News - April 21, 2011

Funding for Insect Monitor after all

Secretary of State Henk Bleker of the ministry of EL&I will be funding Alterra’s Insect Monitor this year after all, following a motion tabled in parliament.

An oak processionary caterpillar
Bleker intends to 'look for funding from the current knowledge fund to keep the monitoring of insects going', he wrote in a letter to the House on 19 April. One week before that, MPs Ger Koopmans (CDA) and Esther Ouwehand (Animal rights party) had tabled a motion proposing that the Insect Monitor should be kept. This was after its closedown had received extensive press coverage.
Coordinator Leen Moraal of the Insect Monitor is happy with the decision. He needs 65,000 euros a year to maintain the monitor, which has been going since 1946. This amount enables him to maintain a network of hundreds of volunteers, to identify unfamiliar insects sent in to Alterra and to run an informative website. In the past year, once it was known that the ministry wanted to stop the funding, Moraal has been looking for other financers. 'But provinces do not want to pay for this monitor, and nor does the business world.'