and skills to existing professionals (particularly in developing countries). This is perhaps the biggest emphasis that the scientists make: we need MORE KNOWLEDGE. 

Phases of the Roadmap: As Phys explained, the steps to be taken are divided into immediate, mid- and long-term actions. First of all, there are a number of actions coined as ‘no-regret solutions’ that can be taken immediately and regardless of new knowledge still to come—as they will not just benefit single insect species. Secondly, there is the urgent need to prioritize: which species, areas, and issues need our attention the most.

  • For the mid-term, new experiments should be planned to clarify which stress factors cause what effects as well as to gain knowledge in understudied areas.
  • More long-term actions would include the formation of public-private partnerships and sustainable financing initiatives to restore and create places to live for the insects.

Why This Matters: Insects are often overlooked and undervalued. When polar bears are threatened by human activity, headlines follow, but it’s hard to drum up the same interest for the likes of beetles. As NatGeo explained, almonds in California or watermelons in Florida wouldn’t be available if it were not for bees. Insects also return nutrients to the earth. If they weren’t around, the amount of decay and rot all over the place would be terrible. To preserve biodiversity and our way of life, we must take the conservation of insects very seriously.

Up Next

One Cool Thing: Where’s Walrus?

One Cool Thing: Where’s Walrus?

Do you have a good eye? Are you surprisingly good at Where’s Waldo and like Walruses? If so, we have great opportunity for you! The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is seeking volunteers to help count Atlantic walruses…from space.   Sea ice is retreating fast as global temperatures rise, forcing walruses to crowd on smaller floes […]

Continue Reading 174 words
China Pledges $230 Million to Protect Biodiversity

China Pledges $230 Million to Protect Biodiversity

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer At a UN conference in Kunming, China, President Xi Jinping set aside $230 million to form a fund that preserves biodiversity in developing countries. This announcement was made at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity talks (COP15) which are dedicated to preserving delicate ecosystems and preventing plants and animals […]

Continue Reading 315 words

One Cool Thing: We Have a Winner!

The people have spoken! The portly patriarch of paunch persevered to pulverize the Baron of Beardonkadonk in the final match of #FatBearWeek 2021. 480 Otis can now boast a bevy of bests w/ this fourth 1st place finish. As we celebrate, like a true champ 480 is still chowing down. — Katmai National Park […]

Continue Reading 207 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.