Following recent declines in monarch butterfly populations and habitat, the Keystone Policy Center has convened the Monarch Collaborative, a diverse and dedicated group of organizations spanning the research community, agricultural production, conservation causes, public agencies, and others working to develop collaborative solutions to address this challenge.
The Monarch Collaborative started meeting in 2015 and is now working to identify and implement solutions that will help achieve a sustainable population of monarch butterflies while meeting agricultural productivity and habitat conservation goals - including supporting additional milkweed and nectar sources appropriately placed in rural areas. The Collaborative's efforts will focus on promoting awareness of how farmers, ranchers, and land owners can support, conserve, and enhance habitat for a sustainable monarch population.
"The Monarch Collaborative is bringing together the agricultural and conservation communities to develop strategies to support a sustainable monarch butterfly population," said Christine Scanlan, president and CEO of the Keystone Policy Center. "Our collaborative approach will help ensure that this effort will have lasting impact on this decades-long challenge. We look forward to facilitating this important endeavor in 2016 and beyond, as we work to help monarch populations rebound."
"Farmers and ranchers have a tremendous opportunity to help lead efforts to shape monarch butterfly conservation efforts in the United States. We are excited to work with Keystone and the diverse, committed members of the Monarch Collaborative," said Ryan Yates, Director of Congressional Relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation. "Lasting solutions to this challenge will require widespread engagement, communication, and collaboration among stakeholders. Farm Bureau is proud to bring these qualities to this effort."
"This collaborative approach is crucial. We can sit in a room, coming from very different places - agribusiness, farming, academia, government agencies, and conservation organizations - but we quickly learned that all of us grew up with an appreciation of this beautiful species, and we share a desire to work together to ensure its future survival," said Julie Sibbing, Sr. Director of Agricultural Programs at the National Wildlife Federation. "Our efforts cannot be successful if we don't find a way to re-establish milkweed across the rural landscape, working hand in hand with farmers and ranchers."
"Farmers, ranchers, and land owners are some of the world's best stewards of the land. Working together we can help to ensure productive lands meet the growing global demand for food and increase critical habitat for monarch butterflies," said Dr. Eric Sachs, Science and Policy Lead, at Monsanto Company. "We're excited to be a part of this groundbreaking collaboration - and look forward to implementing solutions and developing partnerships that will endure for years to come."
To learn more about the Monarch Collaborative, visit keystone.org/monarch.
Keystone works at the forefront of agricultural coalitions. Keystone's past and ongoing agriculture collaboratives include Field To Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and the Honey Bee Health Coalition. Keystone also has worked to promote sustainability along the beef supply chain.