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Decline of pollinating species is a threat to global food supply, report warns


A new report says that without international effort, a number of pollinating species, such as butterflies, moths, wasps, beetles and bats, that promote the growth of hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of food each year, face extinction, New York Times reports.

A group affiliated with the United Nations on Friday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia released the report.

The summary of the report will be posted online on Monday.

Pollinating species not only contribute to the growth of fruit, vegetables and many nuts, as well as flowering plants but also indirectly create millions of jobs in the agricultural system, for which they play a key role.

According to the document, several pollinator species are threatened with extinction, including some 16 percent of vertebrates like birds and bats, according to the document.

The causes of the threat to the pollinating species include aggressive agricultural practices, pesticides, parasites and paathogens.

In North America and Europe, the dwindling species of bumblebees has been attributed to climate change, said Sir Robert Watson, vice chairman of the group and director of strategic development at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia.

Climate change affects the territories of plants and pollinators and also changes the time of the flowering of the plants.

The group issuing the report, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, is made up of 124 countries, including the United States, and was formed through the United Nations in 2012.

The group combined current studies and analysis to reach its conclusions. The assessment was developed with the help of 80 experts.

The report added that the contribution of controversial chemicals known as neonicotinoids "is currently unresolved."

Laurie Adams, executive director of the Pollinator Partnership, a group whose officials contributed expertise to the report, called the report was a milestone that would "make a practical and effective contribution to finding solutions to pollinators challenges."

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