Mass extinction of insects

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Currently at least 1 million species of insect, out of an estimated 5.5 million species, are on the brink of extinction. Many people are inclined to think that every mosquito or other creepy-crawly that dies is a blessing, especially if these insects spread diseases such as malaria. The problem, however, is that insects play a key role in every single ecosystem on earth as food (even for humans), as predators and of course as pollinators. The loss of insect populations is often caused directly by human action, such as the degradation and loss of habitats or the over-use of pesticides in agriculture. Note that drivers of insect extinction often act synergistically or through indirect effects, e.g., climate change favours many invasive species and the loss of habitat. All these consequences contribute to the loss of ecosystem services essential for humans; fruit farming, for example, is already suffering badly from the loss of insect biomass. The committee should discuss the ways Member States can help to halt and even reverse the loss of insect populations by creating policies that limit the drivers of insect loss described above.

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