Farming News - Welsh government launches 'world first' pollinator initiative

Welsh government launches 'world first' pollinator initiative

07 Sep 2016

The Welsh government, working with Friends of the Earth Cymru, has launched what its claims is a ‘world first’ scheme to encourage citizens to organise to hep pollinating insects.

The ‘Bee Friendly’ scheme was launched on Wednesday at a Wales Biodiversity Partnership Conference, held at Bangor University. Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths, who launched the scheme, said the aim is to create a network of Pollinator-Friendly communities and organisations to help turn around declines in the number of bees and other pollinating insects, a grave problem across the northern hemisphere.

Communities and community organisations, schools, public bodies, town and community councils, businesses, universities and colleges, places of worship and many other organisations, all around Wales are being encouraged to join the Bee Friendly scheme. The Four Goals of which are:

  • Food – providing pollinator-friendly food sources.
  • Five Star accommodation – providing places for insect pollinators to live.
  • Freedom from pesticides and herbicides – committing to avoid chemicals that harm pollinators.
  • Fun – involving all the community and telling people why you are helping pollinators.

Commenting at the launch on Wednesday, Lesley Griffiths said, “I am pleased to offer my support to the launch of ‘Bee-Friendly’. While the focus of the campaign is very much on encouraging people to get involved in an enjoyable way there is a serious message too.  Pollinators are in decline and this risks our capacity to produce food, timber and fibre.

“By participating in the four Bee Friendly themes we can protect pollinators and deliver multiple economic, social and environmental benefits for local communities.”

Friends of the Earth spokesperson Bleddyn Lake added, “Once again Wales is leading the way in environmental initiatives. We know that bees and other pollinators are in trouble due to factors such as habitat loss, pesticide use and climate change.

“The good news is that we can all help. The launch today of the Welsh Action Plan for Pollinators Taskforce’s Bee Friendly initiative is a fantastic step forward and something we can all get involved in whether it is in our schools, in our communities, places where we work or worship, anywhere!”

Details on how to get involved in ‘Bee Friendly’ will be available shortly on the Wales Biodiversity Partnership website.