Pass a Pollinator Protection Pledge at St. Cloud State University
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1 out of every 3 bites of food are dependent on bees to be produced.
US beekeepers lost 40% of their colonies between April 2014 and April 2015,
Bee populations around the country, and the world, continue to drastically decline.
This is happening now. At this point, many of you may have seen the headlines declaring "Bees Added to Endangered Species List for First Time". This is terrifying news. In the spirit of transparency, allow me to be clear. Not all species have been added, but 7 species of bee native to Hawaii. Even still, this is a first, and an extremely big deal. There are, however, petitions and movements to add even more US bee species to the list. There are approximately 20,000 species of bee worldwide with 4,000 native to the United States.
What is causing this?
- Habitat Loss
- Colony Collapse Disorder
- Climate Change
- Industrial Agricultural Practices
- Namely, widespread use of a particular kind of pesticides
Neonicotinoids (neonics) are a systemic class of pesticide
Manufactured by companies like Bayer and Syngenta
Effect on bees
- Neural effects on learning and memory
- Reduce male sperm count and harms ability to reproduce
- Hurts foraging ability
- Increases susceptibility to nosema virus
- And they straight up KILL bees
"What can I do?"
Don’t use neonics at home
Plant bee friendly native plants
Join a cause
Spread the word
Ban the present and future use of neonics and pre-treated plants on the Saint Cloud State University campus and campus properties.
Move towards the planting and implementation of native, pollinator friendly plants on the Saint Cloud State University campus and campus properties.
Minnesota is the most progressive state on this issue in the country, especialy since the signing of Executive Order 16-07 Federal and state legislation is moving this direction already, but not fast enough.
Wait until it becomes a government mandate
Be leaders in our community, set an example, raise awareness, make a difference, and lead the pack on one of the most important environmental issues facing this, and future generations.
If they aren’t in use, then that is phenomenal!
However, this is more than just a policy, it’s a pledge.
The implementation of this policy is making a statement to the campus and the community that administration is committed to a healthy environment, sustainability, and serving asa role model for others to follow.
If neonics aren’t used now, then what would be the harm in making it official by saying they will not be used in the future?
Plus, a policy such as this is a great marketing tool to showcase University efforts, to bring attention to initiatives like the Climate Action Plan, and solidify a reputation as a responsible and progressive institution.
Here is the language of the Pledge itself:
THE SAINT CLOUD STATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS POLLINATOR PROTECTION PLEDGE
WHEREAS, pollinators provide vital ecosystem services to crops and wild plants; and two thirds of the food crops humans eat every day require bees and other pollinators to successfully produce a crop; and
WHEREAS, bee and other populations are in a global decline, with 7 species recently added to the endangered species list; and
WHEREAS, declines in pollinator populations can be largely attributed to the prevalent use of neonicotinoid-containing pesticides; and
WHEREAS, Minnesota state and Governor Dayton recently issued Executive Order 16-07, requiring action to reverse bee and other pollinator decline, becoming the toughest regulations on neonicotinoid use in the United States.
WHEREAS, many pollinator species are readily found on the university campus, of Saint Cloud State University, and the continued use of neonicotinoids at Saint Cloud State University can negatively impact bee and other pollinator populations; and
WHEREAS, adopting this policy would make Saint Cloud State University a local leader on the issue of pollinator protection; and
WHEREAS, neonicotinoids are not necessary to maintain the campus grounds of Saint Cloud State University; and
WHEREAS, Saint Cloud State University has a vision to give students the skills to “exercise informed and responsible action to address ethical, societal, and environmental changes” and commitments to become a more sustainable university.
THEREFORE, be it resolved Saint Cloud State University pledges to:
Eliminate neonicotinoid use on campus grounds; and
Purchase plants for campus landscaping that have not been pre-treated with neonicotinoids, to the extent feasible; and
Specify in contracts with vendors and campus construction standards not to use neonicotinoids or plants pre-treated with neonicotinoids (if feasible); and
Ensure substitutes for neonicotinoids are safe for pollinators; and
Plant pollinator-friendly habitats on campus.
In accordance with the Campus Pollinator Protection Pledge, Saint Cloud State University hereby agrees to these conditions. Signed on behalf of Saint Cloud State University’s students, faculty, and staff by:
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