On February 11th 2021, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan launched a new publication to mark the conclusion of the first phase of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020. ‘Working Together for Biodiversity: Tales from the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020’ highlights positive action for nature across the island and shows the big difference that small actions can make. The booklet brings together a selection of case studies to tell the story of how communities, farmers, schools, businesses, local authorities and many others have contributed towards the conservation of Ireland’s pollinators.
Welcoming the publication, Minister Malcolm Noonan said: ‘I’m proud to launch this inspiring publication. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is an incredible initiative that has engaged people across Ireland to take local action for bees and other pollinators and generate national impact for nature. It has also inspired international ambition, becoming the benchmark for how other countries approach the important issue of pollinator decline. I’ve been involved in a number of Pollinator Plan activities in my constituency of Carlow-Kilkenny, so I’m especially pleased to share this collection of stories that I hope will encourage more people to get involved in biodiversity conservation.”
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 has achieved considerable impact:
- The last five years have seen the delivery of all 81 actions identified in the Plan
- Across all sectors, the number of engaged individuals and organisations continues to increase
- 55% of all Councils across the island have become partners
- Hundreds of local communities have embraced the initiative
- 280 businesses have come on board and agreed to take action
- A framework by which all farms can become more pollinator-friendly is currently in collaborative development
After much difficult deliberation, 80 projects were chosen for inclusion to illustrate some of the ways that people have helped pollinators since 2015. There are hundreds’ more amazing conservation stories projects that could have been included. Chair of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, Dr Una Fitzpatrick, Senior Ecologist at the National Biodiversity Data Centre, said: “The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan has shown – across every sector and in every corner of this island – that people do care about nature, and that we can come together to make changes for the better. To those thousands of people, groups and organisations who got behind the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan with such energy and enthusiasm, we would like to express our sincere thanks. The publication of ‘Working Together for Biodiversity: Tales from the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 is a celebration of all of their efforts.”
The AIPP has also attracted international acclaim. Advice has been requested by over 10 countries, both within and outside Europe, interested in learning from the initiative and developing something similar. It has informed the development of pollinator strategies published in Scotland (2017), Norway (2018) and the Netherlands (2018). The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan has been recommended as a template for the development of national pollinator strategies by EU Member States.
An even more ambitious plan for 2021-2025 is currently being finalised and is expected to be launched in the coming months. Looking ahead, Deputy Chair of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, Professor Jane Stout, Trinity College Dublin, said: “As we look forward to the next five years, we need to continue to engage across all sectors, monitor our pollinators, and manage more land for biodiversity. Ultimately, the AIPP will only be a success if in 10, 20 or hundreds of years from now, this island is buzzing with bees and we have diverse, healthy wild pollinator populations, providing us with the services on which we are so dependent. If we achieve this, we will also create a colourful and healthy environment for ourselves.”
To find out more, see www.pollinators.ie